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HackerHunt Review

Busy, busy, busy. That’s what we were this past weekend. We had two hackathons going on simultaneously in two different cities: Bangalore and Gurgaon. Here is the story of what happened on one sunny weekend in Bangalore city.

HackerHunt for Newshunt was one of the best organized hackathons to date (kudos to the Newshunt team!). They took care of everything: food, seating, and sleeping bags for the special breed of human, the hacker zombie.

At 11:00 a.m., the hack commenced with a total of 51 participants. All in all, 14 teams participated. The problem statements were open ended this time around to encourage creativity (spoon feeding? Not for us…).

Here is the list of themes that the hackers worked on:

  • Theme A: Crowing the three Cs. Marry content, community and commerce for mobile first, Indian local language users.
  • Theme B: Big Data to the rescue. Apply big data for relevance, personalization and recommendations.
  •  Theme C: Secure the reader. Protect eBooks content served via web reader.
  •  Theme D: Love my language. Topic level and category level association, clustering & classification of Indian local language content

Since we had a lot of first timers, Kushagara, our intern organized an early icebreaker game. Teams of 3 random newbies played a version of the children’s game “Ring a round of roses.” This somewhat silly game enabled participants to “connect with each other.” (In the future, we think this would become a regular feature.)

After connecting with each other, participants started to hack in earnest. The Newshunt team were on hand to answer any questions the hackers might have had. The food was excellent, and it was good to see healthier alternatives to just Redbull and pizza. (Guys and girls, contrary to popular belief, it appears that hackfests are not unhealthy pizza fests!).

As you know, it becomes very difficult for us to prise away attendees from their desk once they get going. But Kushagara, “a live wire”, according to one enthused participant, did a stellar job entertaining the crowd. With impromptu contests such as Jive Dancing, to quiz competitions in the morning, Kushagara entertained. (Subhendu, he is filling your admittedly large shoes here – Author’s note.)

On Sunday, at 11:00 a.m., the demos commenced. Each team had 7 minutes to demo their takes on the problem statements. After the demos, the judges went into their chambers to decide the winners. While the candidates were waiting the results, Kushagara (yes, he reminds us of the energizer bunny!) conducted a quiz competition where candidates had to answer questions related to Newshunt. Winners of the competition won exciting goodies. (A quick heads up: it is a good idea to memorize every single detail about the sponsoring company, okay?)

Finally, after much deliberation, the Newshunt team announced the winners. Here is the winners’ list:

  • 1st place: Team 7(Gautam Jeyaraman , Prem Anand). They came, they saw and they conquered. This two member team tackled theme B. They developed a platform called IntelliNews which extracts “topics from unstructured data, classify and extract entities, track user engagement and recommend articles.” Here is a link to their project. For their efforts, they won a cool 2 lakhs.
  • 2nd place: Skyrider(Om Singh, SriRam , Vijay, Mohan). This three member team worked on themes A, B and D. Their iOS app enables news searching, translation, categorization-all with minimizing mobile data usage! Their project enabled them to walk away with Rs. 1 Lakh.
  • 3rd Place: Team BROids(Yash , Ramnath,  Chakaradhar , Dawar Dedmari, Brijesh Masrani ) and Team HackHunt(Sharath MK,Utkarsh Chaithra MK,Pradeep  ). Team BROids tackled themes A and D. They built a platform enabling the user to search, share and consume content all without worrying about language barriers. Team HackHunt worked on theme A. Their Android app enables personalization by recommending news stories based on users’ past history. Each team won an iPad for their efforts.

In addition, NewsHunt is in talks with several interested candidates for further job opportunities.

Interested in participating in more of our hacks? Our Nepal Hack, an initiative to donate via code to the victims of the devastating earthquake in Nepal takes place this upcoming weekend. In addition, Appsaholic for Perk is scheduled for the 16th. We also have an online hackathon for Oracle from 6 P.M. on the 15th to 6 P.M. on the 17th (that’s a whole lot of hacks!). We hope that you participate in one (or more!) of these hackathons!


1 Comment


Thanks for capturing the crazy twenty four hours spent at NewsHunt… It was definitely one of the most well organised hacks in Bangalore and kudos for that to both the Newshunt and Venturecity teams… Keep up the good work.

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Bharat Ramakrishna

Blogger. Part-time mathematics enthusiast. Loves esoteric and quirky things. Bibliophile. Has a wide range of interests including playing chess and pool, juggling and creating puzzles of fiendish difficulty. Grammar Nazi.