I have attended quite a few hackathons in the past and been an active organizer of RHoK events (and more recently NodeCopter events) for some time now. However, while they have always catered well to my computer science/programming side I usually found my science & engineering side left wanting. I have been toying with the idea of organizing something that crosses both fields but would need a partner in crime to put it together. I simply have too much going on already.
I was therefore very happy to see the announcement of the Inventorthon event, run by the Satellite Applications Catapult in Oxford. With challenges ranging from drone scavenger hunts and shipping container tracking, to micro-satellite propulsion systems (by one of the Pocket Spacecraft guys) it seemed refreshing.
I signed up and ended up joining the Jellyfish team which was all about tackling the growing Jellyfish problem. We started off focusing on the technical side of the challenge but were soon advised to focus more on the business aspect. Many hours and little sleep later Ed, our aspiring astrophysicist, did a stellar job of pitching our proposed solution to the judges. Turned out all our hard work was rewarded and we won the prize for Most Entrepreneurial Solution. Part of that was an Amazon voucher but the main outcome was a set of business cards and contact details should we want to take the project to the next level.
We since regrouped and are pretty much all on the same page concerning what to do next. There are still many question marks and practicalities to resolve and time will tell how that all works out.
In any case I want to give a massive thank you to the rest of the team, it was/is an honor collaborating with such talented people. Congrats also to the other teams and winners (Alibi: best pitch, Game of Crops: most innovative idea), I was impressed with the range and quality of the ideas produced.
Finally, a big thank you to the Catapult and the Future Business Pre-Incubator facilitator team for an expertly organized and engaging event. Looking forward to more.