NY entrepreneurs John Kluge and Michael Lindenmayer co-founded a for-profit holding company that invests in social ventures, called Eirene. The company only has three employees, and contacted partners like the Gates Foundation and the World Bank for their worldwide hackathon to take place at the beginning of 2013. According to Crain’s NY Business, more than 1,000 hackers from over seven countries will participate in the hackathon, competing for various prizes.
Lindenmayer said, “It’s not just a bunch of plumbers and geeky engineers and social workers who are already passionate about this. We’re bringing to the table people who have nothing to do with sanitation and have them apply their minds to deep data.” Hackathons have been migrating from beyond tech offices and tech junkies into more mainstream culture. Businesses in NY have been using hackathons to increase innovations and solve problems.
A cloud platform software firm based in NY called Apprenda has found that its twice-a-year hackathons normally result in concepts for new products. Workers “hack” under a time constraint, but are provided endless food and drinks. The company also said its hackathons help attract the right type of developers for its company.
Medidata Solutions, another NY-based company that runs public cloud-technology, saves money with its “Black Hat Fridays,” which are 24 hour events where staff engineers are in a race to hack their own code and reveal bugs. The company uses the event to save money on locating bugs in their system. It awards $50 for each bug found by their engineers. Other New York companies use the hackathon as a faster way to address large-scale problems with the resources they have on hand.