Overcoming stiff competition from MIT and Waterloo, Princeton won this year’s Facebook College Hackathon finals. Over the past few months, Facebook conducted run-off competitions at fourteen colleges across the United States and Canada, and this Friday held the finals at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto. The Princeton team was the only one comprised mainly of women, and their winning project Color Me Bold allowed users to submit a photo of an outfit and receive instant, algorithmic fashion suggestions for how to improve its color scheme. Watch as we interview some of the top teams, play around on Facebook’s famous Ripstick skateboards, and talk with the winners about whether they’ll be turning their project into a startup.
My personal favorite was MIT’s 2toBrowse, a Chrome extension that allowed two people on separate computers to both control active cursors and collaboratively browse the web. One users installs the extension, receives a special URL, and another can click it to instantly begin browsing together without having to download anything. The extension could help people teach their parents how to use a specific website, allow customer service departments to walk customers through solutions to problems, or provide entertainment.
The College Hackathon, also known as the Camp Hackathon, serves as a powerful recruiting tool for Facebook. By finding top young engineers and bringing them to the headquarters, Facebook increases the chance they’ll want to work for the company once they graduate — or drop-out like Facebook’s founders. Though I must say, the $500 per team member grand prize seems a bit small considering the company is preparing for a $100 billion IPO. At least last year’s winners got a summer internship at Facebook.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...