This summer’s AngelHack was a little more ambitious than your average hackathon. Instead of holding one event in one location over one weekend, it held hackathons in four different cities (Seattle, Silicon Valley, Boston, and New York), then allowed the winning teams to refine their products for three weeks before coming to Palo Alto and competing in the final event last night.
I was one of the judges, along with Right Side Capital’s David Lambert, AngelPad’s Thomas Korte, Istanta Capital’s Matt Oguz, Google Ventures’ Wesley Chan, and Facebook’s Austen Haugen. (Oh, and TechCrunch’s Josh Constine was the event “host”, which meant that he introduced each presenter and cracked jokes while they took the stage.) The judging felt a little odd, because the presentations and products were much more polished than what I’ve seen at other hackathons. At the same time, they weren’t full-fledged companies yet, either.
However, some of the 25ish teams (it was hard to keep track, because the list kept changing) were clearly on the cusp of becoming real companies, especially the three winners. And to help get them started, two of the teams received a $25,000 check from either Instanta or Right Side.
Here are the winners:
Appetas: Most restaurant websites suck, especially on mobile — for that reason, I’d rather go to a restaurant’s Yelp page than its own site. That’s not great for the restaurant, though, because they don’t get to control what kind of content (like negative reviews) visitors see. During its demo, the Appetas team created a simple-but-attractive website in about a minute, with contact info, menus, and other information pulled in through data sources like SinglePlatform.
GiveGo: You may have participated in walkathons or runs for charity but GiveGo makes it possible to hold your own micro-fundraisers — you don’t need to find a big event, and charities don’t need to deal with the organizational costs of putting that event together. Instead, you pick a charity of your choice and ask your friends to support you, then the GiveGo app will track every mile you walk, run, or bike, and at the end of the month it will collect the donations you’ve earned.
ShareBrowse: A bookmarklet that lets you share what’s in your browser with another user, and converse via video chat. Think WebEx, but built for consumers (for example if you need to explain something Internet-related to a relative) and without any of the cost or technical hassles. ShareBrowse was created by 15-year-old Raphie Palefsky-Smith. Because of his age, the judges gave him a trophy instead of a check, but we all pledged to help him out, whether he wants an internship, funding, or whatever.