Holy hackathon, people. Here’s an exciting update on the judges and semi-finalists who are set to make the Virtual Hackathon — at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2018 on September 5-7 — an event that redefines “epic.” Since June, more than 1,000 developers, programmers, hackers and tech makers all over the world have been hard at work on their most creative hacks, and we recruited an impressive panel of judges — check out their bona fides below — to help us narrow the field.
There were so many incredible hacks, but only 30 semi-finalist slots. We don’t envy the judges, but they rose to the challenge. The semi-finalists (see below) represent the 30 highest-scoring teams, and they’ll go on to demo their projects at Disrupt SF 2018.
From that field of 30, the judges will thin the herd down to 10 finalists, and those teams will demo their product to the world on The Next Stage at Disrupt. Only one team will emerge from the pack with a hack so awesome that they simply must be named champion of the first TechCrunch Disrupt Virtual Hackathon — and pocket the $10,000 grand prize. It’s an event you won’t want to miss.
We’re honored to have such an impressive panel of judges from Slack, Pinterest, Color, Google and Cloudflare — some of the top companies in tech.
John Agan leads Slack’s partner engineering team to support and grow the partner ecosystem. He works with top partners across the globe to build new, innovative integrations on the Slack platform and drive overall growth and improvement in the Slack app ecosystem. Prior to joining Slack, John was the global director of solutions engineering at GitHub and the principal UX engineer of Analytics Cloud at Salesforce.
Sha Sha Chu
Sha Sha Chu has 15 years of experience as a developer and engineering leader. She currently serves as the Android platform technical lead at Pinterest, where she guides the overall technical direction of the Pinterest app for Android. Previously, Sha Sha worked in the games industry, shipping several console and PC titles for franchises like James Bond, The Lord of the Rings and The Sims during her time at EA. She also contributed to development on one of the first major cloud gaming platforms with OnLive. Sha Sha holds a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford.
Wendy McKennon, vice president of product at Color, oversees product quality and user experience. She spent several years at Google as a team leader and as an individual contributor on products such as Google Maps, Wallet and AdWords. Prior to her time at Google, she worked at Method Design and Yahoo. Wendy holds a degree in symbolic systems from Stanford University.
Based in San Francisco, Marily Nika currently works on Google Assistant. She’s also a founder in the edtech space and a board member for two startups. Marily holds a doctorate in computer science, and loves new tech and fresh ideas. She’s participated in 30 hackathons to date, emceed TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathons in London and Berlin, delivered three TEDx talks and received international recognition — including the Woman of the Year 2018 Award (FDM Group) and WISE Influence Award 2015 for empowering the #womenintech community. You can find Marily on Twitter @marilynika.
Jennifer Taylor, head of products at Cloudflare, leads the delivery of world-class, cloud-based performance, security and content delivery solutions for companies of all sizes. Previously she was a senior vice president of product management for search at Salesforce, where she built enterprise search experiences that connect people with relevant information they need to produce business results. She led Salesforce’s Data.com, which helps customers sell faster and smarter using a foundation of intelligent insights. She also shaped the direction of Salesforce Chatter, the company’s powerful collaboration software. Prior to Salesforce, Jennifer held a variety of senior product management and marketing roles at Facebook and Adobe. Earlier in her career, Jennifer worked as a product manager at Macromedia (acquired by Adobe) for Dreamweaver — the popular graphical Web development tool — and she worked as an associate at Vector Capital.
And here, ladies and gentlemen, are the 30 semi-finalist Virtual Hackathon teams that will demo their products at Disrupt SF 2018 — but only 10 of them will move on to demo their hack on The Next Stage.
- Smart Folios
- Who’s Up?
- Check-In Cheque-Out
- SeeThru Price Transparency Marketplace
- Blindsight – Virtual Eyes Through Haptic Feedback
- Crohn’s AI
- Airship bot
In addition to the overall best in show prize from TechCrunch, we had amazing participation for our sponsors, like Visa, who gave out a slew of cash and an Oculus VR headset to the hack teams that used their API the best. Check out all the crazy projects and sponsor contests on the hackathon page.