We always enjoy a good challenge, we’re not fans of the comfort zone. And this is just what the first Qubiz internal hackathon turned out to be: an awesome challenge.
Why an internal hackathon?
With meetings, calls, emails on a day to day basis, it’s easy to slip into a routine. A hackathon is a great way to flex those development muscles and to get things done.
Gabi, one of Qubiz managing partners and the mastermind behind the event, adds: “Considering our culture and track record, a hackathon seemed the most natural thing to do. On the one hand, stimulating innovation and proactively coming up with solutions is part of our DNA. In the 10 years, we’ve been in business, on many occasions, innovative solutions came directly from our colleagues. Other times, our team members’ ideas became viable software solutions – QLabs, our R&D department, is working on turning them into actual products.
On the other hand, our team values meaningful interactions and fun. We have sharp colleagues who enjoy sharing ideas, are open to learning and developing new products. Qubiz Hackathon was the perfect opportunity to live out these aspects of our culture.”
What was the first Qubiz hackathon about?
As a lot of what we do in Qubiz starts with care – whether it’s care for users, our customers or our colleagues, we chose care as the theme of this event.
Also, we decided that we can spare the prizes to help others, less fortunate and in need. So, we extended the theme beyond the event and donated all the prize money (10000RON) to NGOs the winners cared most about.
Lights, camera…. action!
We had the first Qubiz Hackathon from two locations: our office in Oradea and from the one in Cluj-Napoca, over one day – Saturday, 21st of April. We started early in the morning (8 a.m.) until late at night. To keep in touch, we live streamed between the offices to see what the others are up to.
After a sip of coffee and with a healthy supply of food, snacks, and beverages (read beer), we were good to go.
Overall, 30 colleagues working in 7 teams registered for the Hackathon. Here’s what they built:
- Team 1 – RUNaTON
Cross-platform mobile app to boost exercise and donations. Users or companies can set goals for a given period (e.g. jogging 30 km for a week) and an amount of money they will donate to charity if they don’t accomplish that goal.
- Team 2 – GiveAway
GiveAway empowers people to donate what they no longer need. It connects donors with potential future owners in real time, based on physical proximity (a few streets away). Mobile-focused, anyone can easily upload a photo of what they want to give away.
- Team 3 – FitMed
FitMed is a solution for healthcare assistants taking care of a large number of recovery patients. Based on Fitbit, the app connects and syncs data measured by the device. Next, FitMed analyzes the data for each patient and notifies the assistant via SMS in case of irregularities.
- Team 4 – Waver
Waver connects volunteers with people who need assistance with different activities: taking a walk, doing the groceries, housekeeping etc. Tasks are added by an admin or a care expert, volunteers apply, and if they’re approved for the task, they go on to discuss details and earn feedback when completed.
- Team 5 – Recycle Beans
Recycle Beans is a crowdsourcing platform designed to help people find the nearest, most convenient location where they can drop off recyclables in real-time. The product features both a browser-based back-end and cross-platform mobile apps.
- Team 6 – PumpApp
Cross-platform mobile app to assist and motivate authorities and donors for blood donation. It allows users to schedule their visits to donate blood (integrated with the hospital system), notifies them about any emergencies when blood is needed, suggests potential upcoming recurring visits, and allows them to share the results.
- Team 7 – MobiFedha (Fedha in Swahili means money, finance)
Cross platform mobile app designed with NGOs in mind. It allows users to make and receive payments without depending on the currency exchange and banking system. The app translates funds users receive in a points system and performs all transactions via points. Users get detailed spending reports and they only need cash to withdraw funds from the application.
- 1st place: Tram 5 – Recycle Beans
- 2nd place: Team 3 – FitMed
- 3rd place: Team 1 – Runaton & Team 2 – GiveAway
How did our colleagues like it?
- Cosmin (Team 2): “You could feel that all participants wanted to create something important, something to be proud of. Regardless of the final results, we all went home with great memories about working together on topics we care about.”
- Lorena (Team2): “For me, the most interesting part of the hackathon was my team’s way of working. Looking back, I really like our approach to building a team in such a short time and we did our best to working as a new team on the big day. I believe all of us are very proud of our idea – as well as of all the other the ideas suggested in the hackathon. For me, it was a great event, for a great cause. 10/10 would do again.”
- Cami (Team 5): “All in all, I had a great time and I’m already looking forward to the next hackathon.”
- Andrei (Team 5): “The Hackathon came as a refreshingly pleasant surprise to me. Having no prior experience with this sort of events, I didn’t know what to expect. It ended up being a fun, challenging, unforgettable time. Despite being exhausted, at the end of the day, I wished it was a two-day event.”
- Gabi (managing partner & organizer): “The event was a success from many points of view. First, as the teams were formed on friendship and common interests as opposed to pitching, it was easier for them to work together. From this setup, the teams have delivered many innovative, viable solutions – some of which will turn into real software products. Considering this was a one day event, I am very proud of the team’s productivity. We’ll definitely repeat the experience.”
Wrapping it all up…
Even if we need to work on some details, all of us enjoyed the hackathon. The second edition is almost a sure thing – we just need to work out the details. We’re even thinking of inviting people outside of Qubiz – but more on that that later. Till then….
Thank you to all those who attended! 🙂
P.S. – Check out more event photos on Facebook 😉