TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and Conference Recap

photo 1 1 300x224 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and Conference Recap

As TechCrunch Disrupt comes to a close, it’s a great time to reflect on all the awesome things that happened. Jim England and I attended the conference as exhibitors for the hackathon. If you haven’t been keeping up with all the happenings, check out TechCrunch’s video footage and live stream.

Over the course of the TC Disrupt Hackathon weekend, over 700 hackers created 130 hack projects. Hackathons have come a long way due to the low cost of hosting and infrastructure, a plethora of free and low cost APIs, and talented developers and designers. By Sunday afternoon, the sophistication and polish of the products after only 24 hours of work was astounding!

Some hack projects that stood out:

  • FlickMunk is like HipMunk, but instead of matching you with flights, it matches you with movie cinema times.
  • helps businesses find the group-buying deal sites that they should go with, based on their specific geography and niche.
  • EventSound will play music matching the combined tastes of everyone in the virtual music room.
  • BuddyCall lets you quickly set up no-dial conference calls. Instead of dialing in and punching in codes, the conference calls you.
  • helps you organize carpooling via your mobile device.
  • AirBeats lets you play virtual instruments on your iPad using the camera feature and motion tracking.
  • showcased its new Facebook Connect integration to enhance it’s social cooking and recipes iPad app.
  • ExRated lets you rate your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.
  • Gainify converts Shopify stores into Group Buying stores via a simple plugin.
  • lets you send anonymous text messages (it’s ripe for abuse :P).
  • ShowMeTheFunding, which implemented our Infochimps CrunchBase API to map locations of local venture capital firms.

photo 2 1 300x224 TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and Conference Recap

The conference, which went Monday through Wednesday, had many exciting highlights both regarding speaker insights and new product announcements.

In the products realm: Twitter launched its Twitter Web Analytics tool which helps business measure their engagement on Twitter. Facebook announced the new Subscription feature, which if you opt in, allows people to follow you Twitter-style. Spotify announced it’s integration with Ford in-car SYNC system. Eric Ries launched his much anticipated book, The Lean Startup.

Regarding panels and speakers: Paul Graham and Harj Taggar did a successful round of Office Hours, lightning-round startup help sessions. John Doerr noted that the Steve Jobs way of thinking lives on at Apple, and that they may be revolutionizing the television next. The founders shed some light on their transformation away from Stickybits. Peter Thiel and Max Levchin spoke about innovation as not just solving the simple, low-hanging fruit problems, but trying to tackle the very difficult ones.

To everyone that talked with us during the conference, it’s been a pleasure meeting you and we thank you for your time! We’ll be reconnecting with many of you soon, but everyone can please reach out to us anytime at @TimGasper or @JimEngland. Cheers, and see you again in SF soon!

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