I ran into Cole Wiley at hack night last week and he starts telling me about this last minute hackathon called codemkrs he and Travis Laurendine were putting together. I was very skeptical about them pulling it off and people showing up. I couldn’t commit to going, but Cole was persistant.
I had to checkout what these cats were up to.
When I arrived at the event, I was greeted by smiling faces and a long, fine print, legal document that gave the LTC and Super Bowl Committee rights to distribute any IP created during the event until after the Super Bowl. Freaked me, and a few other guys out.
I decided I wasn’t going to participate, but signed the document and went up to the kickoff meeting.
This is the first Super Bowl to have a tech committee and committee leaders were in attendance voicing problems previous Super Bowls had that we could potentially solve.
The kickoff meeting ended with idea/team leader pitches. One twist was giving all attendees access to the Codemkrs twitter account.
Organized chaos, full throttle.
After the pitches, I started talking with Adele Tibler about building a social media command center and a photo of us ended up on Nola.com. Crawford Comeaux took the lead on the project. The concept ended up being too big to build out in a weekend. Crawford and Adele have a solid plan in place and I’m looking forward to helping out anyway I can.
Tung Ly had a cool idea to put a twist on a parade tracker app that, as a rider or marching, would allow you to find your friends in crowds. We tried reaching out to Glympse for API access, but no dice. I was literally on my way out when tung sent me this tweet ..
Next thing you know, I’m in a room with 4 other guys I’d never worked with before talking about building an app to help people find crawfish boils. Team CrawDat was born and all of a sudden I’m in this thing for the long haul. The fun was just beginning.
Our team, Tung Ly, Elliot Fleming, Alex Hertz, and Jameson Quave, decided to build the app using technology none of us had ever worked with before. I was in agreement with Jameson about working with something new, but I still put the blame on all the headaches we ran into on him!
Here’s Alex up on the whiteboard:
Peter Mayer was ON POINT. Not only did they let us take over their offices, they were there around the clock making sure we could get in the building at 4am, kept the red bull flowing, provided us with power strips and equipment, and dope conference rooms. They took care of anything we needed so we could focus on building apps. I hope more companies follow their lead in helping out the entrepreneur community in New Orleans.
The music was ON POINT. Here’s a photo of Blind Texas Marlin jammin in the lobby on Friday night:
AND Especially the CODEMKRS track by Nesby Phips. So dope, listen to it again:
James Carville was wicked impressed. Travis said, “The powers that be resisted us at first,” and Carville got fired up and said “You guys are the powers that be! You guys have the power now. The old guard of New Orleans will have to follow what you do.”
Here’s a photo of Carville and Mary Matlin discussing our app, New Orleans and football.
Photo by Elliot Fleming
When it was all said and done 7 of the 8 teams had completed their apps and released them public.
1st Place : Eat Now NOLA – Restaurant wait times.
2nd Place : Gigs Guru/ – Live music finder.
3rd Place : Digital Tip Jar – Tip musicians
TurboSquid $1000 Prize : NOLA Parks – Interactive map of over 200 nola parks.
The prizes were off the hook .. http://codemkrs.com/prizes/
Our team didn’t win, but we learned a ton, made new connections, caught up with old friends and had a fucking blast.
Travis, Cole, hackers, judges, vendors, sponsors, volunteers and musicians came together to create a hackathon in the true spirit of a New Orleans festival. Food, fun, music and surprises.
Work Hard. Play Hard.
I can’t wait for the next codemkrs event. Hope to see you there.