Our team won the South Florida Tech Hub Hackathon against 20 teams . It was hard work but what an experience!
First place, $2.500 prize: Hurricane Helper
Hurricane Helper’s progressive AWS based web application is called EDNA – Emergency Disaster Network Application. EDNA is an online platform that streamlines disaster management by using a national volunteer network in a cloud call center.
- Don’t be greedy. More members on your team means you can get more done and build something impressive - we had the max at 8. It was an 8-way split, but I dont think we would have won with 4.
- Focus on what makes your app special. Dont worry about the login screen and user management, you can fake that for the purpose of the presentation.
- The goal of a hackathon is to pitch and idea and create a Proof-of-Concept.
- Exploit existing skills - not everyone needs to be a developer.
- You need someone to work on the pitch, someone to present, and someone to keep notes.
- I had experience with Amazon Connect and experience leading a team, so I took that role.
- Check in often. We had a standup every 90 minutes to check progress.
- If something isn’t working, its OK to pivot to an alternative.
- Initially we were designing an Express API but the time to design and implement was taking too long. In the end we used a single serverless function in AWS Lambda.
- Include business metrics in the presentation!
- We included an estimated cost of our platform vs a commercial contact center.
- The decision makers are typically not technical and dont care about the tech, they care about the business results.
- Have fun and don’t take it too seriously.
- We called our submission EDNA, and our key persona was Grandma EDNA. It’s OK to work in some humor and be a little tongue-in-cheek.
- Ivan Bliskavka - Lead
- Derek Donev - Backend
- Erik White - Frontend
- Mike Tobin - Dev
- Michael Roth - PM
- Holden Gibler - Presenter
- Taylor Gagne - Backend
- Alex Ciccolella - Pitch Deck