#HackTheHub sees huge success at their annual hackathon

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  • #HackTheHub, Ireland’s largest hacker community, held its annual hackathon last weekend in Belfast's S13. 

    With a mission to drive innovation utilising open collaboration, to upskill the best technical talent and connect them with companies that will enable them to make change happen, they invited the best developers, designers, and entrepreneurs in the UK and Ireland to tackle a number of business challenges using Machine Learning and AI. 

    Over 150 participants spent two days developing projects and pitches, for the chance to win £1,500 for the top prize, with other cash prizes and spot prizes worth over £8,000, such as Apple Watches and a Nikon camera, to runners up.

    Jack O’Hara, from the winning team ‘Deep Ducks’, spoke to us about his experience, “We had an absolute blast at #HackTheHub. The machine learning workshop gave us an incredible start on implementing the tech in our project. We really enjoyed working with the Bazaarvoice mentors who helped us work through many tricky problems We were delighted we won and are looking forward to developing our app further.” 

    Deep Ducks developed an app, Ready Reviews, which processes customer reviews as they are being typed and aims to detect shipping and customer service issues so that the user can be directed to the correct place to resolve their issue.  

    Other solutions developed at #HackTheHub include ‘Hero’, a solution to reduce the amount of human interactions to customer service representatives, ‘Food Pal’, a smart camera app that uses deep learning to track your nutritional habits from your food images, and many more.

    Paul Hill from Bazaarvoice, the platinum partner for #HackTheHub, said, “The talent we encountered whilst at HackTheHub was extremely impressive. The results, after just over 24 hours of hacking, was some of the best I’ve seen in the last four years of being involved in hackathons.” 

    #HackTheHub was also proudly supported this year by Bazaarvoice, Rapid7, Flexera, Cayan, Aepona, Slice Life, AVB Group, Forest Feast, Barclay’s Eagle Lab Belfast, Invest NI, and Belfast City Council.

    Reflecting on the weekend, Gillian Colan-O’Leary, one of the co-founders of #HackTheHub, said, “We had a great weekend! Again, we are humbled by the enthusiasm and passion showed by the hackers. And after seeing all the amazing pitches we’re excited about the tech industry’s future. We’re looking forward to next year’s already!” 

    In it’s third year now, #HackTheHub has worked with over 30 companies, and has access to over 2,000 developers, designers and entrepreneurs, having successfully created £400,000 worth of jobs, and 5 startups.

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