Last weekend I was part of the jury at START Hack in St.Gallen and it was awesome. For me it was the first Hackathon and I was amazed by the energy and the great results that were produced within just 30 hours of coding by the 250 participants from all over the world. I also really liked the location at Startfeld, which is a creative space, start-up incubator and therefore just a location that was missing in St.Gallen so far. Walking through the aisles I was wishing to come back on a regular workday and talk to the entrepreneurs there.
I was thrilled to see Alicia win the Hackathon with her Twitter sentiment analysis. She did this all by herself after her initial team gave up on their original project. So when she presented her project we were actually already debating the other pitches. As soon as she left the room me and the other jury members looked at each other and said “we have a winner”. Apparently, the rest of the jury also found this project convincing. But there were many other projects that I really liked – a scanner app trying to reinvent the way we organize our kitchen, a video chat app connecting refugees with people who can translate a foreign language, an app that interprets the personal wellbeing, and many others.