RVA Hackathon: Get ready to hack, 2015-style

2015 wasn’t just the year that Periscope broke the internet (near future), it’s the year from Back to the Future Part II. So this year’s RVA Hackathon swears it will be just as awesome.

In its fourth year presented by Mobelux, the 2015 RVA Hackathon tests the skills and the wills of digital creators who have offered themselves up to be tested in a ten-hour event during which an idea must be turned into a real and functioning project. Who will build the best idea? Who will crash and burn? Who will eat too much Pizza Tonight and then opt to sit the rest of the event out, napping on the shrubbery outside Gather?

The 2014 Hackathon, held at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, was captured on video. Watching it gives one a sense of “OK, it’s pretty amazing that people sit in a room and type things and come up with something wonderful,” followed eventually by “Oh, man, my whole life is made possible by tons of people sitting around in a room, typing things.”

2015 promises to be even better, with a couple of new rules:

  • A limited number of contestants will be allowed tickets.
  • There will be a theme, announced the night before at kickoff.
  • You must phrase everything you can in Back to the Future quotes. 2015 is the year that Marty McFly traveled forward to in Back to the Future Part II, and Mobelux feels like that’s no coincidence. Or, rather, they think it’s a neat coincidence because the Hackathon is also about suddenly discovering new and future-worthy things.
  • You must ride to Hackathon on a hoverboard.

Those last two aren’t true, but it should still be pretty fun.

Winners vy for several awards: Best in Show, Best Design, Best Execution, and more.

Projects hatched at Hackathon often become big successes. James Barrett, co-founder of Tenant Turner, remembers, “There were no distractions no kids, no calls, no bosses–just nerds doing work. The RVA Hackathon helped turn a great idea into a tangible product which led to us winning the i.e.* Startup Competition, which led to us participating in Lighthouse Labs Accelerator, which led to us becoming a venture backed SaaS company…I recommend that anyone who has come up with an idea that has the potential of becoming a viable business attend the RVA Hackathon.”

“You can have the best idea in the world but without any execution, it’s worthless,” Barrett continues. “The RVA Hacakthon gives thought leaders an environment and opportunity to focus on turning that idea into a product which could turn into a viable business. You will be challenged, you will be tested, and you will be more awesome because of it!”

A ticket ($25) includes breakfast, lunch (Citizen), coffee (Alchemy), and dinner (Pizza Tonight), which is almost a good enough reason to buy a ticket anyway. Judges Jay Sanne of Capital One, Wren Lanier of Highrise, and Jeff MacDonald of the Martin Agency promise to be fair.

2015 RVA Hackathon

  • Saturday, April 11th • 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Gather, 409 E. Main Street
  • $25
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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