Hong Kong Alumni Win Best Innovator Award at Hackathon@HKUST

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Hackathon@HKUST is an annual hackathon in Hong Kong where teams are given the opportunity to propose an idea for a software application of their choice and build a prototype, all within 24 hours. A team of three Web Development Immersive graduates (Leo Tumwattana, Julie Ng, and Mark Cheng) developed “Rock, Paper, Scissors / Textical,” an event organizer app that combines free-flow messaging, calendar structure, and gamification. We were thrilled to hear to that they took home the “Best Innovator Award,” so we sat down to hear more about their experience.

The Team:

Mark is from Hong Kong and works in Venture Capital, investing mostly in apps. Leo is from Hong Kong/Thailand and former internal consultant at Louis Vuitton Asia Pacific. Julie is from Malaysia,a designer at JR Consulting Limited and also the founder of Verybite.

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How did you guys come up with the concept?

We originally came up with a concept for event planning. The class we were in at GA was planning a trip to Thailand when we realized we needed a tool to help with planning. We sat in a circle throwing ideas back and forth and ultimately pivoted to a completely different concept in the end.

Tell us about the prototype you created.

“Rock, Paper, Scissors / Textical” is an app that combines texting and calendar apps to make organising group events fun. It was built with Ruby on Rails with a lot of in-line javascript. The app is designed so that one person can create an event and then invite their friends to a chat room to discuss planning for the event. There will also be a feature to assign responsibilities for each event (e.g. drinks, food, etc.) The chat room will have hashtag functionality to allow organisers to see just specific aspects of the planning.

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What was the biggest obstacle you hit when trying to create your prototype in 24 hours?

Balancing the design for the project with the limited amount of time we had.

Any tips for people thinking about entering a hackathon?

Spend some time on how you present what you’ve done. A lot of teams had some really cool concepts but the delivery was poor and so all their hard work suffered from that.

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