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Diary Of A Hackathon: Hackomotive Day 2

What an amazing second day at Hackomotive 2013. Teams were already hard at work finalizing their prototypes and presentations by the time I arrived at 8 AM.


At 9 AM, the second round of judges' hours began. The Hackomotive judges panel was a distinguished one: Jeremy Anywl, Vice Chairman of Edmunds.com, Michael Zimbalist, VP of The New York Times' "skunk works" R&D, Mike Accavitti, VP Marketing for Honda, Joseph Essas, CTO of OpenTable, Stacey Coopes, CEO of FordDirect, Tammy Darvish, EVP of DarCars Automotive Group, and the rather famous Carl Sewell, chairman of Sewell Automotive and author of Customers for Life, one of the first books I read out of business school.



Showtime was set at 1 PM, and the countdown began. 19 final teams, each given 3 minutes to pitch their concept. Criteria for judging included 7 key factors: Originality of idea, Feasibility of implementation, Likelihood of adoption, Fidelity of prototype, Level of authenticity and transparency, Business impact, and Storytelling. All teams did a good job of testing their ideas with real world customers and users.


Anticipation grew, and the crowd settled in.


Showtime! 19 teams, 66 minutes start to finish.




While the judges were sequestered to determine the three winners, happy hour began.


After nearly an hour, the judges were deadlocked on the first place winner. There was a great deal of money on the line: $10K for first, $5K for second, and $3K for third.


The deadline grew close, and the judges summoned Edmunds.com CEO Avi Steinlauf and Chief Counsel Ken Levin to the judging room. In an unbelievable and unprecedented (well, I've never seen it done at a hackathon, anyway), Avi Steinlauf gave the okay for two first place winners.

Both teams, "MyMotive" and "Tegrity," pitched ideas that blended the best parts of Yelp, LinkedIn, eHarmony. Meaning, the focus was not on cars, but the people selling the cars. The ability to link up with a trusted consultant who understands and even reflects not just your interests and needs, but who you are, represents a new and novel idea, at least in the retail automotive world.


But not a conventional tie, in which two teams share the prize. Edmunds.com awarded TWO $10K first prizes!! The teams were ecstatic, the crowd roared, and CBS interviewed the winners.


When Edmunds.com does something, they do it right. All ideas will be posted, and made open to the universe to see.

If you're not hacking in your company, you should be!


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