It was delightful seeing the first participants walk in with smiling faces into the e-Zest premises. Months of planning, communication and implementation seemed worth while. And just as it began on a delightful note, Hackathon ended its first day on a high.
The registrations proceeded smoothly with the well-prepared volunteers greeting everyone. The badges were ready and so were the positions of teams around the premises. The teams quickly assumed their planned positions.Teams that arrived from outside the state were shown the resting rooms to help them from their long journeys. Post breakfast, the event kick-off was set into motion.
Chief Evangelist at e-Zest, Girish Chandra and Managing Partner of Fresco Capital, Stephen Forte shared their thoughts about #HackathonPune 2017 and brought back memories from the last year. They shared why it was important to innovate and why Hackathons were a great way to achieve that. The participants were introduced to the socially - themed Hackathon and the allusion to The Laudato Si Challenge. Participants quickly commenced their coding marathons.
The day was peppered with numerous events that maintained the enthusiasm. Highly experienced project managers interviewed participants about their ideas. Based on their judgement teams won VR-sets sponsored byMicrosoft, every 2 hours! The day also continued with a lot of music and dancing that coders were encouraged to engagein, to keep the motivation levels up at all times.
Day 1 of #HackathonPune also saw the much anticipated ‘Start-Up Pitch’ event happening in all its glory. 12 teams made it to the final round, with each team presenting their idea and business model to the judges. The judges, being the battle-hardened stalwarts that they were asked crisp questions to examine the thoroughness of each plan. At the end of it all, Sushil Shirke and Anil Lade emerged as the winner and runners up for ‘Start-Up Pitch’. They walked away with a cash prize and an entry to Microsoft’s platform for start-ups.
The evening was welcomed by a refreshing and energetic performance by the band, ‘Swar Rang’. Putting their own spin on many Bollywood dance numbers, they got every single leg to swing on the dance floor. They also performed their versions of some popular melodious tunes. The band was received with much fanfare and cheers from an ecstatic crowd. The teams continued their hard work with their projects before breaking for dinner.
The day had an interesting end with Pandit Jaywant Utpat coming to e-Zest for the second time. This time, Panditji introduced his instrument, the ‘JaySonic’ for the onlookers. He performed some incredibly complex rhythmic parts mixed beautifully with ambient backing tracks. He also explained his journey as a musician and drove home the point of innovation running supreme in his efforts. That anecdote fueled the teams with even more energy and inspiration.
As Day 1 comes to an end and we prepare to greet Day 2, we see fingers snapping away at keyboards, we hear developers all around the room discuss in hurried hushes and we feel the throb of a great event that just finished its first day. Hackathon Day 1 matched and exceeded expectations. It taught us many more things that we hope to incorporate and improve upon in Day2.