Hackathons seem to be all the rage these days, with developer contests emerging around photos, cleantech and collaboration. Now add one more vertical to the list: TV. Hackday.tv, which takes place next weekend in New York City, will bring together startups and developers to create new applications for the digital living room.
The event, which will give teams of developers 24 hours to create new TV-based applications, will take place over the weekend of September 10 and September 11 at General Assembly. Participants will have access to APIs from a number of existing TV startups and related technologies to come up with compelling new products.
The whole thing is being organized by the founders of Shelby.tv, who saw the success of other hackathons in New York City, including the recent Photo Hack Day, and wanted to spur some innovation in the online video and connected TV market.
The goal is not just to create networking and collaboration opportunities between video-focused entrepreneurs but to introduce new applications into the market that can be developed and productized later. Shelby.tv founder Reece Pacheco pointed to the success of GroupMe, a messaging app that was founded after initially being developed at a hackathon during last year’s TechCrunch Disrupt. He hopes to see the same happen at Hackday.tv.
Already, the inaugural version of the TV hackathon has a pretty impressive list of sponsors, led by tech trading behemoth Nasdaq. While there will be cash prizes for the winner of the hackathon, the big prize will be having his or her application featured on Nasdaq’s Times Square jumbotron. In addition, Pepsi, Vid.ly, Boxee and Twilio are also sponsoring the 24-hour event.
Hackday.tv has a long list of API partners that are making their technology available for experimentation and innovation. Those partners include:
The founders are also hoping to create video of the event, hiring videographers who will document different hacks that are created over the 24-hour period and presented during the demo period. The idea is to create a video record that those developers can later share with partners and potential investors. “We’re creating video trailers for each hack,” Shelby.tv “super intern” and Hackday.tv organizer Chris Kurdziel told us in a phone conversation. “That way each team walks away with a souvenir of what they’ve built in video form.”
While launching in New York, the founders expect to take the Hackday.tv format on the road, with another hackathon in San Francisco or Silicon Valley sometime in October. After that, they are considering doing similar events in London and other tech hubs.