Google I/O – The Hackathon Aftermath


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While I did not attend Google I/O, I had the great pleasure to attend two hackathons that week. The first at Google’s SF offices, then at Mashery’s headquarters. In both cases, the people, ideas, venues and final projects were all top notch. Good times!

#iohack 2012 Pitch Night with Startup Weekend

With a packed house of 275+ attendees at Google’s offices in SF, several SendGrid’ers (Ian Douglas, Seth Ammons and Mike Rowan) took a break from Google I/O to join the festivities. After being treated to good eats by Google’s own chefs, we witnessed an unprecendented Startup Weekend style startup pitch night. Instead of the customary 54 hours, 3.5 hours were available before the final pitch.

Taking things up another notch, a Google all-star panel of judges were selected, including Kevin Rose, Don Dodge and Chris Messina; whom I just had to photo bomb … blame it on the Google juice :/

My favorite pitch (and overall winner) was Teen Lock, a device that doesn’t allow phone calls or text messaging when driving; aimed at teenage drivers and their parents.

Video of the final pitches:

After a day of rest in between, the hackathon began at Mashery’s HQ, where we witnessed hackers take ideas and create working demos.

#GTUGsf’s After-I/O Hackathon (Google I/O 2012)

With the energy from Google I/O pouring over, prizes galore and hackers abound, this was destined to be a hackathon for the history books. In addition, there were also several Code Labs on HTML5/CSS3, newly released Google+ APIs and Rapid Prototyping. Plus, we learned about a cool tool under development from Mashary called I/O Wraps; which auto-generates native-language client libraries for your API!

Plus, dancing robots!

In the end there were 12 hacks, which thanks to Hacker League, are available for you to check out over at the Hacker League web page. After some tough deliberations, the overall winner was selected … drum roll … Bazinga!

The project that won the SendGrid spot prize was T2Biz, whose team leader was only 16 years old! A close runner up was Challenges4Change.

Also, check out the nicely done Storify of the event from Mashery.

Between events, SendGrid hosted a SendGrid After Dark event with a few Google I/O attendees from around the world. We ended the night at Starbucks with a late night hacker talk. Make sure to follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss the next impromptu SendGrid After Dark event.

You can check out all the photos I took at our Facebook page. Don’t hesitate to tag, comment and share if you spot yourself or someone you know. Let’s make it interesting :)


Elmer Thomas is SendGrid's Hacker in Residence. His mission is to help SendGrid live up to its slogan: "Email Delivery. Simplified" by improving the lives of developers, both internally and externally. Via all sorts of hackery, of course. Follow his exploits on Twitter and GitHub.

Elmer Thomas on Twitter
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