It’s been 8 months since we held the first ever Hackfit event in our hometown of Boston/Cambridge Massachusetts. With the success of our Philadelphia and San Francisco events two and four weeks ago respectively, I was rearing and ready to crush Hackfit Boston to round out our 2014 Spring season of hackathon events. With over 125 participants registered from all over New England, I knew this was going to be just as big and totally badass as year 1. I wasn’t disappointed.
Hackfit unites physicality with ideation and hacking like nothing else that exists today. Everything we do is different – from our initial ice-breaker to our scoring criteria – we are uniting the technology community around an ideal and cultural mantra not ordinarily seen in startups and large companies alike – health.
In true Hackfit form, I decided to kick off Boston’s friday night ice-breaker with an Insanity workout led by our friends at ChiBang Bodies. We didn’t do this in a gym or in a studio, but in the middle of the Microsoft NERD 10th floor conference room. It was not for the faint of heart – Vuong (the Insanity instructor from ChiBang Bodies) whooped everyone’s ass. Even the most hardcore Hackfitters were dripping in sweat after 15 minutes.
- Friday night Insanity workout to “break-the-ice”
To continue the energy and excitement, I brought in Joe DeSena, co-founder and president of Spartan Race, to speak to our Boston Hackfitters about his entrepreneurial journey. Joe turned an interest in endurance racing into a passion. His racing resume is the stuff of legends – over 50 ultra-events overall and 12 Ironman Events in one year alone. Joe’s keynote delivered quite a punch – particularly when he described creating the Death Race as a way to find team members who can and will overcome literally anything.
- Joe DeSena delivers a keynote presentation about his entrepreneurial journey from a multi-million dollar pool business to launching Spartan Race
Next up was our pitch competition and team formation which resulted in 10 teams out of approximately 30 pitches. Out of all of the events we’ve done so far, I was most impressed with the balance of talent amongst the teams. Here was the breakdown (no particular order):
Chill Out – A wearable device and companion app to measure, monitor and manage stress levels in your life.
myPlate – Medication and food item interaction cross checking.
Spontraineous – Find fitness partners and workouts, pickup sports, etc.
Duo – Fitness, dating, and social media combine to create an ultimate and new way to connect with others who share the same passion for an active lifestyle.
BuddyBeats – “Sweat-n-sync.” Livestream music/audio at the sametime through website or application for working out with Buddies to be listening to the same song/same time.
Life Back – Create an API to help get substances abusers from rehab into healthy, active lifestyles in hopes to decrease the chance of relapse.
Desk Trainer – Chrome plugin that diverts you away from wasteful social networks to a curated quick workout.
Sleeping with Friends – Getting you to the best sleep of your life.
Stock-a-Fridge – Meals plans for after your work out that match your caloric expenditure to nutritious meal options.
Quus – Snapchat meets Quora that allows you to ask questions to your circle for instant feedback. (This was tailored to the health market to meet the Hackfit hack criteria).
Throughout Saturday and Sunday our teams proved that by intertwining hacking with exercise, healthy foods, and sleep – fucking rocks. Productivity and camaraderie also seem to become significantly enhanced
- 60 second pitch competition
- If you go over 60 seconds for your pitch, we all do a pushup penalty
We work hard and play hard. But our play is the hardcore ass kicking kind where you climb rock walls or train doing Kung Fu.
Not only did our 10 teams build impressive and fully functional applications (and one hardware device), but they exercised over 240 hours throughout the weekend. Here are the Final Scores and the winners of our Hackfit Activity Leaderboard:
|6||Sleeping with Friends||4.20||5.60||4.40||10.00||6.05|
- Hackfitter at Brooklyn Boulders hitting the bouldering wall
- Joyous Hackfitters celebrating first place at Hackfit Boston
What was my takeaway from this weekend? The caliber of talent was staggering, something we expected from Boston, but I was still amazed. With some additional tweeks and a few weeks of serious dev time, there are more than a few teams that are capable of raising capital. My final call to action for our Boston Hackfitters, “Go Go Go”!
Lastly, I want to give a shoutout to our wonderful sponsors who made this weekend possible. MeYou Health, Constant Contact, Withings, and Microsoft. All of these companies are hiring like mad, and they want Hackfitters. Email me (justin at hackfit.com) if you need a referral.