CTU and AT&T 2016 V4 Hackathon Winners Celebrate

The CTU and AT&T 2016 V4 Hackathon has concluded. We were excited to join the Czech telecom regulator in hosting this event in Prague. An impressive group of developers came together to create innovative new mobile apps during the 24-hour development contest.

V4 Hack Group Photo 2016

It was the first hackathon for both of us in Central Europe. The idea to hold a hackathon in Prague came from Jaromír Novák, chairman of the CTU Council. It’s part of his effort to drive innovation and entrepreneurship in the Czech Republic and the V4 region working with the private sector. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Andrew H. Schapiro also joined us to welcome the developers and provide encouragement before the contest.

After 24-hours of coding, Team Babble won the US$10,000 grand prize. They created an app that introduces and connects people located in the same area – like at a concert or on a train. Team Babble will also receive mentoring from Credo Ventures and Y Soft Ventures.

CTU Chairman Jaromír Novák; Eric Loeb, senior vice president, AT&T International External & Regulatory Affairs; and John Slamecka, region president, AT&T Global Business – Europe, Middle East, and Africa present award to Team Babble.
CTU Chairman Jaromír Novák; Eric Loeb, senior vice president, AT&T International External & Regulatory Affairs; and John Slamecka, region president, AT&T Global Business – Europe, Middle East, and Africa present award to Team Babble.

The hackathon drew 60 contestants. In addition to the Grand Prize, the following teams and members took home prizes out of the 8 participating teams and 8 apps developed at the event:

  • Second Place and Best Use of Open Source: Team DameMatiku’s ed tech app enables crowdsourced education video content in local languages. The team won US$2,000 for second place and another US$1,000 from Czech Domain Name Registry (CZ.NIC) for best use of open source. They will also receive mentoring from Y Soft Ventures.
  • Third Place: Team We Love Beer for their app that helps parents track/notify the location of their children. The team won US$1,000 and mentoring from Y Soft Ventures.
  • Best Use of the Czech Republic’s Open Data: Team OPENAir won US$1,000 for using the Czech government’s open data in their app that provides alerts on air quality.

Five contestants also each received US$2,000 worth of online Nanodegree courses from AT&T and Udacity.

Thanks to everyone who joined and supported the event – especially my AT&T colleagues in the Czech Republic. In particular, I’d like to thank Ladislav Venc, Zuzana Kirchnerova, Marek Chmel, Andrei Sidoryk, Radim Zemanek and Petr Novak. They had a crucial role in mentoring the participants and helping to organize our event. On several occasions, we witnessed their own technical skills by solving problems and finding creative solutions.

I’d also like to congratulate Chairman Novák on his recent reappointment as chair of the CTU Council.