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SAPI AngelHack Winners - Fairshare

The winners of the SAPI Angelhack Fairshare

Two weeks ago the Sensis API sponsored the AngelHack event, a 24 hour hackathorn to find the best execution on an innovative idea. We posed a challenge to startups within that competition to develop the best application of SAPI that they could. We offered $500 dollars to the team that produced the best commercial outcome for sensis listings and this ended up producing 10 users, with one winning team – Fairshare!

What is FairShare?

p- Fairshare is an easy, flexible and fun way to share tasks with your housemates or family through your smartphone. It provides households with a democratic platform to easily record who’s done what along with any financial transactions, making conflict and social tensions a thing of the past. It’s also completely free.

The Solution

What Fairshare built was an algorithm that automatically values and prioritises household tasks. It’s more than an intelligent task management and household finances app though - it learns individuals’ domestic skills, maps their household preferences, and subtly incentivises users to take on less popular tasks to ensure everything that needs to get done, gets done.

How was SAPI used?

There will be occasions when housemates may not be able to do certain jobs or simply need a specialist on the scene, which is where SAPI comes in. Fairshare will use SAPI to recall the closest service company, which may include things such as cleaning, gardening and take-away.

fareshare tasksfareshare bookkeepingfareshare profilefareshare priority

The best thing about this application is that it solves a real world problem for sharehouses and families with the ability to be customised for each household. It’s also beautiful designed, as the above wireframes illustrate, and super easy to use. You can register for a trial on their website below.

Thank you very much to all those who participated in the AngelHack competition and especially those that used SAPI to achieve an outcome. Also we would like to congratulate the winners of the SAPI prize - Fairshare - for their outstanding effort in producing such an excellent application in a short period of time.

Microsoft Appfest

UPDATE: It was so much fun the first time, we're doing it again! If you are in Melbourne on Saturday March 2nd and looking to hack for #Appfest, sign up here and make sure you are in the running for *another* $500 prize from SAPI. We've even got some handy dandy code samples to help get you started and working with SAPI fast.

See you there!

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If you know anything about the team here at SAPI, you would be well aware that we love hackathons. The crazy creativity in action, the relentless pace, the always unexpected drama, and the incredible innovations that occur when people come together under intense pressure... it's all fascinating stuff.

So it should come as no surprise that SAPI have proudly agreed to offer up a $500 prize for the best use of SAPI at the forthcoming Microsoft #Appfest, taking place in Sydney Feb 15-17.

More information and registration details here: https://www.lalaninja.com.au/2013/01/21/appfest-sydney-february-2013/

So... whether you are a SAPI developer looking to build for the Windows platform, or a Windows developer who wants to build a directory service into your app, we're looking forward to seeing what you can do!

All the legal mumbo jumbo you need to know is below. Best of luck!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • The development tools, frameworks and application focus are entirely up to the participants but all final submissions must integrate the Sensis API to be eligible for a prize.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request at http://developers.sensis.com.au).
  • All prizes will be awarded after 5:00 PM on Sunday 17th Feb 2013.
  • A prize of $500(AUD) will be awarded to the sole individual who registered for the Sensis API key used in the winning application. The individual will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All design and code assets remain intellectual property of the individuals who created them.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Any questions? Email api@sensis.com.au

SAPI Betashop

SAPI Betashop with Mike Lee

You may already be familiar with Mike Lee... @bmf... ex Apple empoyee... cofounder of Tapulous... worlds toughest programmer... mayor of appsterdam... guy who travels with his own mariachi band.

If not, check out his product engineering presentation from YOW! last year and you'll quickly see why Mike is one of the world's most sought after speakers and product development consultants. You can't come away from one of his talks without feeling invigorated and inspired to make better stuff.

We're big Mike Lee fans here at team SAPI, and so we've partnered with YOW! to bring Mike back to Australia, and this time we're giving you a chance to workshop your own app with him.

Announcing SAPI Betashop: A chance to workshop your app one-on-one with Mike Lee.

Get personal feedback on your app from Mike Lee. Spend a full day with Mike Lee and other successful and aspiring app developers. Learn first hand what is great and what sucks from the master of mobile app development.

MELBOURNE: NOV 28
BRISBANE: DEC 5
SYDNEY: DEC 7

Tickets available here from YOW! for $275.

Interested in attending for free?

SAPI is giving away 5 SAPI scholarships to each workshop for app developers who have integrated SAPI into their app, or plan to do so. Simply complete the following application no later than November 14 and the best ideas will earn a free* pass from SAPI.

*Note that scholarship does not include travel to and/or from the event.

Questions? Send them to api@sensis.com.au

Applications are due by Wed November 14.


SAPI Cocktails Winner!

Seven weeks ago we announced our second SAPI Developer Challenge. We asked you to mix and match APIs to create your own crazy new API cocktail recipe. We offered you a $5000 prize for the most interesting mix up. And apparently we whet your appetite, because you guys served up some delicious apps!

After a couple of helpful extensions (everyone wanted more time to polish their entries!) in the end the final prize went to 'Date Planner' for Android. Well done guys!

Their recipe was: SAPI + Australian Tourism Data Warehouse + GoDo + Lasttix + eBroadcast + Google Maps = Date planning made easy.

Not only did the Date Planner team mash up an incredible number of APIs and data sources to score highest in terms of difficulty, their app was voted most practical as it helps to solve a genuine customer problem (as anyone who ever tried to plan a special night out with someone can certainly attest to.) The Date Planner app also had us excited about pending features that weren't ready for this submission, but promise to make the next release of the app even better. Coming soon will be the ability to take weather, personality types, and budget into account. The SAPI team are eagerly looking forward to future releases of Date Planner.

We also wanted to give a special shout out to a couple of semi finalists, who impressed us with their slick app interfaces and grand plans to incorporate more data and features eventually.

'Martini' is an iOS app that mixes up SAPI with a dash of Twitter to give you a bar guide that lets you see which places are being talked up online, and what's being said. Future enhancements include additional social media content from sources such as Foursquare and Yelp, and a fun 'Shaken not Stirred' randomisation feature.

'Where to Now?' is an Android app that helps you locate nearby businesses, and mashes SAPI up with Google Maps and Google Places APIs for ratings and reviews. Judges were also impressed with the way Where to Now? integrated seamlessly with the Android API to make use of additional GPS and phone features. The intriguing vision for Where to Now? is to aggregate as much rating and review information into a single overall score, making it easier to choose where to go.

These featured apps can be downloaded at the following links:

Thanks to everyone who entered, and make sure you are following us on Twitter @SensisAPI so you can be the first to know when we announce the next Bounty Challenge for developers.

SAPI Cocktails *EXTENDED to AUGUST 15!*

SAPI Cocktail Bounty

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we've extended the submission deadline to Aug 15!!

We're back with another SAPI challenge for July, and this time we've doubled the bounty!

We're asking developers, entrepreneurs and designers to mix, match and shake (but not stir!) any number of complimentary APIs with SAPI, to create a signature app that delights our taste-buds for any mobile platform (iOS, Android or Windows Phone).

The winning recipe will take home this months $5,000 SAPI Bounty prize.

ENTER NOW BY REGISTERING FOR YOUR BARTENDER KEY
(Be sure to use the phrase 'shaken not stirred' in your product description)

SO HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR APPS?

Try combining SAPI + Wikipedia + Facebook + Quora to help people source deep background information on businesses.

Or mix SAPI + Flickr + Vimeo + Soundcloud to create a new kind of audio visual business directory.

Stir up SAPI + Instagram + eBay + Yelp + Twitter + QuickFlix + Pinterest, with a dash of LinkedIn and a sprinkling of PayPal to create an app that does… well, what wouldn’t that app do?

There are over 6,000 publicly listed APIs available at API directory website Programmable Web and participants are encouraged to explore and use as many of them as possible.

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS                  

  • Entrants must first gain an API 'bartender' key by completing a SAPI key request via developers.sensis.com.au.
  • When applying for a key, entrants must work the phrase “shaken not stirred” into their application description.
  • Entrants who have been granted a bartender key must then create an app that integrates functionality from SAPI.
  • Note that the term “app” means a mobile application built specifically for iOS, Android, or Windows Phone. Not a hosted web app viewable on a mobile device.
  • App must be publicly available and downloadable from Google Play, Apple App Store, or Windows Phone Marketplace by finish date to be eligible to win. So if you are planning to submit to Apple for approval, be sure to give yourself enough time!
  • Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:
  1. 50% degree of difficulty: How many API's can you mix? How hard are the API's to integrate? 
  2. 50% utility: How useful is the app? Would I use it every day?

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

  • The competition begins at 9:00 am on Monday July 2, 2012 and finishes 9:00 AM on Wednesday August 15, 2012
  • You do not have to be an Australian resident to take part in this competition.
  • There are no limits to team size or weighting for or against the size of the team – it is the outcome that counts.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request).
  • Apps must be submitted for judging by the due date of 9:00 AM on Wednesday August 15, 2012. The bounty due date may be extended at the discretion of the organisers and entrants will be notified via email.
  • To submit an app for judging entrants must ensure their app is publicly available on the finish date and can be accessed by judges without charge.
  • Judging will take place at Sensis on Wednesday August 15, 2012 at 222 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia and the judges’ decision is final.
  • A bounty prize of $5,000(AUD) will be awarded to the winning team. The bounty will be given to the individual who registered for the bartender API key who will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All communications including awarding of the prize and any changes to the due date will be done via the Sensis Developers Centre, Twitter @SensisAPI and via the registered email of the entrant.  Please ensure you check these from time to time.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Sensis is not liable for any tax implications arising from prize winnings.  Independent financial advice should be sought.                        

If you can think it, mix it and make it, then you can be the next SAPI Bounty winner!

Any questions? Hit us up on Twitter @SensisAPI or email us at api@sensis.com.au.

Recent Sapihack Action

We've been exceptionally busy these last few weeks with three separate SAPI sponsored hack events to report on, which has resulted in many prizes being handed out. We're proud to share the results of what our community of developers and entrepreneurs have been working on.

SAPI Bounty#1: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse.

Zombie Apps

We asked developers to use SAPI to create an application to help prepare for and survive the inevitable zombie apocalypse. I know, pretty silly stuff. But our community loved the challenge, and jumped in head first! Some of the highlights were:

1st place: Zombie Survival Plan which is available on the iTunes app store.

Congratulations to @tomlongo who won the $2,500 bounty for his iOS app called Zombie Survival Plan. We loved that Tom created a web app to promote the iOS version. And in the end we all decided that his entry met all of our key criteria — good functionality, clean design, and in particular the simple interface was easy to use while on the run from the undead hordes! It was actually his first ever iOS app, you can read more of Tom's story here.

Honourable mentions: Zomvival Maps which is now available on the iTunes app store, a mobile website called Zombie Survivor, and a desktop web app called Zombie/Survivor Network. It was unfortunate that the app store release of Zomvival Maps was held up by Apple for so long that they missed the submission deadline by a day, meaning they were ineligible for prizes. However it's a gorgeous looking app and we encourage you to try it out.

One More Thing Conference Startathon: A 'stop making excuses and start making something' event.

One More Thing Startathon Apps

SAPI was a proud sponsor of the OMT conference, which brings iOS developers together to share tips, inspirational achievements, and war stories. After 48 hours of 300+ developers talking non stop about how and why they need to build more amazing apps, we announced $5000 in prizes to the teams who decided to follow through and actually build something. The catch was, they had 48 hours to do it! Despite having little preparation and no warning, we saw some tremendous app ideas come out of the Startathon.

$2,500 prize for 1st place went to: Maprécis is an HTML 5 mobile app, you can try out an early beta version of here. Developer @chaarlesgutjaaa impressed our judges with his fresh take on the traditional 'find a place to eat or drink nearby' app. In his own words, "Have you ever said to your friends "let's go out to dinner in postcode 3055 between 0 and 3km from here"? I'm betting you'd probably actually say "let's go out to dinner on Sydney Rd". I'm trying to take the technical out of the process here." Maprécis calls up hotspotted regions rather than specific venues. It's faster than searching, better suited for the small screens of mobile devices (deals with the 'fat fingers' problem of wrong clicks), and instantly obvious as to how it works.

$1,500 prize for 2nd place went to: Pizzap is an iOS app, you can see it in action in this video. Judges gave developer @amleszk the nod over some very close competition due to his richer integration of SAPI, he uses our metadata to specify different styles of pizza. We're hoping this one makes it into the app store eventually.

$1,000 prize for 3rd place went to: Two similar apps build by mates who shared a code base to create a pair of niche apps. Petrol Finder which you can view here, and Love Music which you can see here. We loved the simplicity and elegance of a consistent user experience with each app targeted at a specific niche need. We'd love to see these in the app store soon too! Congratulations to both @brentvc and @stefanchurch who split that prize.

Honourable mentions: Aussie Pub Crawl mashes SAPI up with Yelp reviewer profiles to show you who drinks near you, see a video demo here. Split is a tool for splitting the bill between friends when you're out and about, and Nrby is a very elegantly designed web app you can try out that pulls the most relevant listings near you rather than forcing you to search.

Random Hacks of Kindness: Hactivism to support local communities.

Reconomise Presenting

SAPI was a sponsor of the Melbourne RHoK event this past weekend, which saw over 25 developers come together to tackle the theme of 'Community Resilience', with a focus on disaster preparation and recovery. The SAPI team submitted a specific challenge to all teams, could they find ways to help local businesses get up and running again sooner after a disaster?

The winner of the $2,000 SAPI prize was team Reconomise, who created an online network that allowed businesses to post non-emergency issues that nonetheless required quick action so that they could start trading again and serving the community. Issues could be related to assets, location, or labour shortages and any community member or business able to help could jump in and assist. By helping to re-start the local economy Reconomise facilitated an important but often overlooked step in the recovery process for a community.

What's next?

We'll be taking a break from running or sponsoring hackathons for a few months, but we'll be kicking off the next $2,500 SAPI Bounty in the second half of June, so keep watching @SensisAPI on Twitter to make sure you know when it happens and what you need to do to take part!

SAPI Bounty Winner!

Worried about the inevitable zombie apocalypse? Well worry no more thanks to our first ever SAPI Bounty winner Tom Longo (@tomlongo). Tom has created an app to help prepare for and survive a pesky infestation of the undead. Congratulations Tom!

We felt that his Zombie Survival Plan app met all of our key criteria – good functionality, clean design, easy to use when one is panicked and on the run from the undead hordes – everything you need in a good zombie app. And his integration of SAPI went beyond the iPhone app, he also used SAPI to create an online tool to test how ‘survivable’ your suburb is. All of which makes Zombie Survival Plan the most comprehensive tool to help prepare for and survive a zombie apocalypse.

Links to the winning app:

http://puppetpants.com/zombieplan/

http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/zombie-survival-plan/id527439189?ls=1&mt=8

We want to thank everyone who took part and we hope you all had some fun. We’re cooking up the next SAPI Bounty already, so if you are interested in taking part in the next developer challenge be sure to follow us on Twitter @SensisAPI and stay in the loop.

Zombie App Ideas

We hoped that by invoking a zombie apocalypse, we might inspire a couple of developers to get creative and take part in our first ever bounty challenge. Turns out, we didn't have to worry. With 18 teams signed up so far, it's clear you all care very much about protecting the human race from the zombie hordes! It's reassuring to know you've got our backs.

A lot of you seem to be working on a map/guide application for survivors, so give some thought to how you might distinguish your app from others. It might be a killer UI, it might be some flashy design elements, or it might be that you've mashed SAPI up with some other, unexpected API services. Consider your user needs... is your app meant to help users get ready before the zombies attack? Is it meant to help users during an attack? Or is it meant to help users pick up the pieces when it's all over? Each one of those might require a different type of application.

Most importantly, since this is a competition, what can you do to ensure your app stands out?

Our favourite twist so far? Probably the team working on an app FOR Zombies... because - as they said in their submission - "I'm pretty sure zombies can use apps, so we really shouldn't discriminate." Makes sense to us.

Here are a few more examples of what you guys are working on:

  • Name: Plan9
    Description: Allow the living to coexist in blissful harmony with the living dead in spite of chants of "Brains Yum Yum".
  • Name: Zombie Survivor (Survivor Zombie?)
    Description: A tracker for finding nearby supplies for survivors, based on their location and businesses nearby, and based on what they already have. Or... a tracker for finding nearby Brains Yum Yum for those survivors recently-turned-zombie, based on their location and nearby businesses. I'm pretty sure zombies can use apps, so we really shouldn't discriminate.
  • Name: Untitled Zombie App
    Description: The app will prepare users for the inevitable zombie apocalypse by generating a to-do list based on their location. The list will be populated with nearby businesses that can help with supplies. So while the zombies are all like "Brains! yum yum!" you'll be all like "You don't scare me suckers, I've prepared for this day!"
  • Name: iSurvive
    Description: This application will help the average joe survive in an undead world. When the dead rise, and they will rise, how will someone know how to survive in this deadly new environment? Through the Sensis API, civilians will be able to stop zombies saying "Brains Yum Yum" as they chew on their corpses by locating nearby businesses which may be of use to them in their survival. For example, one could locate a chemist for medical supplies, or hardware store for weapons.
  • Name: Where Iz
    Description: Can't keep up with killing those zombies? You need Where Iz!!! Find the nearest places to stock up on your essential survival needs. Explore the best hiding spots to get away from the daily grind. Connect with others who need Your Help! What do you think of that Combie the Zombie?..... "Brains Yum Yum!"

Please remember that this bounty closes on 9:00 am Thursday May 24, and your application must be freely and easily accessible to judges (ie. available in an app store, online at a publicly accessible URL, etc.) at that time to qualify. So if you have chosen to develop an iOS app, you really want to be submitting that to the app store soon in case Apple does that Apple thing they do and sits on it for a while.

Let us know how you are going, and give us some insight into what you are building on Twitter using #sapihack. Whatever back-story you choose to share... be it the development process you are undertaking, or your personal philosophies about the undead... your back-story will be taken into consideration when judging. We want to hear from you.

Good luck, and keep hacking!

SAPI Bounty #1

SAPI Bounty for Zombie Apps!

The SAPI team have issued this $2,500 challenge to Developers

Create an app or a website - that uses SAPI in some capacity - that helps you survive the zombie apocalypse


REWARD: $2,500

DEADLINE: MAY 24

FOLLOW ALONG: #sapihack

QUESTIONS? @SensisAPI

 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)

 

SAPI asks.....

How will you survive and thrive during the inevitable zombie apocalypse?

What should you have prepared?

What do you need to know when the walking dead come looking for brains?

How do you make your way in a post-apocalyptic world?


 

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Entrants must first gain a Zombie API key by completing a SAPI key request via developers.sensis.com.au
  • When applying for a key, entrants must work the phrase “Brains Yum Yum” into their application description.
  • Entrants who have been granted a Zombie API key must then create an app that integrates functionality from SAPI.
  • Note that the term “app” refers to any widget, website, application or program and can be built on any platform so it doesn’t have to be a mobile app. Go nuts! 

App must be publicly available for judges to access (eg. Android Market, Apple App Store, or Internet) by finish date to be eligible to win!
 
Entrants will be judged on the following criteria:

Originality - How unique is the concept.
Usability and Design - How good does it look and how easy is it to use?
Effectiveness - How well does the app prepare someone for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Backstory - Entrants are encouraged to share their development story via Twitter using the #sapihack hashtag.
SAPI Integration and Use - How well did the app integrate SAPI? 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)

 

RULES

  • The competition begins at 9:00 am on Thursday April 26, 2012 and finishes 9:00 AM on Thursday May 24
  • You do not have to be an Australian resident to take part in this competition.
  • There are no limits to team size or weighting for or against the size of the team – it is the outcome that counts.
  • Entrants must ensure that they comply with the Sensis API terms and conditions (available when completing the API key request). 
  • Apps must be submitted for judging by the due date of 9:00 AM on Thursday May 24. The bounty due date may be extended at the discretion of the organizers and entrants will be notified. 
  • To submit an app for judging entrants must ensure their app is publicly available on the finish date and can be accessed by judges without charge.
  • Judging will take place at Sensis on Thursday May 24 at 222 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia and the judges’ decision is final.
  • A bounty prize of $2,500(AUD) will be awarded to the winning team. The bounty will be given to the individual who registered for the Zombie API key who will be responsible for distributing a share of the prize to anyone else on their development team.
  • All communications including awarding of the prize and any changes to the due date will be done via the Sensis Developers Centre, Twitter @SensisAPI and via the registered email of the entrant.  Please ensure you check these from time to time.
  • Entrants agree to being included in Sensis’ promotional activities, at Sensis’ discretion.  This may include disclosing the entrant’s name and app and information about the app.
  • Sensis is not liable for any tax implications arising from prize winnings.  Independent financial advice should be sought. 

Any questions? Hit us up on Twitter @SensisAPI or email us at api@sensis.com.au. Then grab your chainsaw and your boomstick and get to work…

 

SIGN UP NOW!!!! 

(MENTION BRAINS YUM YUM IN YOUR ENTRY)


Sapihack Sydney Results!

Category selection at Sapihack Sydney

Most people have a million dollar idea rattling away in the back of their mind somewhere. A slightly crazy scheme, fragments of a business plan, product ideas they’ve been mulling over in the shower, and usually a promise to themselves that one day, eventually, they’ll get around to making it happen.

Most people never follow through. This is what makes entrepreneurs so special… entrepreneurs aren’t like most people.

Here at Sensis we love Australian entrepreneurs. We see them as an integral part of our business moving forward, and we’re fully committed to empowering innovation and inspiring creativity through programs such as SAPI. So we decided to partner with venture capital firm Pollenizer to run our most recent Hackathon, targeting entrepreneurs. We wanted to help someone take a raw idea and turn it into a viable, funded business in just one week. Sensis offered cash prizes, and there was an opportunity for one lucky team to benefit from a $10,000 investment in their business and a 4 month enrolment in the prestigious Pollenizer business incubator program. We were excited to know that some entrepreneurs would be walking away with a brand new business venture, and the end of the Hackathon would only be the beginning of their story.

The Sensis/Pollenizer Hackathon was held in Sydney across two days - March 24 and March 31. Fifteen teams came together to build products and services in a competition for cash prizes and seed funding. The broad range of business ideas was staggering, we saw products and services aimed at families with kids, young urban socialites, party planners, occasional gardeners, brides to be, hungry late night cubicle slaves, rogue cyclists, and many more.

Team Post, Pick & Party planning their attack

By the time it was all over, it became clear to us that the quality of entrepreneurial vision and innovation in Australia is as healthy as ever. Between Sensis and Pollenizer 3 teams had been awarded prizes.

The $5,000 Best Commercial Concept award went to: DateNyt an app for anyone who wants to impress on a first date but has no idea where to go or what to do.

The $5,000 Best Product Execution award was declared a tie and split between: Yellow Fridge a local business directory pitched as 'magnets on your fridge door meets Pinterest', and BarHop! a platform for bars to publish immediate offers and a mobile app for local patrons to find deals

The $10,000 Pollenizer investment went to: Locationally a business intelligence tool for businesses to help them launch and grow.

Pollenizer was also so impressed by the Yellow Fridge team that they were also offered a spot in their Incubator Program.

We’d like to congratulate everyone who took part, with special mention going out to Post, Pick & Party, Open Late, and GiftScoutr who finished very close as runners up. Our hope is that none of the product ideas that we helped spark this week get left behind, we truly believe that every single one of them have enough potential to be turned into something special.

We’d also like to thank our friends at Pollenizer, who brought so much experience and valuable insight to the process. We can’t wait to see what Locationally and Yellow Fridge grows into under your guidance!

For a more detailed overview of what happened, photos from the event, and a rundown of all the final product concepts, please see below.

............................................................................................

On the first day participants arrived as sunny, bright, and optimistic as the gorgeous Sydney weather. Pollenizer graciously opened their doors to over 50 people, while their industrial themed workplace provided people with the perfect range of interesting and inspiring spaces for teams to breakout and work up their ideas. We saw people hanging out on the balcony, in the lounge, in boardrooms, in the garage, and even outside soaking up the fresh air and sunshine. Most importantly however, we watched teams hard at work coming up with some truly brilliant ideas.

Hackers gather to begin Sapihack

Pollenizer co-founder Mick Liubinskas arrived to give an exhilarating talk to everyone about the importance of focus when creating a new business. Mick shared stories taken directly from his extensive experience building over 100 businesses, and teams returned to their groups more enthusiastic than ever. Mick and a few other Pollenizer experts spent time with each and every team, helping them focus and refine their ideas, challenging their assumptions, and even pushing teams to go out and talk to potential customers right away. Those who followed the advice were rewarded with immediate feedback and new insights that would be fed back into their planning.

Sensis staff were on hand to guide teams through the process of using SAPI and to offer advice around the most appropriate features and content, answering questions about location based searching, opening hours, purely mobile businesses, and more.

Mick from Pollenizer inspires the teams to focus

The highlight of the day was when all the teams took turns pitching their business ideas to the group. Everyone received a tremendous amount of helpful feedback from both a panel of Pollenizer judges and other teams. We listened to pitches that resonated with us (“Who here has had a bad date, and it was all your fault?”) pitches that made us laugh (“When you are cycling and you really have to pee, it’s no joke!”) and pitches that made us just a bit queasy (“It’s 3am and your toilet is overflowing!”)

Sensis announced a surprise $250 prize for the best pitch, which was won by developer Eric Bae who worked independently on a product called Locationally. Eric’s pitch was a case study in effective simplicity, he bravely said nothing and instead took the panel on a silent walkthrough showing how Locationally can help businesses find the best places to set up shop and open their doors. As Eric explained later, “Why explain something if you can show it?”

At the close of that first day, teams may have been emotionally drained after pitching but you’d never know it from the laughter, smiles and excited chatter throughout the room. Yet even while everyone was relaxing, it was clear they were already looking ahead to the next week, and mentally preparing for the fact they had to demo their product in front of judges in just 7 days.

During the following week participants settled down and continued to work. One team split into two, a few teams asked questions, but most stayed silent. As a result we weren’t quite sure what to expect when we reconvened on the final day.

Day eight was another gorgeous Sydney Saturday, and it meant a lot to us that people were willing to give up two weekends in a row to take part. Happily almost everyone who was there on day one returned, and somehow we even picked up a few extra bodies along the way as teams recruited extra talent to help them get across the finish line.

The bulk of the day was spent with teams franticly hacking code and mashing graphics together in an attempt to get a viable demo up and running. With some tech support on site, and access to our Melbourne development via Skype, everyone managed to get something built in time.

Team Brideplanner presenting their demo

By the time 3:30 rolled around you could see the exhaustion on peoples faces. The demos went well, with only a few inevitable technical glitches, and it seemed like the bar for quality was being raised over and over again after each entry. Once all 14 demos were completed, the Sensis and Pollenizer judges sat down and tried to tackle the unenviable task of picking the winners. It wasn’t easy with so many quality submissions, not to mention the fact we had 3 times as many entries to judge as we had in our last Hackathon. It took almost an hour, with nervous attendees left to socialise in the meantime while desperately trying to avoid thinking about their chances.

A summary of all the entries:

GiftScoutr
Discover interesting gift ideas through photos that are tagged to retailers, join the GiftScoutr community and add your own.

 

Brideplanner
An end to end planning tool covering engagements, weddings, receptions, and honeymoons.

 

KweekFix
When you need an urgent home repair Kweekfix will contact all your local service providers instantly with a single click. Suppliers respond with quotes and you choose the cheapest or fastest.

 

Yellow Fridge
A Pinterest inspired virtual fridge door with local businesses rated, ranked, and sorted according to multiple review sources such as Facebook, Eatibility, Foursquare, etc.

 

Post, Pick & Party
Helping you to plan any party event by compiling your needs and soliciting quotes from local businesses,.

 

Open Late
Helping you find food options when most places are closed, and helping businesses find customers late at night.

 

bicycli.st
A cycling guide and services directory.

 

Yellow Circles
A private social network to connect businesses with shared interests.

 

DateNyt
A tool to help you quickly discover, rate, and review romantic itineraries that can be tailored to the interests of your prospective date.

 

Playlocal
Helping families with children find local events and services, and tools to organise your child's busy social calendar full of drop offs, pick-ups, and play dates.

 

Beauty Book
Tools to help hair and salon businesses manage bookings, plus a customer app that makes it easier than ever to book an appointment.

 

Locationally
A service for any business looking to expand or grow, Locationally provides business intelligence to determine optimal locations and markets for your business. 

 

BarHop!
A platform for bars to create and manage time limited offers, and an app that enables local customers to discover them.

 

Gardens
A Facebook app that showcases your garden, helps you identify what's growing, and provides tips and business listings in order to help you get better results.

Once the scores had been debated, re-scored, debated again, re-scored again, and finally tabulated, we had ourselves 4 winners.

In the end both Yellow Fridge and BarHop! dazzled us with their demo, the products looked almost market ready. The user experience was well thought out, the interfaces were nicely designed, and everything just ran smoothly and looked extremely professional and polished. As a result they were jointly awarded the $5,000 Best Product Execution award.

Team BarHop! and team Yellow Fridge tie for best execution

It was obvious that team DateNyt had taken all the Pollenizer feedback on board, they had done their research, clearly identified their target market, and most impressively they had identified a number of ways to generate revenue. The end result was a promising commercial concept that genuinely meets a customer need and shows tremendous potential. All of which led to them winning the $5,000 Best Commercial Concept award.

Pollenizer then announced the winner of the $10,000 investment award. Despite everyone in the room expecting that team DateNyt would follow up their best Commercial Concept win with an investment commitment from Pollenizer, team Locationally (who was actually one-man-band Eric Bae) was shocked to hear his name announced.

Eric Bae wins $10K for Locationally

As Pollenizer explained, while there were a number of ideas they would have been proud to invest in it was the combination of team Eric’s product idea and the enthusiasm, energy, and ability to pitch it that really sold Pollenizer. It’s not just an investment in the idea; it’s an investment in the people behind the idea. Which is exactly why Pollenizer surprised everyone by announcing they would also be offering the Yellow Fridge team of Nathan and Tristan a place in their prestigious Incubator Program. Phil Morle of Pollenizer explained that he saw a lot of potential in the young pair and wanted to see what they could do with the resources and connections of Pollenizer behind them.

Looking back at the past 8 days, we can’t imagine any greater outcome. From our point of view at Sensis, we’re excited to think we’ve inspired teams of people to go away and keep working on new business ideas that utilise SAPI. For Pollenizer, they’ve got a brand new business to start shaping and growing. And for the participants, whether they’re walking away with an oversized novelty cheque or not, they all get to leave with a sense of excitement for having created something from scratch, immense pride for having taken part and surviving the week, and a true product launch experience that most entrepreneurs would consider priceless.


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