At Branch, we’re always looking for ways to support the local developer community. In addition to our Meetups around the world, we love sponsoring and participating in many talks, panels, and hackathons so we can connect with developers as they are building their apps. Just last week, we had the pleasure sponsoring TreeHacks and LAUNCH 2015, two of the largest hackathons in the Bay Area.
TreeHacks, hosted at Stanford University, was Stanford’s first large-scale collegiate hackathon. The event took place February 20th-22nd and brought together over 500 students from across the country. The grand prize went to Metro Arm who made a robot arm controlled by a Leap Motion recording sensor. The idea, inspired by a contestant’s mother who worked for years folding newspaper, was to reduce mundane and repetitive tasks that can be done with one hand. Second place went to the group Fabric, who created an immersive, web-based virtual reality environment to create 3D models.
Branch Co-founder Mike Molinet talks to participants at TreeHacks.
Lily Nguyen and Leland Lee met at a previous collegiate hackathon and used TreeHacks as an opportunity to explore how their skills mesh together. Both freshman at UC Berkeley, they used the event to build a whole new way to visualize Branch’s data. Lily described her experience at TreeHacks as “a great way to apply what I have learned in class in a creative and challenging manner. Building the [Branch] heat map was so much fun and I also really enjoyed trying to find ways to make it interactive.”
The LAUNCH 2015 hackathon took place February 27th though March 1st in Fort Mason, San Francisco. It attracted around 200 teams consisting of 2-4 developers and was the opening of the three-day LAUNCH Festival taking place March 2nd-4th. Contestants were narrowed down to the top five teams and the winner of will be announced on the last day of the festival.
As sponsors, Branch provided technical and design support to the many of the contestants. In addition, we offered prizes to the teams that best utilized our Branch SDK.
Evgeny and Sergey, LAUNCH 2015 prizewinners for Branch implementation.
Evgeny Rakitin and Sergey Kudryavtsev used the LAUNCH hackathon to build an electric business card holder that allows users to take a photo of a business card, record an audio note, and gather the new contact’s information from Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter-all at the same time. Sergey describes the use of Branch’s API “to establish a foundation that allows us to track and measure the acquisition of users. We consider Branch Metrics a crucial partner in the future because it is a solution that allows us to adapt and customize our referral program for new users.” Evgeny and Sergey are looking use what they created at LAUNCH, in addition to Branch’s deep links, on their continued project Connections.vc.
At Branch, our mission is to help developers grow their apps and by sponsoring these events, we hope to understand how we can help you grow your apps better. We had a great time watching all these new ideas develop and look forward to some great events in the future!