TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon 2011 Recap

Two weeks ago, Danielle and I took redeye flights from San Francisco and Los Angeles to join five hundred hackers as they descended on New York City’s Pier 94 on an unusually sunny Saturday morning. Without a doubt, this was the largest hackathon I’d ever been to. Heck, they took over part of a warehouse! Up for grabs were tickets to the Disrupt conference, as well as a variety of other prizes ranging from AWS credit to a Galaxy Tab.

Many teams worked straight through the night, despite the tempting airbeds Airbnb brought for the tired hackers. Twilio also had a booth at the hackathon, and we decided to celebrate GroupMe’s 1st birthday with the traditional enormous cake.

At the end of the hackathon—after working 24 hours straight—teams were given just 60 seconds to pitch their hack. Four winners were announced as well as two honorable mentions.

The Winners

  1. Gilt-ii – allows people to create auctions around Gilt sales.
  2. Docracy – helps you share and sign legal documents without having to fax them around.
  3. Doach – a person dating coach.
  4. Dispatch IO – a cloud document management app.

Honorable Mentions

  1. JoystiCC – control humans in real-life video games using your iPhone.
  2. Venture Crapital – a game where you play as a VC that has to throw money into bubbles and collect before they burst.

Some teams using Twilio included ifAnyone (sends an SMS alert whenever someone mentions a topic you’re interested in on Facebook), the light-hearted YoMamaAlarm (your morning alarm clock, with a twist), and Joinable which helps the homeless with free voicemail, e-mail, and SMS services.

The team from Joinable talks about their idea and experience:


Read our blog post about them here.

If you met us at the hackathon, send an e-mail to We’d love to hear about what you’re working on post-Disrupt. For those of you that couldn’t make it, you can find photos from the event here and videos of the winners here. We hope to see you next year!

[Photo credit: TechCrunch, main photo; Steve Martocci, cake; TechCrunch, Joinable screenshot]