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Our very first hackathon

Team members from across the country came together to brainstorm, develop, and pitch ideas for the future

Aug 26, 2020

Last week, Vertical City team members from across the country came together for our very first (virtual) hackathon. What’s a hackathon you say? It’s an all-day event where employees get together to collaborate on building new features, ideas, or business ideas.

The goal of a hackathon is to give staff the space, time, and opportunity to explore new ideas that could grow our company, improve our user experience, or open up new areas of creativity. It’s also a great way for members of different divisions to meet new people and share ideas. While most hackathons are done by software developers and associated design staff, we opened it up to everyone. Almost every team was a cross-disciplinary group, often working from different time zones. 

Ideas included:

  • A virtual reality extension for our advertising platform 
  • Prewritten, designed, and implemented property notices for users
  • Helpful and hilarious Elevator Etiquette videos for brand marketing
  • Improving screen engagement with rotating news tickers, sports scores, movie recommendations and more
  • An in-store screen  strategy 
  • A system to enable user onboarding automation
  • Videos to help our property team communicate with boards, property managers and more
  • A Shopify store add-on for e-commerce advertising

After a day of hacking, each team presented their ideas to the company and everyone was asked to vote on their favourite ideas. Voting was extremely tight, with the top spots being hotly contested, but we are excited to announce the winners of our first hackathon! 

1st place: A system to enable user on-boarding automation

Vertical City's first developer Jed implemented a new system that will allow our teams to help users onboard to our property and advertising systems.

2nd place: Elevator etiquette video campaign

Chontelle, Jelysza, and Matej created satirical videos to help promote good elevator etiquette and raise awareness of our brand.

And for 3rd, we had a tie!

Improving screen engagement with news tickers, sports scores, and local recommendations

Michael, Aishwarya, Andrew, and Adnan developed new screen content options that will inform elevator riders of local news, sports scores, movie recommendations, and other useful information.

New market penetration strategy 

Debbie, Nikki, David, Kim, and Rabie mapped out a novel and automated strategy to help open up new local advertising opportunities in new markets where we don't have critical mass

We’d like to thank all the Vertical City team members that participated in the hackathon. The ideas brought forward were amazing. For our partners and advertisers, expect to see some of them live in the coming months!

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