#McDHack14: McDonald’s Hackathon in London

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Logo courtesy of BeMyApp.co.uk

About 250 young entrepreneurs and hackers signed up for the McDonald’s Hackathon in London, which ran from November 21st to the 23rd.

Blockchain’s Nicolas Cary and Matt Tuzzolo were present at the 48 hour event, while developer Kevin Houk remained available to provide on-call remote support and mentoring for participants in the competition.

For McDonald’s, the purpose of the hackathon was to inspire participants to invent an engaging digital restaurant experience, with a focus on in-store animations, social media, gamification and customer loyalty.

BeMyApp was the organizing partner of this hackathon; their focus is on development-related events, organizing meetups, hackathons and conferences around Europe and across the world.

Six industry judges from Google, Twitter, Facebook and McDonald’s determined the winners, awarding prizes ranging from £500 to £5000.

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Because this wasn’t a bitcoin-centered event, we felt our presence was of even further importance; it was an opportunity to tap into a hub of developers, designers and creative minds and introduce them to bitcoin.

The only way for bitcoin to become a hot topic at these events is if bitcoin companies understand that stepping out beyond the niche of bitcoin conferences and bitcoin-centered events is one of the most effective strategies to compel new talent to take their dive down the rabbit hole of blockchain technology.

In other words, it is in the best interests of bitcoin companies to attend events frequented by Visa, Apple, Samsung and other financial and technological pioneers, because it facilitates an in-person connection that has the potential to cultivate interest in bitcoin not only from employees at these companies, but from consumers in attendance.

With McDonald’s being such an influential global brand that attracts such a diverse flavour of talent, it remained extremely important that attendees left with a positive introduction to bitcoin and the resources to delve further.

On Saturday, CEO Nicolas Cary and Lead Developer Matt Tuzzolo made themselves available to hackathon participants to discuss bitcoin, the Blockchain wallet and the capabilities of the Blockchain API libraries.

Despite the event having a limited bitcoin presence, Cary felt “this was a fun event with great participation. It was Blockchain’s first hackathon in London and we were eager to see such a strong turn out. Bitcoin continues to inspire a lot of curiosity and interest from the development community and we look forward to supporting more events like this.”

Congratulations to the grand prize winner of the competition, Big Hack for Fries!, who used NFC technology and social gaming to impress the judges.

The purpose of our attendance at this event resonates with Blockchain President, Peter Smith’s sentiment in a recent Inside Bitcoins article, where he states, “[t]here’s already a shortage of developers in technology, but then there’s even fewer developers who understand bitcoin,” Smith explained. “One thing the industry can do better is getting developers interested in bitcoin and getting them hacking on it. We need more horsepower.”

We would like to thank McDonald’s Europe and BeMyApp UK for welcoming us to be part of this event. We look forward to future collaborations!

 

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