On Monday, we began a two-day hackathon event hosted by the San Francisco based company, ArcTouch.
In the event, each group had to come up with a business idea (mainly related to education or travel) and create an app for that idea. After Eric Shapiro, class of ‘86 and CEO of ArcTouch, told us different ways to go about expanding our ideas, each group went to separate conference rooms. In the office, we were equipped with a large whiteboard, large flat screen monitors on the wall, our computers, and a website called Marvelapp.
Marvelapp allowed us to easily and comprehensively design a prototype of the app. Every group came up with interesting and innovative product ideas that were a response to an issue they had observed. The app ideas consisted of a 1-on-1 tutoring app, a single sign-in educational organization app, a high-quality sneaker rental app, an improved learning management system with visual analytics, and an app to increase school safety and efficiency.
Throughout both days, we were given multiple lessons on marketing and entrepreneurship while making our app, which helped us perform to the best of our capabilities. Eric periodically came into each room to give us pointers on ways to improve our products and increase profit.
After working from 8:00 am to 8:30 pm on Monday and 8:00 am to 2:30 pm on Tuesday, each group presented their ideas in a Shark Tank style presentation to members of Eric’s team as well as faculty from the school. The whole experience gave each of us a beneficial look at what happens in a start-up and how start-ups operate on a day-to-day basis. Although most of our time was spent working on our projects, we were always allowed to stop what we were doing and enjoy a snack, play some pinball, or compete in the ping pong tournament. Overall, this two-day event was really great, and we can’t wait to see and learn more during the remainder of the trip.
- Joel M.