Hackathon Reaps Rewards

I recently launched the Mitek Developers program which promotes our technology for new use cases and undiscovered market demand.  We built our program of APIs and MiSnap SDK to be easily consumed and leveraged, with clear migration options for long term use of our technology.  As part of the launch, we joined dozens of other technology companies at a large “hackathon” on the west coast which brought over 1,200 college students together to explore, collaborate, and prototype market concepts.  Yesterday I posted to the Mitek blog a brief summary and pictures from the hackathon, which you can find here:  http://www.miteksystems.com/blog/02/28/14/thinking-outside-of-the-bank

Our participation at this hackathon, www.Hacktech.io, was a tremendous success, providing benefits to our customers, our employees, and ultimately our company stakeholders as well.  Here’s why.

For our customers, the value starts with product and process improvements.  As one of the primary sponsors, we enjoyed placement of our booth right in the thick of it – center of the action for student hackers.  This location allowed the Mitek team to experience first-hand and immediate feedback about the ease, and challenge, of integrating our technology into innovative mobile experiences.  If the goal is rapid deployment of leading edge technologies, we learned a lot of lessons about how to make that deployment easier and what additional important capabilities are required to harden it.

Mitek employees would tell you they felt truly rewarded for their 48-hour time commitment.  Six of us managed to keep the Red Bull, coffee, and snacks flowing so that we could be available full time to answer questions and help code-up the prototypes.  Ultimately we were exposed to a wide variety of development languages, coding paradigms, and challenging questions to help sharpen our skills.   We networked with students to discuss future employment options at Mitek.  We provided leadership opportunities for several team members, and enhanced our team solidarity.  It was invigorating!

And company stakeholders of all kinds should feel excited about the demonstrated potential for so many additional use cases of Mitek technologies.  Eight student teams used the Mitek APIs and MiSnap SDK, preparing amazing prototypes and demonstrating the kind of value they’d expect to see in today’s marketplace.  Some examples:

  • A mobile application for scanning nutrition labels and easily counting calories
  • A mobile solution to enroll as a driver or sign-up as a buyer for hauling services, with mapping services
  • A solution for multi-factor authentication e-security of point-to-point payments with Mobile Deposit
  • Smart Pinterest recipe creation via image capture and data extraction from grocery receipts

I am proud to say that our involvement in this first hackathon generated some truly “out of the box” thinking, just the type we want, to be a showcase for the nearly unlimited potential to integrate mobile imaging into both enterprise and consumer apps.  It’s an exciting time, and we have been inspired by all the interest in Mitek Developers.

For those of you building and publishing open APIs, an experience like this should be on your roadmap.  If you’re interested in more information about our program, check out https://developers.miteksystems.com.

Happy Hacking!

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