Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon Focused on Driving Next Gen Storytelling with Technology

Participants Competed for up to $25,000 in Cash and Prizes, Including Exclusive Backstage Tour of NBC’s Emmy Award Winning Show, The Voice

LOS ANGELES – November 17, 2014 – NBCUniversal and Comcast today announced the results of their second hackathon – themed “New Forms of Storytelling Driven by Technology” – which took place on November 15-16.   The Grand Prize winner was “Top3IWannaSee,” an experience aimed at turning movie lovers into movie advocates.  Additional winners were selected in 14 categories.  See below for a full list of winners and judges.

“This LA-based Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon was enthusiastically received by the tech community with more than 150 participants and 38 teams,” said Sanjay Macwan, Senior Vice President & CTO of NBCUniversal Media Labs. “This was a terrific way to build on the spectacular successes from our inaugural hackathon, while continuing to explore disruptive technologies that can help us create richer consumer experiences.”

Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon winners include:

  • Grand Prize/Fandango Challenge Winner: Top3IWannaSee”
    “Top3IWannaSee” creates a simple, shareable representation of a consumer’s top movies choices, while allowing for an integrated ticket purchase experience. Dayla Gershtein and Daniel Yaroslavski from Irvine, California developed the winning concept.
  • NBC Entertainment, “The Voice” Challenge Winner:  “BusyBits”
    “BusyBits” helps keep viewers engaged in programs with a second screen experience. By aggregating data for continuous delivery to mobile devices – highlighting episodes, artists and coaches – viewers can get additional, relevant content in real-time.
  • Universal Pictures Digital Distribution Challenge Winner: “PuzzleLot”
    “PuzzleLot” leverages the casual gaming experience to let movie fans unlock content for upcoming movies by solving puzzles, creating excitement and buzz for new movies.
  • NBCUniversal News Group Challenge Winner: “RealAction”
    “RealAction” allows for instantaneous social action for any disaster response and includes push notifications across all NBC News applications.
  • Universal Pictures Digital Marketing Challenge Winner: “Mooffi
    “Mooffi” allows storytelling to become a socially engaging experience, transforming linear content into live interactive and immersive experiences.
  • Universal Cable Productions/Syfy Challenge Winner: Inside The Galactica
    Inside The Galactica” uses Oculus Rift and virtual reality to pull viewers into the Battlestar Galactica story, allowing friends to share virtual experiences.
  • Telemundo Challenge Winner: Catch Novella
    “Catch Novella” allows viewers – in an easy and customizable way – to quickly catch up on storylines by using a simple timeline technology.

The 24-hour event kicked off in Universal City, where more than 150 competitors worked on innovative cross–platform solutions using content, products, and technology from an array of NBCUniversal’s entities and divisions, including NBC Entertainment, Telemundo, Fandango, Universal Cable Productions, Syfy, NBCUniversal News Group and Universal Pictures. In addition to tapping into Application Program Interfaces (API) from NBCUniversal properties, hackathon teams also had access to APIs from Unity, Apigee, Cinemacraft, Spredfast, Telescope, Microsoft, Beamly, Watchwith, thePlatform, Interlude, and Gracenote.

Participants competed for up to $25,000 in cash and prizes, the opportunity to pitch their ideas to NBCUniversal, and a VIP experience – including an exclusive behind the scenes tour – at a live production of The Voice.

WIP, the premier developer-relations network was tapped to invite developers to the Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon. The company helped secure participants by engaging its network of developers, particularly those who have a track record of creating products for digital media and/or television. Additional information on the hackathon can be found at http://nbcumedialabs.com/hackathon/.

Judging panel: http://nbcuhackathon.com/en/

  • Sanjay Macwan, SVP & Chief Technology Officer, Media Labs, NBCUniversal
  • Bill Mandel, VP, Technology and Digital Platforms, Universal Pictures
  • John Canning, VP, Interactive Experiences, NBC Entertainment Digital
  • Melissa Rauch, VP, Business Development & Asset Management, Universal Cable Productions
  • Mark Young, VP, Strategy and Business Development, Fandango
  • Krishna Bhagavathula, CTO, NBC News Digital, NBCUniversal News Technology Group
  • Jose Marquez, VP, Digital Production & Development, NBCUniversal Hispanic Group
  • Rick Prostko, Principal, Comcast Ventures
  • Peter Marx, Chief Innovation Technology Officer, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Kris Lichthart, (Co-Judge) Manager, Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures
  • Cameron Curtis, (Co-Judge) Manager, Digital Marketing, Universal Pictures

This second Comcast NBCUniversal Hackathon comes on the heels of the media and technology company’s inaugural competition in June 2014, which was held at the state-of-the-art NBCUniversal Technology Center in New Jersey and in 30 Rock’s famed Studio 8H in New York. The successful event resulted in the hiring of developers and product concept incubation in the NBCUniversal Media Labs organization. Media Labs, an organization within NBCUniversal is dedicated to working with academic research groups, start-up companies, and the global venture capital community to accelerate technology innovations and to help develop new business models for the company’s content delivery businesses.  Media Labs is staffed with top technology professionals from the worlds of application strategy, mobile development, virtualization, video, and consumer-experience technologies.

For photos from the hackathon please contact: Cydney Goldberg at 212-664-6178 or cydney.goldberg@nbcuni.com


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