#hack4good – The global series of hackathon!

This is a guest post by Nootan Ghimire, who recently helped to organize #hack4good for the first time in Nepal.

About one month earlier, I happened to check my email where Geeklist had sent a regular newsletter. I opened the email and checked the details and eventually, got interested to join a hackathon like this. I skimmed through the list of cities that were hosting the hackathon, and found a universal city listed as “Online” — the virtual city for every person in the world.

After I signed up for the “Online” version of hackathon, a strange thought came into my mind. Why not “host” it in our own city? I knew we already had programmes like startup weekends, and other hackathons, then why not this one?

I then pinged some of my close people in my network, and talked to them about the idea of hosting the event in our country. They seemed excited and encouraged me to take the lead to bring an International hackathon to our country too.

One week and some days later, I was really fed up because no one from Geeklist had sent any information to me. So, I hit Geeklist on Twitter. Some hours later, I was provided with an email address of a person who was managing the global event. We then had several Skype conversations and exchanged several emails talking about the possible hosting of the event in Kathmandu.

#hack4goodKTM

We received some cool T-shirts and a lot of support from Geeklist. We were also able to collect some funds with the help of communities like FOSS (Free and open-source software) Nepal. By hosting this hackathon, we believe that we have now officially opened the door of International market to Nepal. Even though we had less number of people participating on the event, they now have a global exposure. People from all around the globe are viewing the products made by guys from our own country.

#donate4good was the winning product of the #hack4good Kathmandu. It is an SMS based micro-donation platform where people can donate small amount of money via SMS. The prototypic stage of the app can be found on http://www.donate4good.net.

Similarly, Looma-reloaded was the first runner up. Project Looma is a project of one of the local sponsors of #hack4good Kathmandu. Looma is a small low-power device that runs a computer. The team involved, re-designed and coded the front-end user-interface.

vNet was successful to come in third position. It’s a Web based / Windows Phone app in which people can write a simple tag linked to a description. There is plenty of use of this kind of app, as the team member had mentioned during the hackathon.
There were many other great projects done in #hack4good Kathmandu. Besides the geeks coding all day and night, we also had so much fun. Some notable things that were fun, as well as interesting were:

  • We did not let anyone sit with their team members during lunch/dinner.
  • We crowd-sourced the judging criteria from participants.

We had a lot of fun during those 48 hours and it was very good to be part of a global hackathon in Nepal.

Our Top apps are being judged with other city’s top apps, and let’s hope we’ll get the grand prize when it is announced on Friday, 11th October, 2013!

Nootan Ghimire
Local Organiser, #hack4good
Geeklist Ambassador Nepal

 Update : #donate4good came third on the global #hack4good hackathon. Congratulations to the team!

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