My Own Hack Event

This post was written by Becky Rush (a 2nd year student on our BSc (Hons) Digital Media Development. It first appeared on her personal blog: http://itsuite.it.brighton.ac.uk/rlr17/blog/?p=82

So, I’m now a second year at university and I’ve realised I really should be blogging about what I’ve been doing.
Towards the end of my first year a few of us decided to set up a society to enrich the academic and social experience of primarily computing students at the University of Brighton. And so, The Digital Society was born.

Today was a big day for me as it was the first academic style event put on by the society which we organised ourselves. It’s been a pretty stressful process but a fun one too – and I have learnt a lot! Our event was a hack-style event in collaboration with BeePurple (who are fantastic, check them out) to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Proposal: Participants are given 3 hours to work in small teams to develop an idea which fulfils the brief ‘Smarter Living’ (detailed below). The idea is for students develop employability skills whilst having fun by seeing what ideas they can come up with and prototype in a limited period of time. These can take the form of digital assets such as websites or apps, physical products or even a community workshop/scheme. These will then be presented to the group in 3 minutes or less and judged by an independent panel with a prize for the winning team. The brief will be announced in advance with participants encouraged to think of ideas to pitch at the start of the event.

Brief: ‘Smarter Living’ Use technology to create something commercially viable that makes life better, focusing around wearable tech, the internet of things or entertainment.
Despite a lower turn out than expected it was a great day – with brilliant ideas, plenty of pizza and a cash prize kindly donated by Entrepreneurial Spark. Our judging panel included fantastic representatives from BeePurple, Entrepreneurial Spark, Santander, University of Brighton Careers Service and The Digital Society and the whole event was sponsored by these lovely organisations as well as the University of Brighton Alumni. I also got to write and sign a couple of those giant cheques – oooh the power!

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All in all, a pretty decent first event for The Digital Society, here’s to the next one!

Entrepreneurship Hack – Digital Society, Friday 20 November

Beepurple have teamed up with the Digital Society to host a hackathon on Friday 20th November.

Attendees will have 4 and a half hours to conceptualise, prototype/plan and present a product/service that makes life easier for a certain user group, focussing on the internet of things, wearable tech or entertainment.

There are prizes worth £200 for the winning team!

Details and sign up

Graduate sells to Facebook

A University of Brighton graduate has sold the Silicon Valley company he co-founded to Facebook – just five years after graduating.

Will Blandin, who was awarded a first class honours deWill-Blandin-Cropped-260x320gree in European Computing, co-launched Wit.ai, a California-based company which provides applications for speech recognition for devices including mobile phones and tablets.

Wit.ai’s market niche dovetails with Facebook’s mission to connect everyone and build experiences for its 1.3 billion people on the platform.