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The Launchpad Hackathon

Launchpad is a 24 hour hackathon run by Bath University where software project ideas, their execution and their business viability are judged.
About 90 people participated in the event. They formed 15 teams of 6, with students from across the university taking part – not only from the business and comp-sci departments but also from design, marketing and physics. The theme of this year’s event was about making life in Bath better.
Judging was done in two phases, with teams split into three rooms, each with three judges. Teams each had five minutes to present their product to the judges, and were marked out of ten on a range of criteria including business viability, branding, and product build quality.
We saw a real variety of interesting software ideas, and what was really clear was how well each team had collaborated, with great business ideas and cutting-edge technology coming together to build some really creative solutions.
After picking the top two solutions from each room, we all came together in a lecture theatre. The six chosen teams each had eight minutes to present to the judges, before a quick Q&A. The presentations at this stage were far more refined than those we saw in the first round.
Some of the ideas we saw brought new technical spins to existing business ideas, while others were completely new ideas with great technical solutions.
The winning team was Seat Space, who developed a real-time desk availability monitoring system. A light sensor would be installed in a desk, and hooked up to an Arduino, so when an individual sat down and put their stuff on the desk, the censor would be covered, telling the system that the desk was in use. A very cheap, innovative solution to a common university student problem, and really inspiring.
Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming events on the Bath Computer Science Society Facebook page.