Silicon Beach Sunday: Silicon Beachfest 2013 Kicks-Off With One Awesome Hackathon

Silicon Beach Sundays

Hello, Happy Sunday, and welcome to Silicon Beach Sundays here on Every Sunday take a walk with me through LA’s startup scene which has been officially and aptly been named, Silicon Beach. This is a very exciting week for the LA Startup Community as Silicon Beachfest takes bring together LA startups, investors, and entrepreneurs for what has become a must-attend event for everyone in the startup space here in LA.

Silicon Beachfest

The event begins with a Hackathon that started this Friday and ends this evening with over $20,000 in cash and prizes sponsored by AT&T (hats off to Alex for doing an awesome job!). Today I spent some time as a mentor (or “sensei” as they called it) helping the teams hone the piches they will be giving to the judging panel this evening.

Silicon Beach Hackathon 2013

A Hackathon is a real challenge, you have to code quickly and do something innovative, all in a weekend, and often with very little sleep. Oh and here’s the kicker, you’re usually doing this with people you just met. I really enjoy mentoring at Hackathons because I’m always interested in seeing how people work together, where they excel, and where they fall apart.

My goal is always to help teams focus on their similarities and keep the energy and enthusiasm moving in the positive direction. When I can help people get over coding hurdles that’s also a lot of fun. For the Silicon Beach Hackathon my focus was helping teams hone their 3 minute pitches and perfect their 30-second elevator pitch.

Now remember, in most cases you’re working with only a few hours of sleep and lots of caffeine so transitioning from coding to pitching can be a challenge. I really enjoy helping people consolidate their ideas, get focused, and really put together sometime meaningful. In some ways it feels a bit like helping to bring order to chaos and hopefully cheer up anyone who is feeling left-out or down on their luck.

It’s always inspiring to see creative people building cool things and some of the teams really packed a lot of coding into a weekend which is pretty darn impressive. We are looking forward to the full Silicon Beachfest event, the buzz has already begun and the creative juices are flowing more than ever this week in Silicon Beach!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton