Developers Reinvent Travel at 3 Hackathons in 1 Weekend

by Ellen Vong

We traveled across two continents for our recent hackathons in search of developers to help reinvent travel. First stop: Launch Hackathon (February 27 – March 1).

More than 800 hackers headed to the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco to compete for over $200,000 in cash and prizes. Developers spent the entire weekend using the sponsors’ APIs to build the next great technological invention. Our friends at Expedia joined us as we both worked with developers to look at travel in different ways and assist them as they build functionality that is fresh and new.

We selected the Toor team as winners of our challenge. They used the InstaFlights Search API to power their app, which allows the user to take suggestions from friends, family and other followers on Twitter and use them to build an ideal vacation.

Launch Festival winner_TOOR Launch Festival winner_TOOR

Launch Festival Winners – Toor


Next up we headed to Dallas for HackDFW (February 28 – March 1).

Despite the snow, more than 600 student hackers descended upon The Women’s Museum at Fair Park in Dallas to attend the area’s first major student hackathon. HackDFW was co-founded by Adil Shaikh, who was inspired to organize the event after attending the Sabre Dev Studio hackathon last summer. Students came from across Texas, the U.S. and Canada to pitch their ideas to a panel of esteemed judges, including Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, Michael Irvin, NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys and the famous Shark and entrepreneur, Mark Cuban.

We were inspired by all the different ways developers created fresh, new functionalities in travel. First place was awarded to ROADI, which connects budget-conscious college students with the cheapest and most convenient way for users to see their favorite acts live. We liked how they used several Sabre APIs in conjunction with StubHub APIs to inspire college travelers who may not have considered making trips otherwise.

The 2nd place team built When, an iOS and Android planning app. It integrated several 3rd party APIs to help users plan various activities in their life. A user can view the weather before scheduling a car wash or even booking a flight to attend an away game of their favorite sports team.

HackDFW Winners (1st place) – ROADI

HackDFW winner_ROADI


Our last stop took us to Germany for THack | ITB Berlin (February 28 – March 1).

Participants came from all over the world – France, Israel, Russia and the U.S. to Factory Berlin for the hackathon presented by Tnooz. The quality of apps that built during the weekend was impressive – making picking a winner for the best use of our APIs a hard decision. In the end, we decided to award two winners.

FriFly received 1st place by using our Destination Finder, InstaFlights Search and Lead Price Calendar APIs to build an Android app that finds the optimal solution for weekend flights and concentrates on maximizing the stay time for weekend breaks.

Spicebox received 2nd place for leveraging our APIs to create an app that finds destinations based on the user’s preference as they vote on images that are tagged and mapped to themes.

THack Berlin Winners (1st place) – FriFly
THack Berlin Winners_FriFly

That concludes or whirlwind weekend tour of events. We were impressed with all the great ideas and look forward to seeing you at our next event. Check out all the pictures from these events and others in our Facebook album. Until then, keep hacking!

About Ellen Vong

Ellen Vong is the Brand Marketing Manager at Sabre.

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