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Innovation & Job News

Spartan Hackathon Tour comes to Citizens Bank Park

Spartan Hackathon


Hacking for health

Spartan Hackathon

In a city like Philadelphia, where the startup and technology industries have become so well-established that we now have a boulevard known as NERD Street, there might not seem to be anything unusual about the announcement of yet another hackathon.    
But thanks to a partnership between Hackfit, a Boston company that arranges events where entrepreneurs create health and fitness technologies, and Spartan, organizers of extreme obstacle races across the country, a decidedly unusual hackathon will kick off inside Citizens Bank Park on September 19.   
Only 60 total spots are available for the event. Teams of developers and designers will be tasked with pitching fitness industry-relevant business ideas, prototyping them, and then demonstrating the results of 24 nonstop hours of work on the idea. (Sign up here.)
RFID timing sensors, Sony Smartbands and other wearable technology devices will be made available to hackers, says Hackfit founder Justin Mendelson, who adds that most former participants have focused on building mobile applications.
"A few of [the teams] focus on hardware-oriented devices, like wearable trackers," says Mendelson. And during past events, "Other teams have even focused on timing technology, which is very important to the [obstacle race] experience."
Philly is one of four locations where Spartan Hackathons are happening this summer. Some of the winning teams will be flown to Spartan headquarters in Boston, where they'll have an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to company executives, perhaps earning a partnership or investment capital.
Here in Philly, however, even team members who don't succeed at building the quantified self movement's next big app will still have a chance to celebrate: After the Reebok Spartan Race Stadium Sprint wraps up on Saturday, hackers will be allowed to run the obstacle course at their own pace.
Writer: Dan Eldridge
Source: Justin Mendelson, Hackfit 

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