Hack – Essex

The Second Successful Essex Hackathon!


In collaboration with Major League Hacking (MLH) and Essex Startups the University of Essex hosted their second Hackathon in 2 years.

Post by guest blogger, Kurt Burgess – President of the Computer Society at The University of Essex.

Run by the Essex Computing Society, this is a relatively new event, but the success of this year’s event suggests it will be around for a long time to come!

With a robust challenge and great prizes it’s a hacking great experience so dive into my hackathon diary:

Saturday 29 April

Registration Opens

Entrants descended on the Tony Rich Centre. Most were pre-registered but some took the opportunity to sign up on the day. As expected, most contestants were from Essex, but I was pleased to see contestants travel from as far and wide as Manchester and Sussex to compete!

Competition Rules

As President of the Computer Society it fell to me to give the welcome talk and then we handed over to the MLH representatives for the bit we’d all been waiting for – what could be made and the rules under which it was to be made.

The Rules:

In teams of up to 4 or by yourself, you have just 24 hours to create a new project.  You can create anything as long as it’s original and completed within the time frame.

Many teams come with ideas ready, but for those who didn’t we ran idea workshops to get them started.

Challenge Time!

Get set… Go! Teams were unleashed with only 24 hours to complete the challenge.


Sunday 30 April

Stop the Clock: Submission time

The excitement built as contestants gathered in the upper levels of the Tony Rich to present their ideas and make their submissions.  As anticipated, the standard was high and included games, social media concepts, cat apps… a whole spectrum of development!


Results and Prizes

Quest for Questions secured first place with their educational, forum based question portal to relate to lectures, winning action cameras for their superb submission.


Second place went to iPick, whose eye tracking software allowed users to control their computers with their eyes.  This innovative application won them Smart watches.

Twitch Visual took third place for interesting enhancement to an existing website in Twitch.tv.  Their prizes were external hard drives.

At the end of the competition it was great to hear many of the teams talking about further developing their ideas into even better projects.

Wrap up

With the challenge over, all that was left to do was thank MLH and Essex Startups for their generous support and the contestants for their enthusiasm……. and get some sleep of course!

If you’re interested in taking part in what we expect to be an even bigger event next year, please get in touch at hi@hackessex.com or visit www.hackessex.com.


Kurt Burgess is the President of the Computer Society at The University of Essex.  He is currently a 2nd year Computer Science student.


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