On October 15, 2017, four colleagues from the Chicago-based company Block Six Analytics took the top prize at the Discover Global Network API Showdown Hackathon. It wasn’t the first hackathon the team had attended or even the first that they’d won. But it did have the biggest brand sponsor they had encountered – and the best food.
“The food was great, a lot better than your typical hackathon,” Alexander Cordover said of the culinary offerings at the first external hackathon by Discover Global Network. He would know. Cordover and his regular hackathon partner Alberto Rios participate in such events often and he said they “generally do pretty well.” This was their first time competing with co-workers Josh Herzberg and Andrew Grzeszczak on their team, and their collective efforts earned them the $8,000 first prize and a trip to the Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas.
“That’s probably the coolest prize I’ve ever gotten,” Cordover said.
Beyond the quality meals of tacos and Chinese food served at the 31-hour event, the hackathon provided participants a chance to stretch their skills and develop a product outside their usual domains.
The API Showdown (API stands for application programming interface), held in Chicago from October 14-15, aimed to spark innovation in the digital payments space.