HackDay comes back to Miami as the “X-Prize” of hackathons, hopes to launch startups

HackDay comes back to Miami as the “X-Prize” of hackathons, hopes to launch startups

Miami will welcome its second HackDay on December 8th-9th 2012, the HackDay Foundation announced today. According to its organizers, this new edition significantly raises the bar when it comes to prizes and goals.

As you may know, the HackDay Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on running a series of international hackathons to promote startup development in select cities around the globe. The latest HackDay to date took place in Buenos Aires last May, inside the offices of MercadoLibre.

As for Miami, it hosted the first edition of HackDay in November 2011, and is now gearing up to welcome the event again – with a few interesting twists, its organizers explain:

“First of all, the Grand Prize will be a two-part prize, for a total cash award of $50k, which will be provided by our platinum sponsors, the Knight Foundation and Tres Mares Group. This will make HackDay Miami essentially the X Prize of hackathons,” says HackDay Foundation’s founder, Demian Bellumio. “Secondly, the winner will be able to participate in the HackDay Acceleration Program, which will dramatically increase their chances of making the dream of launching a startup a reality.”

Applicants interested in becoming one of the HackDay’s 40 participants will have to take a Codility programming test and answer specific questions on their experience. This is a way to ensure high-quality projects will emerge from this initiative, which is sponsored by entities such as .CO and music streaming company Senzari.

Five finalists will be selected among participants at the end of the hackathon, but the process doesn’t end on December 9th. As a matter of fact, they will receive coaching over the following days, and will be welcome to continue working and even recruit a team during that period.

As for the winner, who will receive an initial $30k award, it will be selected by the group of judges to whom finalists will pitch on December 14th during The Americas Venture Capital Conference (AVCC). The criteria on which the jury will base its choices confirms HackDay’s ambitions: beyond hacks, it aims to detect “which project has the best potential to become a successful technology startup.”

To make it happen, it will also bring extra support to the winning team; as long as they commit to working on the project full-time for the next 90 days and participate in the HackDay Accelaration Program, they will receive an additional $20,000 cash prize, free co-working space at LAB Miami and mentorship from the HackMasters and other leading entrepreneurs, the HackDay Foundation promises.

It’s worth noting that HackDay and AVCC are part of an exciting series of events that will take place during the second week of December to boost Miami’s tech scene and support Latin American startups. Known as Miami Innovation Week, it also features Wayra Global Demo Day on December 12th, as well as a closed event promoted by the Endeavor network.

Image credit: Pond5

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