BIAC Connected Communities, Connected Lives Hackathon

A couple weeks ago Noel (@noelportugal) and I were invited by the Oracle Apps UX Innovation Labs team to collaborate as technical mentors and judges in BIAC Connected Communities, Connected Lives hackathon.


What would be the best place to hold a hackathon? Cancún. Beautiful weather, beautiful beach, Mexican food, what else could I ask for?

This hackathon was organized around the 2016 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Ministerial Meeting on the Digital Economy, which discussed topics like innovation, growth and social prosperity.


It was a big event with a bunch of important personalities from politics and economic fields.

The idea of the hackathon was turn ideas into apps, showcase talents and collaborate with peers and technical mentors from all over the world to develop innovative solutions to a local or global challenge.

There were categories like Cultural Heritage, Smart City, Social Inclusion and Entrepreneurship.

Oracle was one of the organizing partners a long with AT&T, CISCO, Disney, Intel, Microsoft and Google.

AT&T was offering $2,000 cash prize and up to 4 nano degrees scholarships from AT&T and Udacity for the best use of  the M2X API. Our team had already experience using this API from AT&T’s past hackathons, so we were selected by the AT&T team to mentor and to be judges for AT&T Excellence Award.

Also, we were mentoring and judging for Oracle Excellence Award.


Oracle gave the winners an expense paid trip to Oracle Mexico Development Center in Guadalajara for up to 4 team members; including a tour of Oracle facilities and interviews with senior management.

There were participants from México, Canada and Colombia. Also from all kinds of schools, public and private. Up to 170 developers were participating for the $10K USD grand prize.


The hackathon had excellent vibes. We had a lot of mentoring and support for many teams and team’s ideas were spectacular. Also I could use my little experience with Unity and VR to help out a team that was building VR experiences for kids rehabilitation for people with low income. That team won two categories, Social Inclusion and Disney Excellence Award.

Noel and I also helped with IoT stuff. As you may know (or not), Noel has been a big ESP8266 WiFi module fan for a long time and the hackathon was a good place for advocating that module. I was pleasantly surprised to see teams using the Photon WiFi module for prototyping IoT; our team already had hands on it, and it’s worth a complete post, stay tuned.

This is my first time voting for a winner in a competition, and I have to say it, it’s pretty hard. Noel and I had a hard time deciding the winner for AT&T Excellence Award, but we think we choose correctly based on all arguments.


It was such a great experience participating on the other side of the competition as a mentor and judge, but I couldn’t resist my desire to code 🙂


For more on the event, check out this video made by the Oracle Apps UX Innovation Labs team:

Editor’s note: For more on the BIAC Connected Communities, Connected Lives hackathon, check out the Forbes piece and Laurie’s (@lsptahoepost.

One comment

  1. @Osvaldo: súper interesante, un hackathon de verdad! Me parece muy bien que Oracle apoyó este evento. Tuviste la oportunidad de ver otros eventos en la conferencia o solo te enfocaste en el hackathon? Uuuy, qué malo es mi español ahora! I bet it was a fun change to be a judge instead of a competitor!

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