AngelList's Week-Long Hackathon Gives A Glimpse Of What's Next For The Company
AngelList, the community for startup founders and the investors who love them (and who want to show their love with hugs made of money), just had me over to their headquarters to witness the tail end of a week-long battle. For the past seven days, the company's engineers have been duking it out in an intracompany hackathon, armed only with their wits and their best AngelList-related ideas.
Beyond the glory of taking the belt, the winner also walked away with their pick from a bevy of prizes, like $10,000 cash, a one week paid vacation, the right to be in "Hackathon mode" (read: build-whatever-you-want mode) for months on end, or complete say-so over what the company's next all-team outing would be. Each entry was pretty stellar, and in many cases offered a glimpse of what's ahead for AngelList.
The Hackathon's winner was selected by a wonderfully varied but all totally top-notch audience of industry peers, including Peter Pham, Josh Hannah (Matrix Partners), Richard Chen (Investor), Lukas Biewald (CrowdFlower), and Deena Varshavskaya (Wanelo). I got to help pick the winner, too, but those other people are all way cooler than me.
And the projects demoed today were….
- Paths In Gmail: Ties AngelList into Gmail, showing all of the correlating connections (or "Paths") you have with the sender of an e-mail. It's built upon Rapportive for the sake of making distribution fairly simple.
- Press: Adds a "Press" tab to every company's AngelList profile, allowing them to highlight coverage their company has received. This went live on the site earlier this week.
- Incubator Applier: : AngelList has over 100 incubator programs as members. The Incubator Applier lets companies apply to these programs directly through AngelList. The incubators choose their own application questions and criteria, and AngelList moves to highlight certain applicants based on pre-established connections that might otherwise go unnoticed.
- People Search: Lets you find designers, lawyers, advisors and other types of non-founder people on AngelList based on the question "I want to find [type of worker] near [city]". Lets you save profiles of those you're interested in hiring (read: poaching), or hide those you know aren't good fits.
- Startup Queue: Automatically builds a massive list of startups you might be interested in taking a look at, sorting them based on connection quality, whether or not you've already seen it, etc.
- Tools: Think LaunchRock + Analytics. It lets you build a "Coming Soon" sign-up page from your AngelList company profile and then gives you a detailed breakdown (location, number of investors/journalists/etc who have signed up, etc.) on who's on the wait list. It could also let potential investors see how many users have hopped on board.
- Startup Finder: Essentially a much more advanced search. Lets you limit your search to companies based on market, location, whether or not they're raising or hiring, the school the founders graduated from, etc.
- Paths In Finder: Ranks search results based on the number and quality of the connections you have to each result.
- Posts: Overhauls AngelList's posting functionality, allowing companies a status update feature more akin to what they're used to on other sites. People and companies can be mentioned via @, there's no character limit to an update, and thread participants can reply to threads by replying directly to the accompanying email alert. Anyone can see your comments, but only those you follow and those that are one connection away from you can reply.
- Jobs/Talent for iPad: An iPad port of AngelList's Jobs page, allowing job hunters to peruse potential employers by swiping through profiles and marking those they're interested in. Alas, this project wasn't finished in time for a full demonstration.
It was a tie! After a good bit of deliberation, the judges settled on two winners: "Tools," the beta sign-up/analytics tool, and "Paths in Search," which lets you sort search results based on your connections to each company or person. As for which prizes the winners picked (and how they're splitting it, for that matter), that one's still up in the air.
You can check out demoes of most of the hacks (eight of them are live at this point) right here.