Zipwhip Team Wins Seattle Sports Tech Hackathon

sports tech hackathon

Shortly after being voted one of Washington’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, the Zipwhip team was at it again with a win at the second annual Seattle Sports Tech Hackathon. Sportxts, the winning team that included a few of our employees, developed a real-time sports notification service that utilized Zipwhip’s texting API. The idea is to give sports fans a seamless way to subscribe to text updates of their favorite teams and athletes for breaking news, game updates, stats, weekly leaders, etc.

“I wanted to make a product I could envision myself using,” Mat Sawyer, said. “We did that!”

The hackathon challenged six teams of talented tech enthusiasts to collaborate on a software project that they then presented to a panel of judges. The event was sponsored by the Seattle Sounders FC and hosted at the Galvanize Pioneer Square and The Ninety over this past weekend (June 24-25).

Sportradar, a sports data company that sponsored the event, provided open access to their API for participating teams during the thirty-six hour event. This is the second year for the event, which is intended to inspire sports themed technology integrations. Three Zipwhip employees including, Jordan Kiga, Mat Sawyer, and Jake Grajewski, along with Carter Odem, a UW Tacoma computer science student, and Isaiah Walker, a CodeFellows student, made up the winning team – Sportxts.

“Having had an opportunity to witness Zipwhip’s business texting platform and how it can be applied to produce real time text notifications has been an eye opener to the huge potential of this technology,” said Isaiah Walker.

Read more about Zipwhip’s API

Six teams presented to a panel of three judges including the Seattle Storm’s Alyse LaHue, Grant Farwell of Matcherino, and Anna Gordon of Seattle University.

“Making it really easy for fans to immediately access this information and continue to access it without opening up something else is important,” noted Matcherino CEO, Grant Farwell.

Completed projects ranging from a mobile calendar app intended to help sports fans track game dates and times to a platform for fans to open their homes to other fans to watch games on TV together.

First prize includes a $20,000 API access package and the opportunity to join Sounders FC for the August 12 match (including field access, seats in the McCormick Boardroom Suite, and the opportunity to meet with Sounders CEO Adrian Hanauer).

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