HackAdTech’23 Overview: Impressions on Another Successful Open Hackathon
Veni, vidi, vici! Like Julius Cesar once said - I came, I saw, I conquered! And that’s how it was. At least when it comes to the winners of HackAdTech’23. We had seven teams who won over the arena of IT experts and went home with prizes and glory.
We are still trembling from the excitement the biggest IT event in Cyprus brought upon us, and trying to tame the adrenaline rush we at AdTech continue to feel, days after the event ended.
It was extremely inspiring seeing all the hard work our teams invested in making sure Hackathon lives up to its reputation, but also witnessing the commitment and innovation people who participated were ready to give to its community, without any reservation.
Let’s take a closer look at how it all went, and what some of the organizers, mentors, and jury members had to say about HackAdTeck’23.
About Hackathon and behind-the-scenes organization
Believing the synergy of technology and teamwork is the fertile ground for meaningful and efficient projects to grow, AdTech Holding made sure the open Hackathon in Limassol takes its place for the second year in a row.
The company had an idea to provide IT gladiators with an opportunity to develop and execute their own technical solutions, and then present them to industry experts and compete for the prestige title of Hackathon winners, but also two generous prizes of €10.000.
To make it all run smoothly, there were months of brainstorming, planning, testing, and coordinating within internal and external event teams. We left no room for mistakes.
“The amount of work required was significant, but we wanted to guarantee a seamless experience. The experience that the team had gained since last year was very handy, and we sure leveled up the game this time around”,said AdTech Holding event manager Zoi Dima.
The event took place at the ParkLane Hotel in Limassol, in the edifice’s luxury ballroom, where everything was organized to fulfill the demands of a welcome ceremony, but more importantly coding session and the project presentation part of the contest that followed.
This year, we had 18 teams from different countries, including Germany, the UK, and Serbia, and we set two challenges in front of them:
#1 IT Solutions to Improve Life in Cyprus
#2 Internet Advertising Innovation
“This year’s HackAdTech exceeded all expectations! 18 teams gathered, 11 teams were presented with the challenge – The development of life in Cyprus, and seven with the challenge based on innovations in the field of Internet advertising. In total, more than 100 applications with ideas were registered for the Hackathon. Which is amazing! It was nice to see such a large number of really cool ideas and people with burning eyes and a desire to realize them!”
HackAdTech’23: 2-day nonstop hard work
After the official part was over and the stage lights went off, the time to play started. And you could feel the excitement among competitors almost instantly.
According to Sergey Kozlov, Head of R&A at AdTech Holding, one of the Hackathon mentors, the atmosphere was great, you could even see friendships being developed among teams, which speaks highly of the industry and people we are proud to be part of.
All the teams came well-prepared and with a winning mindset. They worked hard for two days and an entire night in order to finalize their projects and prepare for the demonstration.
“Like with every Hackathon – it was in waves: for some time, total silence, all teams fully focused on the work. Then the next wave would come, and you could see them trying to get relaxed a bit – teams would discuss their projects, draw some diagrams, etc. But on the second day, just before the Demofest, there was this nerve-wracking atmosphere. At moments you yourself start feeling it, like you are the participant and you’ll need to demonstrate your project.”
There was one funny story Mikhail shared with us:
“One of the teams had 2 backend developers and only one frontend developer. And on the second day, when I saw the team, this frontend developer said: “I worked here the whole night, made about 30 screens of our app. And what do you think about the backend? They have 100% test coverage!”. This was really funny, because tests on MVP for Hackathon projects – it’s a really rare situation 🙂 And for me, as Head of QA, it’s cool that developers in such situations don’t forget about tests. But it was a surprise for me when I heard it.”
As for their mentorship, it was more about helping the teams with suggestions on the business side, on what they should implement and how, and how their idea can evolve, but less about technical details and coding.
“Some teams didn’t want our input, and that’s fine; we didn’t want to be intrusive and pushy. But one of my teams won in one category, and I gave them a great amount of advice on how to present. I’m not sure how much I was helpful really, but I like to believe I did contribute to their success. And looking at statistics, the more you talk with mentors, the better results you have”,Sergey explained.
We had many returners, people who participated in the previous Hackathon. Some of last year’s winners actually came back for Round 2, which speaks loudly of the quality HackAdTeck and the organization behind it stands for. But there was also a great number of new faces we were so pleased to see, proving a good word travels fast, and assuring us that HackAdTech is building quite a reputation.
Demofest: Time to present what was achieved
When the clock ticked down, it was time for a project demonstration. Each team had 5 minutes to present their projects, and it was very amusing to hear how they came up with an idea in the first place, how they approached its realization, and how it can contribute to either the Cyprus community or the advertising industry.
And the teams were well-prepared for it. There were no technical glitches of any kind despite the complexity of some requests from teams, which is to thank the organizers of the event.
However, it was a real challenge for the judges to choose the winners among the other teams.
Konstantin Kuznetsov, the jury member, explained:
“We had a heated discussion, we analyzed the potential of each idea and its applicability, looked at the prototype created, discussed the technical component and how the project was presented. It was not an easy task. But the choice was made, and the prizes went to the winners!”
Aside from Konstantin, the jury consisted of Felix Vladimirsky, Quadcode Business Owner, Elena Georgiou Strouthos, Co-Founder & CTO at Cocoon Creations, Marios Giorgoudis, General manager at TechIsland, Maria Terzi, Co-Founder and CEO at Malloc, and Panis Pieri, Founder of Panis.News.
Hackathon supporters: We owe them a thank you
“At AdTech Holding, we never replicate approaches across projects – we prioritize innovation in anything we do. This year’s HackAdTech wasn’t just about refreshed designs, ads, PR, or social media strategies. Partnerships were the key, and here I want to highlight their importance for any project success”,Maria Yashina, Head of MarComms and Production In-House Agency at AdTech Holding
This year, we expanded our Jury committee, inviting more external experts from diverse IT sectors. Which ensured a more comprehensive evaluation of participants’ projects from multiple angles.
And for the first time, we welcomed sponsors. We extend gratitude to our Gold Sponsor – Quadcode, and Silver Sponsor – Leaseweb, for their belief in HackAdTech’s success. It’s only fair to say we fully proved them right.
“Expanding our collaboration brings greater benefits for everyone involved and helps us extend beyond our local IT community. To me, it sets the stage for an even more impressive HackAdTech in 2024”,Maria Yashina concluded.
A special thank you goes to IAB Europe and the Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation, and Digital Policy of Cyprus, who participated in the Hackathon opening ceremony. It was truly an honor.
Arnis Augstmanis, Chief Marketing Officer at AdTech Holding, looking back on this event wanted to express his gratitude to all of our supporters:
“I’m sincerely grateful to our valuable sponsors – Quadcode and Leaseweb, and to our supporters – Deputy Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy, and TechIsland. But also to all our partners for their invaluable support and contribution to the successful organization of our Hackathon. Their support played a key role in creating this inspiring and innovative event that brought together talented developers, entrepreneurs, and thinkers. We are proud to work hand in hand with such outstanding organizations to jointly foster the advancement of innovation in Cyprus.”
Finally, we collaborated with many Cyprus media whom we owe a thank you for covering the Hackathon topic:
- SigmaLive: A major Cyprus media platform covering local, political, economic, and sports news from Cyprus and around the world.
- FFWD (FastForward): An English-language online portal reshaping how Cyprus consumes tech, finance, business, and policy news. Beyond daily updates, FFWD provides thoughtful pieces contributing to social conversations.
- CyprusMail: Established in 1945, it’s an English-language daily newspaper in Cyprus.
- MixFM: The Island’s top Hit Music Station, broadcasting in both English and Greek.
- Russian Radio Cyprus: The only multinational radio station on the island, delivering news and the best Russian hits.
- Vestnik Kipra: The first Cypriot newspaper in Russian since 1995, offering quarterly digests and daily news.
- Financial Markets Media: A media agency specializing in financial markets.
- Cyprus Butterfly: A Russian-language information resource in Cyprus, ranked among the top 100 Cypriot sites.
- GDCy: A robust community of 2000+ game developers hosting events on IT Island – Cyprus.
Winners of HackAdTech’23: Well done, guys!
And finally, let us present to you our winners of HackAdTech’23. We had talented developers, designers, content creators, analysts, and other professionals as participants.
Challenge 1: How can we improve life in Cyprus?
- 1st Place: SpendWize team developed the shopping list app where products and prices are recorded, so that buyers can choose cost-effective offers
- 2nd Place: The Quadcode team successfully delivered an app to simplify the school admission process
- 3rd Place: TrashPalm team rolled out an app to fight the garbage issue in Cyprus
Challenge 2: How can we improve the AdTech industry?
- 1st Place: IndigoOwl team created an AI-based social media monitor for market research and user profiling
- 2nd Place: The Vasilkoff team created a chatbot for social media advertising and cost optimization
- 3rd Place: The POI team stands behind the blockchain-based payment solution for social media influencers and marketing agencies
But there were two more prizes we delivered this year, based on what the Hackathon audience and our sponsors had to say. And the fun fact is – they both went to the same team:
People’s Choice and the City Friends Club award were won by AdVantage, who created an app for missing and found pets.
We congratulate all the winners, this was tremendous work!
To conclude the Hackathon subject, we will leave it up to our team to share their final impressions:
“Such a great event. The preparations that took months turned into a successful 2-day Hackathon full of action, intense moments – especially during the overnight coding sessions, and joy from all the participants. They seemed very happy to be part of this event. Lots of work paid off with those happy moments at the awards ceremony and the feedback we received from the participants and partners”– Zoi Dima
“The whole experience was very positive – really cool teams, interesting projects, good vibe of Hackathon. But not only regarding the competition itself, it was more about communication, making friends, and working with colleagues. I’m glad that I was here and could help teams with their work”– Mikhail Sidelnikov
“I was a bit worried when we started thinking about whether or not we should organize another Hackathon. Given its success last year, I wasn’t sure if we could match it. But now I’m positive that we made the right decision. Last year we were alone in it, but this time we got a great amount of support and the growth in the organizational part is undeniable”– Sergey Kozlov
“I myself personally got a lot of positive emotions and am looking forward to next year’s Hackathon! Come, we’ll be waiting for you!”– Konstantin Kuznetsov