“Phenomenal” tech showcase praised

Back row from left to right: Mary Harmon (Bizfitech); Neil O’Conner (Oakbrook); Kevin Smith (Liberis); Olly Betts (Bizfitech); Stuart Bennett (Bizfitech); Jordan Anderson (Oakbrook); Jessica White (Oakbrook); Lee Blundell (Liberis); Luke Cowley (Bizfitech). Front row from left: Andrew Seward, of Hack24 organisers Tech Nottingham; Mark Onyett, of Blenheim Chalcot; Emma Seward, of Tech Nottingham.

A tech takeover of Nottingham’s most iconic building has been hailed as a “phenomenal” showcase for the city’s growing reputation as a centre for technology business and talent.

Hack24 saw teams from city technology companies come together in a competition aimed at finding solutions to a series of coding challenges.

Now in its second year, the event has grown so much that it moved into The Council House, where around 30 teams of software engineers, programmers and tech creatives spent 24 hours trying to code their way to a series of prizes.

Supported by Nottingham City Council, the event was sponsored by a number of technology companies, among them Blenheim Chalcot, the investment business behind Accelerate Nottingham – a new hub for growing technology firms on Wollaton Street.

Two of its own businesses hacked their way into a winning position, with a team from Liberis winning the challenge set by headline sponsor Cronofy, while the challenge set by PackedPixels was won by a team from BizFitech.

Mitul Sudra, BizFiTech’s chief technology officer, said Hack24 had been a “phenomenal” showcase for Nottingham’s status as a tech centre of national significance: “We were thrilled with the success our own teams enjoyed, but this wasn’t just about competition,” he said. “It was just fantastic to see the tech community come together in such an iconic location and put on a phenomenal demonstration of what technology and creativity can achieve in such a short space of time.

“It was also a great way for Blenheim Chalcot to build its brand, and it gave our teams some really refreshing challenges – day to day, BizFiTech builds financial technologies but at Hack24 our team chose to build their own game.

“The standard of the hacks teams came up with was amazing, and you have to pay tribute to the organisers, Tech Nottingham, because they did a fabulous job and the event now looks like it’s established at The Council House.”

Emma Seward of Tech Nottingham said: “This year’s Hack24 was a huge success and the ideas and innovations coming from our attendees was amazing. It speaks volumes for the city to have our tech community, our city council and our most innovative companies come together and make an exceptional event like Hack24 a reality. It shows what a bright future we have in Nottingham’s tech industry.”

Nottingham City Council also gave its backing to the event, with portfolio holder for jobs and growth Councillor Nick McDonald watching the action. He said: “This was a fantastic event and it was great to see a room full of talented people coming up with innovative technology solutions in the space of only 24 hours.

“It was impressive, too, to see so many technology companies come together to support a common cause, which is the nurturing of talent which drives a key sector of the city economy. It’s a cause we support because we want to see more career opportunities in knowledge industries which are all about the future.”

Besides Blenheim Chalcot, Hack24’s sponsors also included Cronofy, esendex, artificialminds, MHR, PackedPixels and Pusher.