Rakuten RapidAPI @ SWSG Mega Hackathon
I’m pleased to announce that Rakuten RapidAPI has been invited by Startup Weekend Singapore (SWSG) to provide our API Marketplace platform to participants for the Mega-Hackathon event from September 28 – 30. We couldn’t be more honored by the invitation since the Singapore event is THE flagship event for Asia Pacific region with 300+ participants expected this year.
Our mission at Rakuten RapidAPI has always been:
“To empower Developers to build transformative applications using the power of APIs. We do this by creating a platform for our users to Find, Test, Connect, and Manage all the APIs they need in one place”
We think a hackathon is the perfect setting to do this.
Why we love doing hackathons
SWSG is the very first time Rakuten RapidAPI will be used in a hackathon setting. We have other activities planned for 2018 so stay tuned. Hackathons provide an experimental, intense, competitive, and time-limited environment which allows participants to buck conventional thinking. They’ll be challenged to innovate to build new services and offerings.
We saw a key role for APIs in achieving this in 2 ways:
- Provide commodity off-the-shelf services so participants wouldn’t have to do it themselves.
- Innovate with advanced functionality without needing all the technical expertise.
Here are a couple of examples. Let’s say you need to send a secret code by SMS for 2FA to authenticate a user, you could do this in seconds with Telesign’s Verify API. (Challenge: Tweet @Jed_Ng1 and I’ll fire one your way).
On the other hand, if you needed to programmatically capture metadata or describe a picture, you don’t have to be a machine vision expert. Microsoft’s Computer Vision API can help you.
About Techstars StartupWeekend
StartupWeekend was founded in 2007 in Boulder, Colorado and has since grown into a global grassroots phenomenon. It’s hackathons are held in a standard 54-hour format. Since its founding, 23k teams have been formed in 150 countries. Community activities are held throughout the team in over 1000 cities globally.
Since 2014, Startup Weekend Singapore has been running annually. From 30 participants in its first event, it has grown 10x in just 3 years. During the 54-hour event, hustlers, designers, developers and startup enthusiasts come together from all walks of life to turn ideas from concept into reality. The Singapore event is notable for both bringing together the entire startup ecosystem in Singapore, from accomplished entrepreneurs, to some of the biggest venture capitalists, corporate chiefs and heads of government agencies. Its is also one of the largest Startup Weekends and features one the highest ratio of technical participants across Asia . This year’s event will host 300 participants and feature the highest ratio of Developers in business hackathons.
This year’s theme:
Open Innovation with a focus on ideas and solutions that bring about a positive impact on people and society.
We couldn’t be more proud to enable this ambition.
Why a partnership made sense for SWSG
I reached out to SWSG organizers Raymond Doraisamy, Joyce Tay, and Durwin Ho just a few weeks ago on a hypothesis that Rakuten RapidAPI could add value in a hackathon setting. We reached a common vision quickly. Their reasons for inviting us were:
- Providing useful tools and resources to support the Startup Weekend participants is an utmost priority for the organisers.
- APIs would provide participants with another dimension of prototyping capabilities.
- The wide range of APIs available on Rakuten RapidAPI will be a great value-add to the participants.
Here’s what the SWSG leadership had to say about us:
“We’re excited to have Rakuten RapidAPI come onboard and join us at Startup Weekend Singapore this year. We strive to work with partners that can bring great value and experience to our participants and Rakuten RapidAPI fits that profile. Through our interactions with Jed and his team, it’s great to know we share the common goal of empowering the tech community.”
– Durwin Ho, Director, Startup Weekend Singapore
Perks for hackathon participants
A large event like this attracts a lot of sponsorship and attention. T-shirts, stickers, and other swag is fun and cool but we wanted to differentiate.
We wanted to deliver real value AND celebrate the builders that create things that contribute to society and so, spent a lot of time thinking about how we could achieve this. Here’s what we came up with:
- API credits: In order to make our APIs more accessible, we’re providing up to $100 credits per team so participants can use any APIs off our platform.
- Mentors: 3 team members including myself will be there to help coach teams and provide technical help on finding and using APIs.
- Get famous: We’ll showcase top teams and applications built during the event on our own blog as part of our series and social media channels. Check out this article http://bit.ly/2oBt6s9.
See you in Singapore!
Feel free to reach out to me personally on Twitter @Jed_Ng1 or follow us on social media channels below. If you’d like to find out more, we’re here for you.
We’ll be in Singapore a few days before the event. We’re looking to meet with local startup groups and developer communities. We’d love to come do a presentation or demo for you or just sit down for a coffee chat. Introductions welcome.