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Vyond at HackUST: Helping hackathon teams build award-winning projects

Here at Vyond, we believe everyone has great ideas. That’s why we’re always trying to help individuals communicate their thoughts with our product.

Recently, our team was able to help programmers share their ideas at the HackUST hackathon in Hong Kong.

Hosted at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, this competition is a major event. In 2019, there were over 500 hackers present and more than $1 million worth of prizes and sponsorships at HackUST.

To compete, teams are asked to build digital solutions for social challenges. Projects from this year included a mobile restaurant game that customers can play as they dine and an automatic food vending machine.

At the invitation of the university, several Vyond team members—Billy Chung, Rebecca Cheng, and Allen Wai—attended HackUST as mentors and panel judges.

Billy (second from right) with organizers and panel judges.

Billy is a general manager at Vyond. Along with serving as a mentor and judge, he led a session at the hackathon about the power of video storytelling. We caught up with him to learn more about what the event was like and how Vyond was involved.

Tell us a bit more about the HackUST hackathon.

B: *HackUST is a 24-hour hackathon at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the most prestigious universities in Hong Kong. Participants are asked to build a winning solution or application that solves a social problem. The competition is held annually every April and is open to all university students and alumni around the world. Every year, it attracts hundreds of applicants who compete for cash prizes, as well as internship opportunities at prominent organizations.

Which Vyond team members were involved in the hackathon, and how were they involved?

B: Allen Wai, a member of our engineering team, attended as a mentor. He guided participants on how to use the latest technologies to make their solutions run better and faster. Rebecca Cheng, a member of our product team, attended as a judge. I participated as a mentor, judge, and presenter. I conducted a session with participants on the power of video storytelling and explained how to turn ideas into impactful messages.

What challenge were the teams at HackUST given?

B: The teams were instructed to create an innovative solution that could help the Jardine Restaurant Group run more efficiently while being mindful of the environment and society. Jardine is one of the leading restaurant groups in Asia. It operates the Pizza Hut and KFC franchise in Hong Kong and has over 740 outlets and more than 23,500 employees. Many creative solutions were presented, including environmentally friendly ways to fry a chicken and cook a pizza.

How did the teams that Vyond mentored perform at the hackathon?

B: We mentored many teams, and we were happy to see that several performed very well. One team even ranked as the second runner-up and received a $5,000 prize.

Did any of the teams use Vyond as a part of their project?

B: Yes, a few of the teams we mentored used Vyond to present their project on stage. I gave a session on video storytelling earlier in the hackathon to help the teams prepare for explaining their ideas at the end of the competition.

What was the most rewarding part of Vyond being involved in the hackathon? And Why?

B: It was incredibly rewarding to connect with so many innovative minds and brainstorm ways to improve our world with technology. The fact that the competition had real-world implications—a few of the winning solutions will be adopted by Pizza Hut and KFC of Hong Kong—made participating in the event especially exciting.

Enabling everyone to share their ideas

The main way the Vyond team helps people communicate is with our user-friendly video creation tool. But as the HackUST hackathon shows, community events are another opportunity for our company to help people bring their concepts to life.

Billy, Rebecca, and Allen not only assisted teams with building digital solutions as mentors—as judges they also delivered feedback that will help participants create even stronger projects in the future. Given how rewarding HackUST was, the Vyond team is eager to participate in next year’s hackathon and future collaborative events.

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