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Guam Hackathons

Guam Hackathons – Mobile Prototyping

Guam Hackathons – Disrupt Guam

A few weeks ago you might remember I was avidly promoting Disrupt Guam. The 2nd ever Hackathon Event on Island. The theme for this event was quick mobile prototyping and I’m excited to say it was a success but more importantly a whole lot of fun. 

So here’s a little media for everyone just so that you are aware of the events leading up to this day.

Disrupt Guam PDF Overview 

Disrupt Guam Triton’s Call

Disrupt Guam PDF Overview 


Event day began with a short meet and greet, followed by a creative team building exercise which led into a 3 part process. Instructions for each leg of the Hackathon were included on a private website page. Throughout the day teams were politely notified of the time and what steps they should currently be completing.

In my opinion, Hackathon participants while working in a facilitated environment should feel less managed and more organic. They impose personal responsibility over their performance in the exercise. Our job as hackathon facilitators is simply to provided a safe and structured place for participants to create and collaborate quickly.

During this particular event entitled: DISRUPT GUAM participants were required to create a full on mobile prototype of their app that solved or disrupted a local problem or opportunity. Keep in mind that this event is not your traditional Hackathon. In this case they were allotted only 8 hours to build their concepts from the ground up.

In between the work and grub we also had an opportunity to hear from speakers advocating entrepreneurship, passion, and social media marketing. These speaker’s include

Rachael Esteves from PlayHouse Studious 

Rocko Banque Narvios of Do Better City 

Ileane Smith from IleanSmith.com and BasicBlogTips.com 

The Hackathon itself consisted of 3 Primary Stages

  • Ideation
  • Revenue Innovation
  • Quick Mobile Prototyping

In another post I’ll be sure to share the Hackathon schedule and details of each stage so that you can also host a hackathon of your own. 🙂 

The Three Prototypes that emerged focused on

  • Local feeds
  • Fundraising
  • Real Estate

In this case I will not describe the actual prototypes that were created as I want to encourage participants to understand that these tech events on Guam are a safe space for them to create. Needless to say it was a pretty impressive experience.

Why Guam Needs More Hackathons

The purpose of these Hackathons are not necessarily to teach technology.  Realistically, anyone with a code school subscription or Free Code Camp account can learn to code. Instead the purpose is to empower the community to use technology as a tool to create opportunities and solve problems. Guam needs more Hackathons because

  • We need better solutions to our current challenges
  • We need commerce to thrive and prosper

During my conversations with CEOs, Founders, and Upstarts I’ve learned success was constantly derived from a personal desire to solve a problem or create a vision. So much of what drives us to create and solve our challenges also begins with feeling empowered to do so.

It’s a hurdle one overcomes or an achievement you never aspired to before but once achieved you begin to realise the existence of quantum possibilities.

Our Culture and It’s Rich Innovative History

Guam is not unfamiliar with a culture of innovation and problem solving. Our rich history in sea-faring, carving, weaving, and story-telling illustrates our human desire to innovative and create.

Sailing is no name for it – flying is better. — R. M. Munroe, “A Flying Proa”, The Rudder, June 1898

An account of Magellan’s first arrival to Guam states that when he arrived on Guam he was greeted by hundreds of proas that appeared to be flying out of the water. Leading him to call the island  Guam Islas de las Velas Latinas (Islands of the Latin Sails). The proa is known as one of the fastest sea-faring vessels of the 20th century. Today the proa is still the basis of some modern day speed boat vessels.

The point is our culture is no stranger to technology and innovation. From some of the first versions of technology like patterning or weaving to simple utilities like the Katupat and Talaya. We have a rich history of taking what we are given and creating amazing uses for it.

In many ways, the basis of a Hackathon is a call to return to our traditional mindset as creators and those responsible for the welfare of our community. It’s simply a modern day twist on ideas we are all very familiar with.

Of course, this event would not have been possible without our many supporters including Bank of Hawaii, Guam’s SBDC, UOG’s SBPA, Docomo Pacific, Papa John’s Guam, Pika’s Cafe, MidPac, Guam Bakery, and Guam Makerspace.

A special thanks to all those who support our mission and vision! Looking forward to more opportunities to serve and grow our community in the future.

About The Author Andrea Naomi I’m fascinated by Startups so I’m helping build one. This blog is a composition of the thoughts and things I find interesting and useful. It’s also a brain dump and a book shelf.
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