Leading developers, engineers and technology designers are being sought to take part in a travel hakathon in the sky which is being supported by BA and Heathrow.
The concept is the brainchild of young entrepreneur and tech engineer Kosta Kolev who has established Hack Horizon to showcase the work of start-ups in travel.
Hack Horizon seeks to promote travel tech innovation in the APAC region and organises events in London and Hong Kong. It has previously run hackathons on a bus and a train.
“We thought the obvious next thing to do was to run a hackathon on a plane,” said Kolev. “They are the best way to get people together and to work collaboratively.”
As well as securing support from BA and Heathrow, Hack Horizon is being supported by Hong Kong International Airport, aviation technology specialist Sita and Transport for London and its Hong Kong equivalent MTR.
BA is providing seats on a flight between Hong Kong and London on May 6 for the four-day Hakathon and the event will culminate in London at a ceremony at London’s Transport Museum at which entrants will pitch to a panel of industry judges.
Hack Horizon is looking to whittle down entries to 32 for the hakathon following the initial entry period closing at the end of next week.
Organisers are also hoping to seal further partnerships with travel industry backers who have technology platforms hakathon entrants can develop on.
Kolev added: “We will give entrants three days and one flight from Hong Kong to London to build new products that can make travel simpler, safer, cheaper and way more fun.
“Unlike other hackathons, Hack Horizon will completely immerse participants in the travel experience and give them access to real life customers to test their assumptions right off the bat.
“They will also be granted special access to some of the best travel technologies and APIs out there as well as have the support and mentorship of leading industry experts.”
The overall winning developer will receive BA flights and support for their business.
Applicants are being asked to submit a short form before 250 are requested to make a 60 second video from which 100 will go on to an interview stage before the final 32 are chosen.
Kolev said judges will be looking for people with the right skills and mindset and also a passion for travel. He said they do not necessarily have to have a fully formed idea or concept.
“We want to take bright people who have not necessarily got travel experience but who have valuable skills they can bring to the travel industry,” said Kolev.
Travolution and parent Travel Weekly Group are media partners for Hack Horizon and will be following development throughout the event.