Low Cost hosts inaugural hackathon

Low Cost hosts inaugural hackathon

Low Cost’s chief technology officer – Francesco de Marchis

Low Cost Travel Group’s inaugural hackathon saw solutions for group travel, ski holidays, personalisation and weekends away developed.

The Take Off hackathon, which took place in London, was founded by Low Cost Travel Group’s chief technology officer – Francesco de Marchis – in association with Rackspace, Microsoft, DataArt, Intent Media and Amadeus.

There was an overall winner and an incubation prize up for grabs.

Low Cost Weekends, a new web service built by a team entered by DataArt won the £5,000 overall prize.

The web service “responded to the fact that 73% of travel bookings are made within three days of travel”.

In two days DataArt created an app that pulls in information via APIs on weather, excursions along with travel and accommodation details.

David Wright, engagement manager, travel and hospitality at DataArt, said: “In creating Low Cost Weekends, we wanted to inspire someone to book something they don’t know they want yet, and believe the best way to do that was through personalisation.

“Based on last minute booking statistics, we decided to limit search to travel this weekend or next weekend.

“The application was built with React Native and starts with the simple premise of asking who is travelling – a single traveller, a couple, a family, or a group – and if there’s something they’re particularly in the mood for over the weekend.”

A group of computer science graduates called Hard Coded won the Take Off incubator prize of £20,000, which will see Low Cost Travel Group invest and co-develop the team’s group ski holiday app.

The team, all keen skiers, identified ways to improve group ski travel with ski holiday providers bidding for a group’s custom.

The Hard Coded team, from Oxford University, Finland, and King’s College London also collected the Amadeus sponsored prize for Travel Technology.

Two teams from Low Cost Travel Group also scooped prizes, for customer value and finished product.

Pocket Rep, an app developed by the team from Low Cost Travel Group’s UK base, created a red carpet treatment for customers when they are on holiday.

Trip Connector, developed by the Low Cost Travel Group team from Krakow, is a group holiday tool that allows groups to build a holiday around their personal preferences until the group comes to a consensus.

Marchis said: “This hackathon demonstrates Low Cost Travel Group and its partners as leaders in technology.

“The talent and ideas generated here are exceptional and we look forward to working with individuals and organisations that create great customer centric technology solutions.”

Mobile app developers Brightec won the Best Use of Technology Award and the Innovation prize.

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