We have a winner! It took 48 hours of intense team work, careful initial research beforehand and then some highly impressive team organisation during the weekend itself. The 11 bright minds behind the Message Glasgow – MSGlasgow – system have won the first Future Hacks £20,000 prize fund. Well done to you all: Daniel, Edvin, George, Keir, Maksim, Martin, Maxine, Reinis, Robert, Stefan and, last but by no means least, team-leader Josh.

The final day of our Public Safety themed #hackglasgow event was over in a flash. As we approached the final hours, two teams had merged and one team had decided to withdraw (although the rumour mill tells us that they will be back again at one of the next hackathons). The 11 teams finalised their concepts and any prototypes they have built, and earlier this afternoon they were called in one team at a time to practise their presentations. After some gentle, constructive criticism as feedback, the teams still had a couple more hours to get things right before the grand finale.

Things got going at approximately 6.45pm, with lead organiser Murray Buchanan thanking all the mentors and welcoming our esteemed guest judges. On the judging panel there were:

  • Fiona Godsman, SIE (Scottish Institute for Enterprise)
  • Graeme Arnott, Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Inga Paterson, Glasgow School of Art (Programme Leader for BA Design & Digital Culture)
  • John Sherry, Glasgow City Council
  • Martin Leven, Police Scotland

Then it was time for an overview of how the final presentations would proceed, teams were allowed 2 minutes more for sharing their ideas with 5 minutes to convince the judges that their’s was the winning concept. After that there was time for questions from the judges, so they could better understand the various public safety innovations being presented. Teams were warned against trying to use this question time to pitch some more!

The teams took to the stage and tried to impress the judges. From where I was sitting, the judges did seem impressed with the quality of the ideas from the teams. Many different elements and guises of public safety were considered by our Future Hacks participants. One comment was made about the fact that all the use-cases in the team’s presentations being female – remember that the male population also need represented! A safe environment for one and all: male, female, young and old, local, visitors. We all benefit from public safety.

A massive thank you to all who took part this weekend in the inaugural Future Hacks hackathon. And once again, CONGRATULATIONS to the winners! A photo of the team is posted below. Their innovation is a public service communication platform on a mobile that allows short, concise communications to be made. Public services are able to push messages to people’s phones, and the team started building a standard infrastructure. It is a “personalised, localised Twitter” digital 101 (non-emergency number) for more than just the Police. See their website here and follow them on Twitter.

There is much to look forward to with the further development of this great idea! Here’s to a safer, smarter and more sustainable Glasgow.