• Emily Foucault

Hanging at WestJet’s First Hackathon

This week team ThinkHatch had the pleasure of being part of WestJet’s first-ever hackathon.

Dubbed #hackinthehangar, the event welcomed over 100 members of the tech industry from 16 companies, including major players like Adobe, Deloitte, Facebook, Snap Inc. and Twitter, to the WestJet campus in Calgary.

If you’ve never been to a hackathon, the idea is to bring together teams to build digital solutions in a collaborative and fun environment while working in a sprint-like amount of time. What was unique about WestJet’s first event was the diverse groups of people and functions that were brought together on each team to collaborate and drive solutions in the non-traditional setting of an airplane hangar.

The 120 participants were broken up into 16 teams of 7 – 10 people. On Monday, each team worked from 8:00 AM. until 6:00 PM on their ideas and then presented to a group of industry experts for seven minutes starting at 7:00 PM. Some of the brightest minds in the tech industry teamed with WestJet employees and frequent fliers to build new solutions that will advance WestJet’s position as a leader in the next wave of transformative customer solutions. While the groups had different strategies, the goal was the same – working to bring a new perspective on how technology can drive better customer service for WestJet.

Of course, we can’t tell you what exactly the teams were working on, or the stellar solutions that were presented. That, readers, is top secret! What we can share is that it was fantastic, and, as idea people ourselves and a supporter of startups, we were so proud and lucky to be on the ground for the event.

Thanks to Alfredo Tan, Chief Digital Officer, and WestJet for having ThinkHatch to the #hackinthehangar.

We can’t wait to see these ideas soar and to be back for the next edition and ideation.

(On left) Alexandra Panousis, Niket Shah, Alfredo Tan, Emily Foucault

Do you have an event we might be interested in covering? Reach out to us at info@thinkhatch.ca.