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Facebook hosts Europe’s First LGBT Hackathon

Facebook’s London headquarters hosted Europe’s first LGBT hackathon over the weekend.

Teams of developers competed to create new applications and web services to improve the lives of LGBT people.

The event was organised by InterTech and backed by Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Dell and Nokia.

Hacks included ‘Hansel in Distress’ a gay themed platform game created in 24 hours

30 developers turned up on Friday evening, and in just 24 hours they built seven products ranging from a geo-location based listings guide to a platform game featuring gay characters.

Making positive change for the LGBT community

A panel of judges including London Assembly Member Tom Copley, Facebook engineer Alice Lieutier, PinkNews and Clarity PR director Benjamin Cohen and Alex Wood, editor of Tech City News, selected two winners from the seven entries.

Owt was the overall winner, with its mission to find a solution to the “non-stop cheesy pop gay bars” and do something different to help the community. The multi-platform app make it easy to find events and groups outside of the gay clubbing scene.

Developed by Daniel Wynne-Powell and Oliver Jones, they told the judges they planed to take the app global in the future.

Watch an introduction to the winning hack

The runner up, Talk-To-Sam, was developed by Yalin Solmaz, Sharif Salah and Michael Corker with support from Brian Fowler and Seng Jea.

The team created a real-time chat solution for LGBT support organisations, allowing them to offer support and counseling to more people at a reduced cost. It works as a Chrome plugin helping vulnerable people to safely connect online to the help they need.

Commenting on the event, Labour AM Tom Copley said:

This event represents two of the outstanding features of London- it represents how tolerant and opening city we are to people regardless of their sexual orientation and it also represents that we are now one of the tech capitals of the world.