Last year at the Sundance Film Festival, as the rest of the attendees party-hopped and attended screenings, a handful of celebrities cloistered away in the Deer Valley resort. They had a slightly different festival mission in mind: They were there to hack.
Alex Ebert (frontman of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”), Mekhi Phifer (“ER,” “8 Mile”), Waka Flocka Flame (Atlantic Records), Fabien Cousteau (Mission 31), and Sarah Austin (“Start-Ups: Silicon Valley” on Bravo) all came up with ideas for social change apps.
They pitched their concepts to a room of 25 programmers, who split up and decided which team to join. Then on and off for the next 48 hours, the celebrities worked alongside the hackers to build their visions out of thin air. The stars came and went from panels and events they had to attend, returning to check in on their engineering team and prepare presentations for the final demo.
This was Hackdance — the first ever Sundance hackathon. It flew under the radar despite being a star-studded event. The teams and celebrities were there to build products, not make PR statements. (Read the full story on PandoDaily)