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Interview with the winning team of Porto Hackathon

A few days ago, we introduced you to Porto Hackathon – a new event where Porto based university students immersed for two weeks on code and put a complete application from the ground up. The first edition of Porto Hackathon ended last Friday and we just did an interview with the winning team (Samuel Pinto, Sergio Cruz and Luis Figueira) who created a dining management app.

EU-Startups.com: Please introduce yourself (name, university…).

Winning team: We all come from different universities … Samuel Pinto and Sergio Cruz studied together throughout high school but followed different paths afterwards. Sergio Cruz continued his studies at ISPGAYA to complete the Engineering Course. Today he is taking a medical informatics master’s degree at the Medical School of Porto’s University.
Samuel Pinto after high school followed his technical course in management of computer systems. With the intent to change his life, he decided to go back to school, now he is in the final year of engineering degree in computer science in ISEP. The experience with the development area has created him the desire to become a software developer. Luis Figueira is concluding his degree in Computer Science at Portucalense IDH University. He’s missing one subject and he’s already looking for an internship to complete the degree.

EU-Startups.com: How did you learn about Porto Hackathon and what made you want to participate?

Winning team: Concerning Samuel, this event was discovered through an email from ISEP. What motivated him to participate in this event was the desire for knowledge, the will to do better, to earn experience, to meet new people and opportunities of business. Luis Figueira learned about it by an email from UPT (Portucalense University) and immediately saw the Hackathon project as an opportunity to practice all the theoretical knowledge he gained during his studies. And to do so with new people, new ways of working, programming, thinking which represents an exciting challenge for him. (editor’s note: Below you’ll see a an app-screenshot and a picture of the winning team – together with Reinaldo Ferreira).


EU-Startups.com: On what kind of an application have you been working on during the Hackathon?

Winning team: We’ve been working on a dining management application which allows us to control the state and times of items to be served to customers, thereby facilitating the preparation in order and accurate in time. Therefore the client receives their orders in a sequence without delays between the dishes ordered. This is possible due to an alert system which makes it possible for employees to communicate between delivery places and consumption places. The employee that is in contact with the customer receives an order and sends it to the system and then it calculates the time between the consumption and manufacture and sets a “time line” in a delivery place (kitchen, bar, grill…). The employee in delivery place gets access to a number of dishes to prepare, separated in time blocks depending on the nature of the item. When the item is ready the employee clicks in ready button, the system notifies the other employee that is in contact with costumers to deliver the item to a specific table. This way the client will never receive the food after someone who asked later.

EU-Startups.com: Are you guys planning to launch a startup or work for a startup in the future (maybe inspired by the recently created app)?

Winning team: This experience was very motivating since we noticed that in just two weeks we can give life to a prototype that has space in the market. A startup can be an attractive starting point and this opportunity provided by Porto’s Hackathon is something we shouldn’ throw away.

EU-Startups.com: How was your overall experience of this first edition of Porto Hackathon and would you recommend it to other studends/programmers?

Winning team: This experience was very tiring, some of us are already back to work and the school is almost starting. We participated in Hackthon during the summer holidays, sometimes the sun, heat and a cold drink in the shade of an esplanade call for us, but the challenge was up and we fought with all available weapons to complete it. Nevertheless we would highly recommend our fellow programmers and colleagues because it is without a doubt a learning opportunity with immediate benefits.

EU-Startups.com: What is your experience with Porto as a location to study and to eventually start a company?

Winning team: Unfortunately these days in Europe, with all the work, studies and efforts to pay the bills, the entrepreneurial spirit gets a little sideways. But in conversations with teachers and during all sorts of conferences, we notice that Porto has everything to succeed in this technological area. We know that many solutions already exist, but it’s our belief that we can do better. Of course, when this academic rhythm slows down, a startup company would be an option with a pretty big weight in our decisions.

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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).


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