We’re proud to announce that our superstar engineers, Lizzie and Stu, secured us a third place at the MIPIM hackathon last week with their product SavvySpace. Below you’ll find Stu’s account of 48 hours at the MIPIM Hackathon.
Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to take part in the first-ever hackathon sponsored by MPIPM UK. Run by Future: PropTech the event lasted 48 hours and had a great turnout, with a bunch of talented teams and supported by some incredibly helpful judges and mentors. It was the input from these property experts that really made this hackathon stand out from others I have participated in.
I went down to MIPIM with Lizzie, a fellow HubbleHQ engineer, and we pitched an idea we had about helping people to get the most value out of their space in the ever-growing sharing economy. We recruited a couple of people with insider property knowledge, Jitin and Nicky, and another developer/designer; Aaron. Together we set about creating SavvySpace.
The idea is simple, people want to get the most out of their space, whether it’s excess retail space, a few thousand square feet of office space or an extra-large living room that they don’t use. People have this space, and other people want access to this space. There are a number of marketplaces around that are enabling this sharing economy (HubbleHQ is one of the more exciting, and I’m sure everybody has heard of Airbnb) but there is no simple way to compare the value of your space across different markets.
We set about answering one simple question:
I have an amount of space in a particular postcode, what should I do with it?
Lizzie coded up a backend API that would take a postcode, and using a mix of public and private API’s, unofficial API’s, and good old-fashioned web scraping would calculate the value of 1 square foot of space for a variety of purposes. We could then use this to tell the user how much their space was worth if they were to put it up on Airbnb, rent it out as office space on HubbleHQ or open it up for popup shops using the retail marketplace Appear Here.
Whilst Lizzie was off crawling the internet, Aaron and I designed and built a front-end in ReactJS for capturing the details of the request and for displaying the results. Our two property insiders were talking to mentors and judges about the intricacies of the use-class system and the viability of different business models.
We made it to the top 3 finalists out of 10 teams. I was thrilled but terrified at the same time as it meant I would have to get “mic’ed up” and present SavvySpace on the big stage in front of the judges, the mentors, as well as a number of property experts in the audience. The presentation went well and we spent a few minutes fielding questions.
Placing third meant I got to stand on stage with my first ever giant novelty cheque (which is now sitting proudly behind my desk here at HubbleHQ). It remains to be seen what the future holds for SavvySpace, I think despite the concerns around planning restrictions and the use-class system we have a tool that with a bit of work could be really valuable to people. I would definitely recommend going along to a hackathon for anyone who is interested. Even if you have little to no knowledge of the industry, if they are run as well as the guys from Future: PropTech ran this one, you will come away with more than just tired eyes and a cool little project.