THE BLOG
12/06/2013 09:45 am ET Updated Feb 05, 2014

Big Moves in Hackathon World: Intel Acquires Hacker League

Welcome to the crazy world of hackathons.

The hackathon realm is buzzing with the news of Intel's acquisition of Hacker League, the internet hub of many hackathons. It is a platform that helps organize hackathons, and will be collaborating with Mashery, an A.P.I. management business. A.P.I., short for Application Programming Interface, is basically a way for developers to both send and retrieve data from companies.

What does this mean?

48-hour hackathons have launched many startups, created impractical (but hysterical) and practical apps, and birthed thousands of passionate developers. By collaborating with Mashery, Hacker League will help developers expand their influence and increase their visibility in the tech world. On the flip side, Mashery cliental would also be gaining an active and creative coding community.

So What?

In the software industry, there are two types of people who contribute to software development: those who work for The Man, and those who do so on their own accord. And that's where hackathons come in.

At a hackathon, companies (a.k.a. sponsors) come in with mentors who evangelize their brand. In other words, these mentors give their companies a good rep. The hackers, and future hired developers, will then remember these A.P.I.s used, and use them again for future projects.

This positive feedback cycle then encourages companies to sponsor more hackathons, and, therefore, create more customers of the original company (learn more about this cycle in "The Next Evolution of Social Capital").

With the Mashery and Hacker League power team, companies affiliated with both will enter a bigger, yet more personal networking pool.

Who Are They?

Mike Swift, Abe Stanway and Ian Jennings, Rutgers alum and masterminds of the Hacker League platform, appropriately came up with the idea during a hackathon at HackNY. Since then, their platform has operated over 450 hackathons, and it doesn't look like they are slowing down anytime soon.