The inaugural Super Happy Block Party Hackathon took place in a converted art gallery and a parking garage in downtown Palo Alto, California where venture capitalists, startup companies and hackers (the good kind) got together to pitch ideas, sling code listen to music and partake in delectables from about a half dozen food trucks parked outside.
The event, which was sponsored by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors venture firm, TalentHouse, the City of Palo Alto and Institute for the Future, was designed to inspire “collaboration, inspiration, ideation (and) innovation.” Google and other Silicon Valley companies are also providing support.Incident and Silent Frisco set up a “silent disco” that allows people at the event to wear wireless headphones to listen to an on-site DJ.
The third floor of the City of Palo Alto parking garage was reserved for VCs holding “office hours” with entrepreneurs looking for funding and advice. Start-ups could also get pro-bono public relations advice from some of Edelman’s most seasoned PR pros.
“We are part of the community and we wanted to bring some of the best minds in Palo Alto together,” said Innovation Endeavors managing partner, Dror Berman, “to talk about thing and create new ideas and new relationships.”
Next door in what’s usually an art gallery, “hackers” were slinging code for a variety of commercial and public benefit projects. Some of them, I was told, were trying to “save the Internet” on the day that Anonymous threatened to shut it down with its “Operation Blackout.” These good hackers in Palo Alto must have been successful because, if you’re reading this, the Internet is still working.