Diageo Technology to host drinks industry hackathon

Diageo’s global innovation programme – Diageo Technology Ventures – will be hosting a weekend ‘hackathon’ on November 8-9. 

The world’s leading premium drinks company says the two-day hackathon will bring together up to 60 participants from across the UK and Europe, challenging them to create digital tools that blend into the social flow of people’s lives, enabling them to act in the moment and avoid excessive drinking and drink driving.

Diageo chief marketing officer and hackathon judge, Syl Saller, said: “We can’t overstate the role and value of technology in creating the breakthroughs that will shape the future of our industry. We started Diageo Technology Ventures to experiment and innovate with emerging technologies, and we are bringing the same innovation mind-set to encourage people to drink alcohol responsibly.

“We are passionate about this area, but equally we know that we don’t have all the answers. Gathering the best brains from the technology world and combining them with Diageo’s expertise, is one of the many strands of our strategy to help ensure people drink responsibly. Who knows what that solution will look like, but that’s what the hackathon is for. It’s such an exciting project to be a part of.”

The winners of the hackathon will be decided by a panel of judges including Diageo chief executive officer, Ivan Menezes, Saller, and Nicola Mendelsohn, non-executive director of Diageo and vice president of Facebook EMEA. The winning team from the weekend will be invited to pitch their idea to Diageo Technology Ventures on November 21 for a chance to bring it to life through a $100,000 pilot with Diageo.

The hackathon is held in partnership with Founders Forum, the network of European digital and technology entrepreneurs, and EF, a school for technical entrepreneurs.

Brent Hoberman, co-founder of Founders Forum, Lastminute.com and Made.com, said: “Technology plays an increasingly important role in the choices we make about how we live our lives.  Harnessing the considerable digital talent across Europe to tackle an important societal challenge means we will see great ideas that work in real life, not just on paper.”

To apply to be part of the hackathon please register at http://www.joinef.com/good-night-hack-diageo/. If you cannot attend but have anidea for how to tackle this problem, please submit it on https://www.f6s.com/responsibledrinking2014.

Information around the idea-building and winners of the hackathon will be available on Diageo’s Twitter handle, @Diageo_News, with the hashtag #GoodNightHack.