golfnow_logoChallenge 1: GolfNow

Deliver GolfNow to a New Generation of Golfers! 

Golf Channel’s GolfNow brand provides golfers access to great tee time deals at over 6,000 courses worldwide. Your challenge is to make these tee times more visible and directly accessible to the millions of potential golfers who have yet to discover these savings through existing channels. Take advantage of the GolfNow API in concert with new technologies and enhanced social platforms to enable greater personalization, sharing, interactivity and richer ecommerce experiences that open up the game of golf for those who once thought it was out of reach. Go Play!

telemundo_logoChallenge 3: Telemundo

Fast Video

Video storytelling and consumption have changed a lot in the last two years, but the tools to build video stories have not. Recently, stories told through articles or slideshow galleries have evolved into video stories with images/footage and text overlay. In an industry where mobile usage and video consumption are constantly in high demand, we need to be able to crank out more fast-paced video to better serve our audience, while increasing video inventory and revenue opportunities.

Your challenge is to build a proprietary ‘fast video’ tool that would allow us to

  1. Turn existing articles and galleries into videos
  2. Create new video stories quickly and/or
  3. Leverage the wealth of the NBCUniversal library of content (from news feeds to sister networks’ show footage) as well as paid photo/video providers such as Getty Images, as well as images and video posted on social media (by celebrities, for example).

A winning tool would be able to ‘read’ existing articles from a number of sources, create a story line, retrieve related images/videos/music for a story, and provide a simple interface to edit content.

telemundo_logoChallenge 2: Telemundo

Keep Me Updated

Develop an automated process that will allow Telemundo to feed users specific updates on content they might be interested in through platforms like Facebook Messenger, Kik and Telegram.  Taking the kidnapping of the Chapo’s son as an example, if users want to receive updates of that story on their phones, they will receive them until they or Telemundo consider the topic closed. The challenge is to build this for specific topics that might have a short duration instead of using this as another outlet for potential spam that might keep users away. You may want to consider Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Deep Learning etc. to deeply understand the story and/or Users’ interest/attention span.

Challenge 4: NBC News

Creative Viewer Engagement

NBC News Digital wants to increase engagement with its video content on all platforms, particularly mobile and OTT. The challenge is to grow both number of streams and time spent through meaningful and useful product innovations that will delight users and result in regular viewing habits (loyalty).


  1. Increase engagement (grow streams and time spent)
  2. Increase utility (boost user satisfaction and recurring visits)
  3. Improve interaction (increase speed and reduce steps to user goal)
  4. Innovate with monetization (enable frictionless, non-intrusive monetization)


  1. Leverage context (time of day, location, device, mood, user)
  2. Leverage data and insights (personalization, targeting)
  3. Leverage cross-platform integration (mobile / OTT / browser / chat / voice)

golfnow_logoChallenge 1: GolfNow

Deliver GolfNow to a New Generation of Golfers! 

Make tee times more visible and directly accessible to the millions of potential golfers who have not yet discovered GolfNow through existing channels.

Winner: Pop Up Shot 

  • Pop Up Shot aims to increase the number of millennial golfers on courses using Chatbots across various messaging apps to make users aware of sponsored golf skills competitions and matches held at local courses.
  • Through Pop Up Shot, users can learn about specific competitions, invite friends with pins, and ultimately convert by booking competitions.
  • Through awareness, incentivizing and socialization, Pop Up Shot is geared to shift the public perception of golf.

telemundo_logoChallenge 3: Telemundo

Fast Video

Build a proprietary ‘fast video’ tool that would be able to ‘read’ existing articles from a number of sources, create a story line, retrieve related images/videos/music for a story, and provide a simple interface to edit content.

Winner: Can Editor 

  • Can Editor is a tool built for producers and editors to reduce the time to research and edit clips to create a short video.
  • Can Editor uses the IBM Alchemy API to analyze relevant news articles for keywords and the NBC content API to return a sorted list of relevant videos.
  • This list enables editors and producers to preview, select, and specify the clip duration of up to 5 videos to generate a unique video which can be shared via social media.
  • This quick edit tool can allow news editors and producers to quickly create content that feels personal to users given its relevancy.

telemundo_logoChallenge 2: Telemundo

Keep Me Updated

Develop an automated process that will allow Telemundo to feed users specific updates on content they might be interested in through platforms like Facebook, Messenger, Kik and Telegram.

Winner: News Buddy 

  • News Buddy is a Chatbot application that uses Facebook Messenger and the Telemundo API to fetch Spanish news for users.
  • The application is search supported and responds with the latest news it can find on Telemundo.
  • The application includes push notifications on interested topics, breaking news, and events.

Challenge 4: NBC News

Creative Viewer Engagement

Grow both number of streams and time spent through meaningful and useful product innovations that will delight users and result in regular viewing habits.

Winner: Sprout

  • Sprout enables NBC News editors and producers to generate social videos from an initial article seed in a matter of seconds.
  • This composition tool leverages existing NBC News content including images, audio, video, text, and social content, in order to quickly produce a cohesive social video.
  • This tool drastically changes the way editors generate social videos in terms of time and reduced manual labor.
Business Partners
Technology Partners
Altaf Rupani

Altaf Rupani


Chief Technology Officer, NBC News Group & Media Labs


Altaf has served as Chief Technology Officer – NBC News Group at NBCUniversal since June 2013.  He is responsible for leading all technology related to the NBC News Group across broadcast, online, mobile and social platforms. His portfolio includes NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.  He also leads Media Labs, which identifies, develops and implements emerging technologies across the NBCUniversal enterprise. 

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Altaf served in increasingly responsible roles at Dow Jones & Company, most recently as Chief Technology Officer – Product Development where he collaborated with company leadership to align technology vision with business strategy and to implement all aspects of consumer and institutional products, including infrastructure architecture, engineering and global operations. 

Altaf’s previous experience includes roles at Bristol Myers–Squibb and Salomon Smith Barney.

Altaf holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Mumbai.

Nancy Dahlberg

Nancy Dahlberg


Miami Herald Business Writer & Founder of The Starting Gate


Nancy Dahlberg is a Miami Herald business writer and former editor with a passion for startups, technology and what makes entrepreneurs tick. She founded and hosts the Starting Gate blog on, the go-to place for news and views about startups and entrepreneurship in South Florida, as well as helpful resources. 

Since 2009, she has also coordinated the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, an annual contest for entrepreneurs in South Florida, and has grown it from a contest that attracted 58 entries in 2008 to a three-track competition that attracted 248 qualified business plan entries this year. In addition, she launched and hosts an annual Business Plan Bootcamp, a free evening event featuring marquee local investors and startup advisors that attracted 350 people this year, and has produced pitch competitions. She also organizes an annual winners’ luncheon for 60.

Although her passion is writing, Nancy also spent many years as an editor and reporters’ supervisor, including several years as editor of Business Monday, the Miami Herald’s weekly business magazine, and stints as daily business editor.

Nancy has been a journalist for more than 30 years, at the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News and the Orlando Sentinel. Raised in St. Petersburg, Fla., she graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in journalism.

Follow Nancy on Twitter @ndahlberg

Moritz Gimbel

Moritz Gimbel


VP of Product & Design, NBC Digital News Group


Moritz is the VP of Product & Design for the NBC Digital News Group. He oversees product development and UX design for NBCNews, MSNBC, and TODAY across Web, Mobile, OTT and distributed platforms.

With a broad career in both TV and digital, Moritz is passionate about video storytelling and cutting-edge design. Before NBC he held various roles at Bloomberg Media, overseeing broadcast production in London and later digital verticals and video products in New York. Prior to Bloomberg Moritz worked for MTV in London and Berlin.

Moritz is a hands-on leader that enjoys building teams, products and a creative culture. He grew up in Berlin and speaks both English and German.

Moritz holds a Masters of Science in Media & Communication from the London School of Economics and lives in New York with his wife and a little rescue dog. He’s out kitesurfing in Long Island whenever he can.

Alejandro Acebal

Alejandro Acebal


VP of Digital Sales, Telemundo Station Group


Alejandro “Alex” Acebal is the Vice President of Digital Sales for the Telemundo Station Group. He began his career with Telemundo WSCV-51 in 1996 as Research Coordinator, followed by ten years as an Account Executive. After three years as Business Development & Digital Sales Manager for WSCV, Alex transitioned over to the Station Group team to launch the sales, ad operations, and creative services unit that supports digital monetization for all Telemundo Owned Stations. Alex is certified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the University of San Francisco in Digital Sales and Internet Marketing. He lives in Doral, FL with his wife and two sons.

Sam McAlear

Sam McAlear


Product Manager, Digital Product Development, Golf Channel


Sam McAlear is a native of the quaint and historic beach town of Amelia Island, FL. He attended the University of Florida, earning a B.S. in Finance and an M.S. in Computer Science. His 10-year career in technology has spanned a wide range of industries and roles, including financial analysis, business development, customer support, implementation, data integration and, most recently, digital product development for Golf Channel. His current position involves overseeing the strategic development of GolfNow’s web presence, which has established itself as the market leader in online tee time reservations at over 6,000 golf courses worldwide. In his free time he enjoys playing guitar, surfing and international travel.

Erin Klinthong

Erin Klinthong


Emerging Products Manager, Telemundo


Erin Klinthong is the Emerging Products Manager at Telemundo. In her current role, she product manages apps for Telemundo Digital on various platforms including iOS, Android, Xbox One, and more. She also serves as NBCU’s Young Professionals Network SoCal Co-Hub Leader.

She began at the NBCUniversal in a centralized department which worked with numerous NBCU networks on interactive projects, including Deal or No Deal PSMS, Heroes 360, USA Network Text to TV, Syfy mobile web, and more. 

Ms. Klinthong received her Masters degree in the Science of Information, specializing in Human-Computer Interaction from University of Michigan. She also received her Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics (emphasis on Cognition and Language) from University of California, San Diego.

Saturday, October 22nd

8:30am – Check-in

10:00am – Kickoff

10:30am – Technology Partner Announcements

11:00am – Idea Pitches and Team formation

11:30am – Lunch

12:00pm – Hacking begins!

6:00pm – Dinner

12:00am – Midnight snacks

Sunday, October 23rd

8:00am – Breakfast

9:00am – Project Presentation Workshop

12:00pm – Hacking ends!/Lunch

1:00pm – Demos and Judging

5:00pm – 7:00pm – Reception/Winners Announced

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