For the past few weeks, Quantcast has been abuzz with ideas for Quantathon, Quantcast’s annual hackathon. This year, Quantathon MMXIV is the first Quantathon to feature the “Quantcast Venture Investment Board” — a panel of executives tasked with handing out “golden tickets” to teams they believe have a strong enough concept and plan to proceed to the next round. An airtight elevator pitch is a must since each team has only five minutes to present. Last week, 46 out of 59 teams received the coveted golden ticket.
It’s no secret that as young, fast-growth startups evolve into mature, thriving global enterprises, their cultural identity and creativity are often placed at risk. As Quantcast began to grow and expand ever more quickly, VP of Engineering Michael Kamprath was looking for ways to inspire employees to think big and democratize contribution to Quantcast’s strategy and path forward. The company is home to some of the tech industry’s brightest and most respected technical engineers and developers, as well as experienced and talented executive, marketing, customer support and sales teams; Kamprath knew there had to be a way to tap into and unite that rich and varied talent pool, while strengthening and contributing to the company’s vibrant culture, and he set out to develop an initiative to accomplish just this feat for the company.
Kamprath liked the idea of a hackathon but didn’t want the initiative to be relevant only to the engineering team — he wanted to tap tribal knowledge and creativity across the entire organization, which required that the project encourage and promote cross-functional collaboration across all the company’s practice groups. And so, the Quantathon was conceived.
Quantathon encourages employees to form multidisciplinary teams that work together for a few hours each week to develop a concept project. The aim is to enable all interested Quantcast employees to explore their ideas, to help Quantcast maintain its entrepreneurial roots as it grows in scale, and to promote all employees to creatively improve all facets of the Quantcast business, whether products, processes, marketing or culture. All teams ultimately compete and are judged by the executive team; winners are awarded a generous cash prize and shares of company stock. Even more importantly, the winners get to see their ideas brought to life and impact the company strategy.
For the next two weeks, the remaining teams will meet for “quant-sessions” (time set aside on Fridays specifically for working on Quantathon projects) to develop their ideas and prepare for “Judgment Day” — which actually covers two days, August 25 and 26. Who will be victorious? Keep an eye out over the coming weeks for more coverage of Quantathon MMXIV!
Posted by Capri Mali LaRocca, Marketing Communications Associate