How to Win the BBM Apps Hackathon Event in NYC


BBM apps hackathon

We’ve already had some really awesome submissions for the BBM Apps Hackathon Event in NYC. Remember, if you want to win a free trip and sweet prize pack, all you have to do is email us your app idea at We’ve also had a few questions from developers about what apps they should write and how they can best position themselves to win the hackathon. Here are a few tips for developers interested in the event:

Games are Obvious

We’ve already had a bunch of entries for games for the BBM Apps Hackathon and they seem like a pretty obvious choice. Sure, games are the most downloaded category of apps for smartphones but they’re also the most obvious choice for BBM integration. It would be great to see some devs finding new and innovative ways of using BBM to connect people.

Adding BBM Functionality is Easy

RIM definitely wants to see devs showing up with apps and adding BBM functionality but that’s so boring. If you have an app, it makes sense to add some BBM integration to help users promote your app but don’t use that at a hackathon. It would be great to see developers actually creating apps from scratch rather than just showing up with apps they’ve already made and integrating them with BBM.

Remote Teams Help

You can’t win a trip to NYC as a team and only individuals can apply, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a team helping you remotely. If you’re going to be hacking an app together, have a designer and someone who can help you make the app look finished and clean.

Bring Code

There’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t bring code to the hackathon. In a traditional hackathon, you have to create the app from scratch and you can’t bring code with you. RIM hasn’t outlined any specifics about bringing code to the event so you may as well set up any backend infrastructure and anything that will take up time at the event. Also, if you have time, you may as well write as much of the app as you can before the event so your demo looks really clean. There’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t.

There’s also a few things RIM sort of dropped the ball on when it comes to this hackathon. What’s really strange is that there doesn’t seem to be a grand prize for the hackathon. If you’ve ever been to a hackathon, you know they generally end with a demo and presentation of the winner with some sort of prize. It’s the prize that motivates the devs to come out to the event. By only giving a prize to the winning dev who applies, RIM might have a really poor turnout for the event. Also, the fact that they don’t allow teams and you can bring code shows that they seem new to the whole hackathon thing. The point of a hackathon is that you’re supposed to show up and create an app on the spot. It seems RIM doesn’t really care about the specifics of the hackathon, and they’re more interested in just getting some devs using the BBM Social Platform. If the company was more interested in a true hackathon, it would probably inspire more devs to participate.

Remember, send us your app ideas to and we might choose you as the winner and send you to NYC with a sweet prize pack.

  • Derek Konigsberg

    And most importantly?  Don’t live in one of the excluded states…  (Yes, I live in Florida)