Cloverly's team probably won't get much sleep at next week's IATA AIR Hackathon in Frankfurt, Germany. Developer teams creating carbon offsetting solutions for the airline industry will be grabbing our team members for help at all hours of the day and night.
The International Air Transport Association, the industry's trade group, is sponsoring the hackathon at the Fraport Forum, a conference center at Frankfurt Airport. IATA wants improved technological solutions for offsetting the carbon impact of aviation, specifically addressing the retail customer experience. ("AIR" in the name of the event stands for "airline industry retailing.")
Developers from across Europe and elsewhere will participate. Cloverly has been invited to be the featured API for carbon offsetting. The developers will compete for prizes: $6,000 each for best carbon offsetting and best leisure travel solution, plus other awards. More importantly, they retain intellectual-property rights (i.e., moneymaking rights) to what they create.
Here's how the hackathon works: At 8:30 on Saturday morning, October 12, the developer teams start coding, using designated APIs (one of which is Cloverly's). At 2:30 the next afternoon, coding stops and final demos of the solutions begin.
IATA figures that's 28 straight hours of coding, not counting meal breaks (and assuming that the project teams actually take those breaks). During the coding, participating technology companies will offer workshops designed to help the developers.
Cloverly's 30-minute workshop will focus on the technical aspects of using Cloverly's API to offset the carbon costs of airline travel. We'll keep it short and leave time for questions. We've already had preliminary contact with some developers through a chat app set up for the hackathon.
Representatives from the designated APIs will also mentor the development teams, which of course we're delighted to do. Here's what's not on the schedule: sleep. Our team members will grab naps whenever they can between quick questions, impromptu requests for consultation, and desperate cries for help as the developers build and test their solutions.
Frankfurt, the center of a metropolitan area of 5.5 million people, is a major banking and transportation center with a colorful history, a lot of architecturally significant buildings, and a vibrant cultural scene.
Unfortunately, our team will have little time to enjoy the attractions. We'll spend most of our visit either at or right next to the airport. It's Europe's fourth-busiest airport in number of passengers, and the 14th-busiest in the world.
It does have a few attractions of its own, including two yoga rooms, a spa offering massages and an oxygen bar, casino games, a number of 24-hour food and duty-free shopping options, and a flight simulator that, for 79 euros, lets you virtually take off and land at airports around the world.