Published On: Tue, Oct 29th, 2013

Million Dollar Hackathon Winner: ‘VC Robot’

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A team of Stanford students won the million dollar prize in the final round of the nationwide hackathon competition, for developing a stunning fully functional robot, called the ‘VC Robot’ in just 48 hours.

The judges and audience were all stunned during the demo of the winning entry – as the VC Robot made an entry on stage, with an iPad in hand and a smile that nobody could decrypt. The stanford team had selected two scenes for the demo: a ‘Monday morning’ VC pitch meeting and a board meeting.

In the Monday morning VC pitch meeting, the VC Robot stunned the judges with an impeccable performance – never taking his eyes off his iPad for the whole duration of the pitch. Within 10 seconds of the pitch, the VC Robot suddenly blurted out “How do you plan to get to product-market fit?”. It then walked out of the room during the pitch, taking a phone call. When the VC Robot entered the room after a good minute or so, it looked at the entrepreneur and asked him “Why now, and Why you?”. As the entrepreneur ended the presentation, the VC Robot asked him “Who else is in? How many paying customers do you have?” and ended the meeting with “This sounds exciting. We’ll be in touch”. The Stanford team later clarified that this default response was hard-wired into the microchip of the VC Robot. (For some reason, they could only change this default response if they removed the letters ‘VC’ from the Robot’s name.)

The board meeting was a quick demo, with the VC Robot dialing into the call with coffee and bagels in hand. The Stanford team had kept this one very simple, with the VC Robot asking the following questions in five-minute intervals – “what is the ideal business model for our company?”, “can we be in two businesses at the same time?”, “do we need to build, own, and operate our payments system to be successful long term?”, and “can we build a sustainable business long term operating solely on Facebook?”. The VC Robot also won huge applause for the way it handled the iPad, the phone, coffee and bagels all at the same time.

The Stanford team plans to spend the million dollars on testing commercial viability of the VC Robot technology.

Image Credit: theiet

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Million Dollar Hackathon Winner: ‘VC Robot’