We are very excited to announce that the Context is Everything Hackathon at VOICE22, sponsored by Symbl.ai and Vonage, kicked off this past Monday, Sept. 12, and is now live! 

What is this Hackathon I speak of, and can you participate even though you won’t be attending VOICE22

This is a fantastic Hackathon targeting creative project ideas to bring actions to conversational insight. The devices being created today are changing. Driven by those changes, the applications and how people interface with them are evolving. Understanding conversation within these applications is the next wave of this evolution and what this Hackathon is all about.

Also, anyone can participate because this is a hybrid event! Did I mention there will be cash prizes? We’ll get to that in a bit.

Hackathon Details

You can find all the details for the Voice22 Hackathon on the official brief for the conference. Registration is still open and is free as in no cost for all, which means everyone has the opportunity to participate. This is also notably a hybrid event that doesn’t require a physical presence at the conference. 

What kind of project should you submit? You can find all the criteria for your creative idea on the official hackathon page, but to give you a quick summary, the project must:

  • Use one of Vonage’s communication platforms in the form of video, audio, or telephony.
  • Use Symbl.ai’s conversation intelligence platform to creatively take the context of the communication in Vonage’s platform to do something actionable and breathtaking.
  • Publish your project code on a public repository on GitHub.
  • Contain a README.md that describes what your project does, provides instructions on how to use your project and includes anything you would like to convey to judging (like inspiration, etc.).

There is an optional but highly recommended component to your submission to include a YouTube video where you introduce yourself (or the team), talk about your project submission, and have a demonstration of your project within the video. This isn’t required, but your entry will stand out from the others should you choose to do so.

There are some “suggested” categories for ideas in the Hackathon brief revolving around automation/productivity, content moderation, intent detection, and call coaching, but if you have a mind-blowing idea, the sky’s the limit!


Let’s get to the stuff people are interested in. That’s right… show me the money! The prizes at a Hackathon are rarely in cash. In all my time hosting and participating in hackathons, giveaways, contests, etc., I have only seen a cash prize offered at a conference one other time.

The first prize submission to the Hackathon is $1,500 in cash and a $500 gift card to Amazon. The winner will also get swag packs from Symbl.ai and Vonage and additional minutes to process conversations on the Symbl.ai platform for your next project.

Second place will receive $750 in cash, a $250 Amazon gift card, swag packs from Symbl.ai and Vonage, and additional minutes on the Symbl.ai platform. These prizes are simply stunning and jaw-dropping to me!

If that wasn’t enough in terms of prizes, the project that best uses multimodal conversation analysis is eligible to win $500 in cash. Yes, you read that correctly. Any submission is eligible to win this bonus prize, including the first and second prize winners. This prize winner must analyze conversations in two or more conversation sources (for example, using the Vonage video platform and a chat box within the meeting) and do something actionable based on what was learned from those sources.

ICYMI: Kick-off Meeting Video Recap

If case you missed it, the kick-off event was on Monday, but you can find the recorded session below should you need any more details:

Happy Coding

I just wanted to give a special shoutout to my co-presenters, Chris Tankersley of Vonage, Pete Erickson, and Jaimey Walking Bear, of the Context is Everything Hackathon at VOICE22 kick-off meeting. The meeting was excellent, and there was a lot of great information included in the presentations.

I am beyond excited to be a part of this event. Creating new projects always brings a smile to my face, especially when you build something truly exceptional.

Chris and I will be on-site at what I am calling the Hackathon hackspace on Oct 10 from 1-5 pm for any last-minute questions or discussions you might have with your submissions. All projects must be submitted by midnight pacific on Monday, Oct 10. The winner will be announced during the Opening Reception on Tuesday, Oct 11.

I know we are going to see a lot of great smile-generating submissions like that at this event. I can’t wait!

David vonThenen
David vonThenen
Developer Advocate

David is a self-described Tech geek and Developer Advocate enabling others to process communications to derive conversation intelligence. David talks Kubernetes/containers, VMware virtualization, backup recovery/replication solutions, adaptors in hardware storage connectivity, and everything else that is tech!