Last night I pitched my idea at the Car Connectivity Consortium Hackathon prep night.

– 1 minute for

– 1 great idea with

– 1 slide

The goal is to win people to your App development team, to code one awesome App, and to win the contest, get mentoring, enjoy limelight, and get some $$$.

Mirror Link, the CCC Hackathon partner, sponsored this launch evening to introduce its software. Marketers could try out their concept before the real pitch two weeks down the road (yes, pun intended).

You guessed it. The Apps to be developed relate to connected cars.

Yes, you also guessed it. The crowd assembled 200 male car geeks.  Oh, and 5 women…of which I was the eldest by twice the age.

Mirrorlink Hackathon Paris
Mirrorlink Hackathon presentation
Overwhelmed working mom

Up on the stage I trotted wearing my turquoise-polka-dotted dress and fashionable booties to present my car connectivity idea…

…on parenting! (What a marketer, Denise. Bull’s eye for the target group.)

Did you know that during a 16 minute car ride (like for picking up the kids) 21% of the time drivers’ eyes are off the road and on the kids! Mom, Pop, and Tykes, that’s a menace to fellow drivers.

[bctt tweet=”During a 16 minute car ride 21% of the time drivers’ eyes are off the road and on the kids!”]

My App idea helps create smoooooth driving conditions when chauffeuring rambunctious kids in the back seat.

Mom with fighting kids in car


What happened after the pitch? Part of me expected mobs to rush up for an autograph. The more realistic side hoped at least one person remembered what I had said.

The response from a group of coders BOOSTED my confidence. These guys attend a non-conventional school aimed to provide quality computer training to code-passionate folk that did not fit into the rigid, traditional French school system (a.k.a. school was not their friend).


Coding students

“Interesting idea,” a youth ventured while snuggling his beer. (In Paris most people take the Metro instead of driving.)

“Thanks. (I GRIN) So…does it have potential?”

And these youth who were pushed aside by the traditional society went on to share ways to improve the concept. Not with reference to technical coding tips. They gave me parenting advice!

Considerate. Insightful. Helpful. Solutions.

These took-time-to-find-their-way-in-life outsiders reached out to me, a turquoise-clad-mature-woman-amidst-a-sea-of-testosterone, a definite oddball in the Car Connectivity Coding Crowd. They gave me gifts of feedback to be an even better me.

[bctt tweet=”They gave me gifts of feedback to be an even better me.”]

I felt so privileged to be with them.

And, we set a rendez-vous for the REAL Hackathon date. Until then, they gave me work to do!

Photos:  Second chance, Hackathon from BeMyApp and BeGeek, Ecole 42