AOL's CTO, Bill Pence and Abigail Gray, Head of Design for Membership, joined forces to create the competition, which challenged AOLers to think outside of what already exists to create original products that embody our mission: to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world's best builders of culture and code. Breakout follows last year's AOL-wide hackathon, which led to the public release of Commute by MapQuest three weeks ago.
After receiving over 180 idea submissions from employees, spanning 11 offices across 5 countries, a panel of judges, including respected Jefferies analyst, Brian Pitz, whittled down the finalists to 10. Innovative ideas ranged from social media tools and video reminders, to content apps and energy savers.
The pitches were followed by staunch deliberation from the panel of judges who in the end selected four teams to send through to the next round. Congratulations to the four teams: ILLUME by Brook Montgomery in the San Francisco office, Kid's First Email by Slavko Eror in the Toronto office, Media Décor by Veronica Picciafuoco in the San Mateo office and My5 by Wii Yatani in the NYC office.
Now it's on to the "Product Guild" for these four hopefuls who will once again compete against for the funding to take their product from idea to reality!