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Hacking Satellite - Innovation Events


When I joined GSE a couple of years ago, Sean and I discussed the possibility of running innovation events like hackathons and engineering challenges within the satellite community in order to demonstrate thought leadership and accelerate the future of our industry. Since those initial conversations, we’ve had a number of massive undertakings with regard to our flagship products that have tabled those innovation events. Just this week, however, I attended a non-industry hackathon in Tampa whose mission was to solve for mobility problems and contribute to a more intelligent, livable, equitable, and sustainable version of Tampa.

Hosted by Stantec, this hackathon was like a few I've attended (and won) in the past, but different to the standard in that this was not an overnight binge event for developing software products. Rather, the event's focus was on ideas and solutions, and the emphasis was on conceptualization and execution of potential opportunities to leverage existing technologies. This felt much more accessible to a different pool of participants, and is a concept that I have always considered one that gets overlooked in a world with such a heavy emphasis on software development and talent acquisition.

Competition in the satellite industry for engineering and software development talent is cutthroat, and often means the difference between remaining competitive and losing ground in a capped market. This makes me wonder why I don't see more events of this type being hosted at major conferences by market leading companies, and has revitalized my appetite for pulling something together that can become an exciting annual tradition.

With that in mind, this is a perfect time to look outward and solicit some feedback regarding any future innovation events we coordinate for the satellite industry. Please reach out to us with any feedback you have with regard to the following questions.

  • Should we focus on specific industry sectors (like those commonly considered high growth for satcom) or keep problem scenarios more open?
  • Should we focus more on identifying winners that excel at technical execution (engineering of some kind) or leave room for non-technical experts?
  • Would you be excited to find out there was a hackathon at a major industry conference or would you prefer a stand-alone event?
  • I've been to 4, 24, 48, and 72-hour overnight hackathons. Which time format appeals to you most, even if you've never attended?

If you're interested in partnering with us to initiate or sponsor this type of event, regardless of whether you've got answers to the questions above, please reach out.

About the Author
Justin Vizaro
Product Manager

A writer with over two million words published, Justin comes to GSE from the startup world, where he developed a passion for innovative problem solving and product development. His articles share the perspective and experience that comes from successfully taking products to market in over 20 different industries.

Contact Justin Vizaro at

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