Incubating the Next Great Tool for Watson Work

When you challenge a community of talented students to put their heads together around a challenge, the results are bound to be pretty amazing. Still, when IBM and global training company General Assembly partnered on a two-day hackathon to build the next tool for IBM Watson Work, they were enthralled by what they saw. The first stage of the IBM & General Assembly Watson Workspace Incubator, in which teams of students apply their collective brainpower to bring a real business idea to life, took place 21-22 January 2017 at General Assembly’s campuses in Austin, New York and Los Angeles.

You are invited to attend the finals at IBM Connect 2017 and cast your vote for the grand-prize winner.

All of the initial competing teams were tasked with building a solution for IBM Watson Work to promote efficiencies, collaboration and/or business transformation for today’s digital workplace. IBM employees from development, technical sales and other key departments were on hand to help inspire, empower and educate the participants on connecting their technical skills with a real business idea.

The teams presented their solutions in front of judging panels comprising at least one IBM developer, one IBM Watson Work technical sales team member and one General Assembly web development instructor. Those panels then had the unenviable task of choosing the one winning team from each city.

Those three lucky skilled teams are now heading to San Francisco to pitch their ideas in front of IBM Connect attendees during the session “IBM + General Assembly Hackathon: The Winning Teams Face Off, You Pick the Winner!” (session ID #1687A) taking place Tuesday, 4:40 PM – 5:10 PM in EXPO Engagement Theater # 300. Attendees will vote for the most impressive solution, and the grand-prize winners will then celebrate at a fancy San Francisco dinner with the keynote speaker, influencers from IBM’s business community, and even potential investors who could provide an opportunity to turn their bright idea into a reality.

Without giving away any spoilers, here are general descriptions of each finalist team’s tool:

  • The Austin team built an app that makes attending meetings less tedious.
  • The New York team built an app that helps employees provide feedback to their managers.
  • The Los Angeles team built an app that briefs you on things that matter to you before you leave the house every morning.

We hope you are able to attend on Tuesday at 4:40 and cast your vote in the incubator challenge. You can register for IBM Connect 2017 here.


General Assembly is a global training company focused on bridging the 21st century skills gap through their work with individuals, employers and policy makers. General Assembly specializes in data, design, tech and business, offering opportunities online, onsite with employers and in person at more than 20 campuses around the world.

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