Seed

AngelHack, pioneer of global hackathons, is a female-owned, female-majority company that’s the world’s biggest, most diverse collective of hackers and developers. They’re driving innovation and tech products faster than you can blink an eye. This documentary follows their Silicon Valley Week, in which they invite the top 1% of hackers with an entrepreneurial spirit to come prepare their pitch and get launch-ready before Annual Global Demo Day.

E28A3520Seed follows three teams in particular: one, a couple of high school kids with a bright idea involving sneakers; another, a group from Nairobi who’ve developed a garbage-reporting ap; and the third a couple of guys from Palestine who are using the uber model to provide a parcel delivery service for small businesses.

It’s really cool to see industry leaders take time out to mentor these aspiring entrepreneurs. Their pitches are honed, designs streamlined, products tested. And how cool to peek behind the mysterious Silicon Valley curtain and see everything a young company goes through before those big breakthroughs, or more likely, first failures. Start-ups don’t come from nowhere: Seed shows us where the ideas germinate, and how they’re nurtured. And AngelHack is where it’s at: by “creating code and making change” they’ve actually supported over 150 start-ups. Their clients include IBM, BlackBerry, Hasbro, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which helped fund the film.

E28A6097I love documentaries because they let me understand a slice of the world that was previously closed to me. And when I tell you that I literally had to Google how to get a tab in Chrome to pop out into a new window while watching this movie, you’ll understand how removed I am from this world of hackers who live mysteriously inside my phone (do they?).

Director Andrew Wonder (ironically, given the material, using rare film lenses from the 1930s to capture a unique cinematic feel) gives us a good sense of the urgency, the stress, the nail biting, and the hopefulness of this event. It’s a pressure cooker. And as the documentary exposes, though only one ap will win, there’s more than one way to make winners AND losers of the competitors.

Seed is streaming on Amazon Prime.

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