Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017

Two members of our 4-person team have just come away from an exhilarating 52 hour weekend of pitching, validating and developing a couple of awesome ideas as part of this year’s Startup Weekend Christchurch.

My team, Journey, was formed around the concept of an app that allows tourists to become more immersed in travel by having access to more information about local history, significant landscape features and personal stories. By the end of the weekend we had a working prototype that spoke to the user and informed them of nearby points of interest using information sourced from Google Places and Wikipedia. The future intention is to source additional information from local councils and individuals.

The problems around community participation and consultation in local council decision-making were the focus of Chris’s team’s pitch. GapFinder proposed a digital platform that would allow locals to contribute their thoughts on council policies and actions, giving more transparency and citizen input to these processes. Throughout the weekend they developed a thorough business plan and validated their idea, receiving offers of support and funding from the Christchurch City Council and former town mayor Vicki Buck in the process.

Both of us were well and truly worn out by the end of the weekend but wouldn’t change a thing, with a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work by a large volunteer base the weekend was one we won’t easily forget.

See more here.

Cross-Platform Development

Lab3 is a cross-platform development company, but what does that mean? In a nutshell, cross-platform development is using one codebase to maintain apps on many platforms.

In practice, there are two ways to do this. The first option is to compile the code into the native language used on different platforms. The second is to develop using a framework that is runnable on different platforms. These different approaches offer different benefits. At Lab3 we tend to use the second method – using a cross-platform framework called Ionic. Ionic apps are web technology based. This means we write the apps in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript or TypeScript. This makes UI design very flexible compared to native app development. All the native functionality of different devices are still available, via plugins. This includes cameras, GPS, and all the other functionality of a modern mobile device. 

We’ve found that by using Cross-Platform development, we can provide phenomenal value to our clients. For a development cost not much higher than a single platform when developing natively, we can reach Web, Desktop, iPhone, Android and Windows Phone. Not every app can work well in a cross-platform format, but in our experience, a lot can!