Hack for Product-Market Fit & Win Opportunity to Work with Sears*



Startups, developers, students, designers, business strategists — Sears Holdings Corporation (Sears, Kmart, ShopYourWay.com), one of the largest retailers in the US, wants to innovate, and they’re looking for fresh ideas and potential partners to introduce to their national customer base online and at their retail stores.



Sears presents their business problems; participants create solutions or expand upon their own existing ones (startups are welcome to work off their exisiting product) over an intense weekend of coding. Sears wants to explore how they can build working relationships and partnerships with the smartest minds in the Southeast.



Register individually and form teams at the hackathon. You are welcome to bring friends and colleagues. Create a new project or build on existing products and projects – the code does not need to be fresh and new. You continue to own your code. Participants must only present a working demo of the product to the judges on the final day that applies to one of the challenge categories and integrates a Sears API.



Beyond the obvious top prizes, meet with top execs from Sears Holdings Coporation and demo your product to them. Test your ideas, receive feedback from industry experts, and see if you have what it takes to scale your technology to the next level. Spend a weekend hacking to win money for your ideas. Startups also have the opportunity to pitch their products to the Sears team (three startups currently working with Sears from previous hackathons).
* Sears has worked with half a dozen startups and developers to date.
Sears Holding Corporation When: January 23-25, 2014, (see below for agenda)Where: Atlanta, GASharing: This is a social event. Feel free to talk about this event using hashtag #SearsDevChallengeAdditional Info:

The Challenges


Seriously Social

Target Area: Social
Social commerce drives customer decisions and purchases every day. What innovative ways can Sears enhance their desktop & mobile experiences with social media to enrich discovery, increase social proof and create necessary peer-to-peer feedback. How can Sears use social to help its customers make better purchasing decisions? What is the next evolution of social within a commerce experience?


Mobile Madness

Target Area: Mobile
Mobile commerce is expected to be half of all e-commerce by 2018. How can Sears lead in the mobile space to create unique and powerful mobile experience for its customers? What is the next wave of mobile interaction in retail?

Shopping Cart

Charge up Content

Target Area: Content
Content is king. Great content keeps the customer connected to the brand both during and beyond the shopping experience. How can Sears surface and create content that is meaningful and engaging to its shoppers? What content would best achieve this and help Sears to continue to engage with its members in a valuable way?
Pre-Hack API Workshop
Take Apart Sears’ APIs on Friday, 3pmJoin Sears and Apigee for a free pre-hack workshop and learn to build RESTful APIs using Node.js. We will be featuring the the Sears APIs ahead of the SEARS Retail Hackathon. During this optional but highly recommeded event, you can grab extra prizes (worth $500) and help us improve the Sears APIs. Join us for our API workshop with Apigee and get a leg up on the competition while learning how to build APIs.Space is limited. Register above for the workshop along with the hackathon.Workshop Topics:

  • Best Practices in RESTful API design
  • Crash course in Node.js
  • Creating API specifications and docs with Swagger
  • Using NodeJS to build an API
  • Easily exposing data from databases (SQL and NoSQL)
  • Creating API policies such as rate limiting, quota, OAuth, and more
  • Deploying APIs to the cloud (Apigee Edge, Amazon Web Services and others)


  • A laptop: minimum OS requirements are Mac OS X 10.7 or Windows 7. If you are a Linux user and have some experience with Node.js, you are welcome to attend, however we can’t help you troubleshoot any issues.
  • Basic understanding of Javascript and/or some programming experience: this workshop is hands-on, with attendees writing Javascript the entire time. We will cover the basics of Node.js, but will assume that you understand the basics of Javascript.
  • Preinstall Software: prior to arrival at the workshop, please ensure that you have installed Node.js, npm (should be installed by Node.js), Java and git. From the Command prompt (Terminal on Mac), type “node –version”, “npm –version”, “java -version” and “git version”. If you do not see a version number, you will need to install it.
  • Code Editor: You are welcome to use the code editor of your choice – just make sure that it handles Javascript syntax highlighting.
Prizes & APIs
Grand Prize: $10,000

  • Winner: Pioneer
  • Grand Prize: $10K
  • Cash in on an idea without having to commit to supporting the product full-time.
  • Opportunity to work with Sears Holdings Coporation on independent projects
  • Meet potential co-founders


Secondary Prizes: $1,500

  • Winner: Magalog
    Winner: ShopSync
    Winner: Hinter
  • Three prizes of $1.5K each for runner-ups across all submissions. 

Sears APIs


Head to the Sears Developer Site to Explore their APIs: https://developer.sears.com/

Attend the  pre-hackathon workshop on Friday at 3pm before the hackathon.

Sears has the following API categories for you to use for your app:

  • Product Search
  • Product Detail
  • Top Sellers
  • Deals
  • Store Information
  • Local Inventory

Sign up on the Sears Developer Site now – Register before the hackathon starts to get approval and receive your API key to get started.

Questions? Email apisupport@searshc.com.

Tech Partner APIs & Prizes
Prize: $1,000

Winner: ShopSync

For the winning team that utilized Apigee 127 to build the best “new” API which mashes up multiple APIs. The new API must use at least one Sears API.

Apigee makes it easy for developers to build and manage APIs to expose data and services using Node.js and Swagger, as well as leverage the power of a Backend-as-a-Service with a noSQL database, analytics, mobile-oriented features such as push notifications, user management and more. Apigee-127 is a toolkit for modeling & building rich, enterprise-class APIs in Node.js on your laptop. The focal point of Apigee-127 is the Swagger 2.0 specification for defining and describing an API model. From the Swagger model you can generate clients, servers and interactive documentation for your API.


Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card (x5)

Winner: BeCrafty

For winning team that demonstrated the best value of product / product idea developed, using the best utilization of the MomentFeed API.

MomentFeed allows national brands to connect with consumers at the local level. By leveraging a brand’s digital assets, MomentFeed enables brands to market more effectively to the audience they want in the communities they serve. The platform delivers on the unique promise of authentic marketing at scale by letting brands connect with consumers at the local level through Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp, and other channels. The MomentFeed API allows for national brands to search for their locations based on latitude/longitude, city and zip code. The results come ordered by proximity to the user.

Note: All apps must use a Sears API to be eligible for any technical partner offer.




-1st: Apple TV (x3)

-2nd: Chromecast (x3)

-3rd: Chromecast (x3)

Winner: Pioneer

Winner: RED Code

For the top 3 teams with best personalization usage of the elasticode SDK. You need to use at least one segmentation filter, but the most creative usage which yields the most value to its mobile product will receive 1st place.

Elasticode leverages data collection about users’ mobile experience into a personalized interaction that best fits to that exact moment, place and settings! elasticode enhances developers and publishers business results, providing them with the power to address specific segments, receive a high resolution point of view and a real-time decision making engine, in a simple and fully controlled way.


Prize: BKON beacon (x3)

For any team that builds a working beacon-enabled app with BKON beacons, using the BKON Advanced SDK. (Multiple winners possible)

We make beacons and the software that makes them smarter. The Beacon Registry™ is a specialized cloud-based management and event-tracking tool that helps organize secure beacon deployments by allowing administrators to name and group beacons and their zones, while keeping detailed descriptions of exactly where each beacon is located. This is especially useful in larger beacon installs, where there may be multiple people deploying. Administrator Management allows owners to delegate hardware management and content updates to team members without handing over full control of their accounts. Configuration Management is a convenient feature that allows for quick review of a beacon’s settings. When moving/replacing hardware, this feature makes the process easy to “clone” a beacon’s settings.

The Advanced Software Development Kit (SDK) that comes with the Beacon Registry, gives developers the tools they need to quickly begin scanning for beacons, recognize the relative proximity to them, and react to their presence. The Beacon Registry is also integrated BKON Logs™. This beacon-app event data capture, and the Contextual API allows developers to make use of the advanced analytics features in real-time, including query items like “last visit”, “visit frequency”, and “average dwell time”.

The Sears team will be available throughout the weekend to discuss your ideas and answer any questions about the APIs.
Friday, January 23: Hackathon Kickoff
3:00pm-6:00pm Sears API Workshop with Apigee (Recommended)
Grab extra prizes and help us improve the Sears APIs. Join us for our pre-hackathon API workshop with Apigee and get a leg up on the competition.
6:00pm Registration & Reception
7:00pm Welcome
7:15pm Sears Challenges, APIs, Prizes
7:45pm Technical Partner APIs and Prizes
8:30pm End of Day
Saturday, January 24: Hackathon, Day 2
9:00am Late Registration & Breakfast
10:00am Morning Check-in
10:30am Team Formation
11:00am Coding Begins
12:00pm Lunch
12:30pm Code
3:00pm Snack
5:00pm Dinner & Sears Check-in
6:00pm Code
10:00pm End of Day
Participants are free to code into the night.
Sunday, January 25: Hackathon, Day 3
9:00am Breakfast
12:00pm Lunch
3:00pm Submission Deadline
4:00pm Demos
6:00pm Dinner & Judging Deliberation
6:45pm Award Presentation
7:00pm End of Day
Intellectual Property
Participant’s Rights to Entries and Intellectual Property:

Participants will retain ownership of any and all code created prior to or at the SEARS Retail Hackathon. Participants also retain the right to continue working on and using their Hackathon ideas and codes, and any and all codes or ideas created prior to the event.

Sears Rights to Submissions:

Sears Holdings Coporation will have access and use of all ideas generated at the SEARS Retail Hackathon but does not have the right to code you, your team or company create at the event.

For the full legal language, please read the SEARS Retail Hackathon Official Rules.

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