Entrepreneurship

GolfBids App Now Available Thanks to Support from NBCUniversal Hackathon

GolfBids App Now Available Thanks to Support from NBCUniversal Hackathon

After an intense 48-hour hackathon hosted by NBCUniversal, the GolfBids App comes to mobile devices.

Robert Maretsky knows golf in a different way than your typical player. While he's been a self-described "poor golfer" throughout most of his life. Even so, , golf is more than just a good time for Robert...It's a hobby that helps him stay passionate about his job as Senior Director of Mobile Product Development and User Experience at the Golf Channel. 

It also led to his involvement in the development of a brand new app that helps golfers schedule and bid on tee times at courses worldwide..

During an NBCUniversal hackathon last year, team Trisolvo came up with the idea for GolfBids, an online tee time bidding app and platform. While the original idea that Trisolvo explored at the hackathon was certainly interesting, Robert took the core of their idea and worked with them post-hackathon to help turn it into an app that's ready for a wider audience.

As Senior Director of Mobile Product Development and User Experience at the Golf Channel, Robert is involved with events like the NBCU Internal Hackathon and helped produce the GolfBids app late in 2015.

At a hackathon, programmers solve challenges in a confined space for a specific period of time. Anyone can enter, and participants can fuel their creativity with help from frequent food deliveries and a stockpile of energy drinks. Yet, the opportunity to collaborate with new partners, to exchange ideas, and to work under a tight deadline appeals to problem-solvers.

"There's a lot of energy and excitement in the air," Robert says of the hackathon, which took place in Orlando last year, "particularly when the attendees are meeting the NBCUniversal team, asking questions and generating ideas." 

A winner is selected for each challenge, then the sponsoring division has the ability to continue working with their winning team. 

Trisolvo, the Golf Channel challenge's winning team, came up with the idea for GolfBids, an online tee time bidding app and platform. While the original idea that Trisolvo explored at the hackathon was certainly interesting, Robert took the core of their idea and worked with them post-hackathon to help turn it into an app that's ready for a wider audience.

Winner of Golf Channel's challenge, Team Trisolvo, pictured with Danielle Cohn, Senior Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement at Comcast.
Winner of Golf Channel's challenge, Team Trisolvo, pictured with Danielle Cohn, Senior Director of Entrepreneurial Engagement at Comcast.
 

"Working with GolfNow to develop the concept into a real-life business has been a fantastic experience", says Trisolvo team member Dave Cardwell. "Coming from a much smaller company, it was interesting to see how a large organization manages projects, and how teams from different departments come together to develop and support a fledgling product."

GolfBids allows users to search, find, bid on, and win exclusive deals on tee times at thousands of golf courses worldwide. You can name your price and place a bid from the palm of your hand in under 60 seconds, just like you would bid on a item on eBay. While still in its early stages, GolfBids is slowly but surely picking up steam, as Robert, Dave, and the rest of the Trisolvo team track new users bidding on more tee time auctions each day.

"Working with GolfNow to develop the concept into a real-life business has been a fantastic experience", says Trisolvo team member Dave Cardwell. "Coming from a much smaller company, it was interesting to see how a large organization manages projects, and how teams from different departments come together to develop and support a fledgling product."

Ready for a round? The GolfBids app is available for download on iOS and Android.