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OS Developer Challenge winners update

With over four months having now passed since the OS Developer Challenge winners won annual membership and a fully tailored mentorship programme provided by @techhub, we thought we would provide an update on how two of the teams are getting on.

Jakub Tomanik’s iBeacon research work taking off!

Since winning the OS Developer Challenge, London and Brighton-based Jakub Tomanik has been busy developing his business, which aims to help developers make the most of the opportunities exposed to them through new location-based iBeacon technology.

iBeacon is the trademark name given to a relatively new piece of low-powered and low-cost tech-hardware. Coming in a variety of shapes and sizes, each beacon enables mobile devices to interact with it. From welcoming people on their mobile device as they arrive at a sporting fixture, to providing up-to-the minute, personalised offers about a nearby retail outlet, iBeacons offer developers a wealth of new possibilities for location services.

Many developers are getting excited about the potential iBeacons will bring to location-based applications and there are a number of current and future examples already in place.

Jakub is developing a business that aims to help developers make the most of the technology and he’s already benefitted from a number of connections made as a result of winning the OS Developer Challenge.

He recently partnered with Beacon Week to host a London Meetup and his networking has since seen him talking to the BBC News Channel’s ‘Click’ programme producers. They approached Jakub to film a feature about the technology, which involved them mapping all of the beacons that exist on London’s Regent Street – turning them into a musical experience! Take a look at the full feature here on the BBC iPlayer (skip to 13 minutes and 50 seconds in).

Finally, one of Jakub’s next projects is to run beaconCamp, a hackathon dedicated to exploring iBeacons, at the Campus in London, within the next few weeks. Any developers with an interest in this area should keep a keen eye on signing up to attend this event, as it’s not to be missed!

Steady-flowing progress from the Downstreams team!

Water, water, everywhere but what does it mean to you?

Where's your nearest river and how's it relevant to your business or life? Does it flood you, mean fun for the family, smell bad, bring birdsong or even attract unsavoury behaviour? Our next Developer Challenge winner’s update comes from Downstreams, who are a newly-forming social enterprise, on a boot-strapping adventure, that’s all about "connecting communities to improve rivers".

Knowledge and networks are on their side as they bring more than 40 years’ experience to the table. At the moment, their biggest challenge is finding time to work on the venture, but thanks to the inspiring advice TechHub and Ordnance Survey are providing, they’re developing quickly and avoiding pitfalls.

They’ve started by mapping open data from Ordnance Survey and others; with information about local problems, situations & projects. Next, they plan to add the “secret sauce”; this being what people are talking about in the area. Their social media community is growing and they already have some inspiring contacts. They’re using this approach to make it easy for people and businesses to get more involved with solutions by starting, shaping, joining or supporting them.

Downstreams are hugely excited about the partnerships that they’re forming with some fantastic organisations and they value input from all sorts of people, from grannies to green fingers, specialists to shovelers, funders to fisher'men'. So, if you want things to improve near your river, or want to know if they need to, then Downstreams would like to hear from you!

You can tweet them @DownstreamsCIC or contact them through their website, where you can also see early prototypes.

We’ll be providing further updates on our winner’s progress over the coming months, so watch this space....

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