Three students from Queen Mary University of London will be taking their winning hack to San Francisco after winning the Aging2.0 Google Intergenerational hackathon in the summer.

As part of the prize, Computer Science second years Jaykumar Rawal, Kristina Semenyuk and Sameen Islam will showcase their idea in front of a crowd of 600 on November 19.

That’s not all they have been up to over the summer though.

They also won £10,000 at the Sabre Destination Hack with their travel/charity idea Travita and a bagged a further 2,000 euros at the IBC Hackfest in Amsterdam with recipe app Vita.

They have also set up a meeting with Twitter for when they head to America in November.

First things first though, what’s a hackathon?

It’s a 24 or 48 hour challenge hosted by a company that is looking to advance ways their brand can use technology.

Teams are tasked to show what they can do. The participants are from all sorts of backgrounds – from business to technology.

Jaykumar, Kristina and Sameen will be taking Avita to San Francisco.

The data-driven travel advice app has been designed for elderly people looking for a break that will suit their needs.

Kristina said: “You type in what kind of holiday you want and your budget, then the map shows the best prices and how many people are going to that place within a month.

“They can then go to the places that are not that populated. We thought that most elderly people would like peace, so on the map it shows where they can go for that. There’s a projection of up to about a year away.”

The information all comes from Sabre (Travel Network) APIs, which manage the data for everything to do with travel from hotel booking, flights and trains.

Jaykumar Rawal and Kristina Semenyuk take a look at Travita

And two more ideas that you may like - Travita and Vita.


In July they won £10,000 at Sabre Destination Hack with Travita – a platform which allows plane passengers to give their spare luggage capacity to charities to transfer goods.

Sameen said: “The idea is if you’re a frequent business traveller and you’re travelling to a developing nation where there’s a charity that want something that’s either hard to get or really expensive.

“You can just take it in your baggage and as a frequent traveller you probably would have some free space.

“You would drop it off in the safe box in the country although we’re still trying to decide how to make this work.”

The app is still in development.


In September they won 2,000 euros at the IBC Hackfest in Amsterdam with Vita – which they describe as a “Tinder for recipes” healthy-eating app.

Jaykumar said: “Nobody reads the recipes anymore – and Tinder is popular with young people, so that’s where the description came from.

“With Vita you can make your own recipe book and swipe through the recipes you like or don’t like.

“Also there are suggested drinks that would match with your food, based on what you’ve liked.

“The review process for each recipe is much easier as well. In forums people write really long comments, which nobody bothers to read, so the commenting section on Vita would be through Twitter.

“If you want to review a recipe you can tweet it out using a certain hashtag and that would be linked under the recipe.”

If you’re interested in any of these ideas, get in touch with Queen Mary University London.