Kohl's Scavenger Hunt: Hack Reactor Engineers Demo on Stage at Hackathon

The Launch Hackathon took place in early November, and a team of Hack Reactor engineers ended up being finalists for creating a Kohl's Scavenger Hunt app.

In the video below you can watch as this team does a 4-5 minute presentation on this engaging new app, which allows customers to acquire coupon codes while they're in the store, taking advantage of Kohl's API.  Check it out!

"We built it in a 48 hour period from Friday night (11/8) to Sunday night (11/10)," said team member Joey Yang. "Although unlike many other teams, we didn't even stay overnight. I'd say our total development time was about 30 hours."

The engineers used Node / Express on the backend and Angular.js in the front. "We also used Firebase as a data store and an OAuth middleman to provide Facebook integration. We deployed the app on Heroku. We used the Kohl's API to pull items from their featured items list," Yang said.

Other items of note: This was the first hackathon for all four of them. They placed in the top 15 teams. Teams were comprised of 1,600 registrants. The LAUNCH Hackathon is the largest open hackathon in the world (MHacks at University of Michigan is bigger but open only to college students). 

Kohl's Scavenger Hunt: Launch Hackathon Finalists

Video Transcription

George Bonner: The name of our app is Kohl's Scavenger Hunt. Any guesses as to what it actually does?

Online stores have gained a lot of traction because they've made the buying process very, very simple and very convenient. We wanted to make an app that makes the in-person buying process fun and engaging. 

What we ultimately want to do is build a platform to do that for any company. But our first example app is using the Kohl's API to create an in-store scavenger. Basically the product is served up to the customer. They have an amount of time to find the product, and they gain rewards if they can find it. So let's give you a quick demo.

Peter Hayes: I'm going to walk through the product here. I'm going to skip the login screen because it's really annoying. 

As soon as you login to the application you get a product and a countdown. You have that many seconds to find that product if you want to win the coupon. So Joey here, can you tell me what the code is?

(Joey: Hey Peter, I've got the shorts..)


Alright cool, so we're out of time and we didn't win the code. But we can play again.  What's the code Joey?

(Joey:  53112)

53112, and that's just the UPC - the last 5 digits of that product number.

It should say you came in first out of two players, here's your reward code. That's just a coupon you can use at checkout. I can save that to my rewards. I can check my rewards here, and it's a stash - it's every item that you found.

More than just this game, it's a model. It's a paradigm for gamification in stores. 

Stephen Grider: When we came here to the Hackathon we were a little short on ideas. We were trying to figure out what we were going to do. When we saw Kohl's API we were shocked - I had no idea Kohl's had such a fully featured API out there. I'm not joking. They had full integration across.

But here's the thing, when you're using Kohl's API - like this massive infrastructure that they've put together - as soon as you walk into that store you lose access to that API. So what we're doing here, is we're bringing the API into the store and we're putting it into the palm of your hand. 

This is part of a larger model - we want to look at bigger players like Target, Walmart - we want to look at all these people. Do they have APIs out there? Can we put their APIs in the store? Can we put it out there into the public's hand. 

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