We’re delighted to announce that the international Botathon VentureBeat has organized with a group of regional partners is off to an excellent start.

We’ve already received well over 100 solid applications from participants after our first post, and we expect to generate a lot more as we now make the final push to our MobileBeat 2016 event on July 12-13, where we’ll recognize the winners.

We’ve just added another regional botathon in Chicago. Here are the cities so far:

  • San Francisco
  • New York
  • Austin
  • Toronto
  • Melbourne
  • Chicago
  • Tel Aviv

We will give recognition to the regional winners on stage at MobileBeat 2016 and also cover them on VentureBeat.

VentureBeat continues to collect applications here, and we’re forwarding them on to regional organizers accordingly. The goal behind the Botathon is to foster innovation among developers in this really new and interesting area of potential, and to recognize those creations prominently.

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been covering the tremendous innovation happening around bots over the past year, and we’re soliciting the coolest new ideas.

The Botathon will take place in the seven cities simultaneously. Here are the details:


July 9-10, 2016

Local organizers will select the best 20-40 applicants to participate in their local Botathon. The Botathon will take place in all cities on the weekend leading up to MobileBeat 2016 (July 12-13), VentureBeat’s flagship event about bots and A.I. Competitors will present to a team of local judges. Judges will choose one finalist from each city to advance to the next stage.

Final judging

July 11-12, 2015

Once finalists advance, public voting will take place online (site link will come soon) to select a winner. Attendees onsite at MobileBeat in San Francisco will also see the presentations, and will select a winner. Finalists are invited to present live during MobileBeat — but if they are unable to make the trip out to San Francisco, they will be able to participate with the MobileBeat audience through a telepresence robot courtesy of Double Robotics. Finally, a group of judges will also select a winner. (So between online, audience and judges, there are three potential winners).

Awesome exposure

So what do you get out of it? As a finalist, you’ll get in front of attendees at MobileBeat, who represent some of the most influential platforms and brands in conversational UI: Google, Amazon, Facebook, Kik, Pinterest, Slack, Twitter, Sensay, Pandora, Spotify, Uber, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Lyft, NBCUniversal, Samsung, Sony, and more. Each finalist gets a booth at MobileBeat, with plenty of opportunity to demo your awesomeness.

You’ll also get exposure in online voting in front of VentureBeat’s 8 million monthly readers.

And finally, you’ll be interviewed for a featured post on VentureBeat.

Once in a decade this kind of massive transformation comes along. This time it’s bots. Here’s your chance to be part of it.

Get everything you need to apply here. Applications close at noon PST on July 8.

Thanks to our co-organizers on the ground in all cities — we wouldn’t be able to host this groundbreaking event without their help.

Chicago: Lightbank and WeWork. Lightbank is one of Chicago’s leading venture capital firms (and full disclosure: a minority investor in VentureBeat). WeWork provides small businesses, startups, freelancers, large enterprises, and everyone in between with the workspace, community, and services they need to make a life, not just a living. With weekly events, personalized support, month-to-month flexibility, and access to over 50,000 like-minded creators around the world, WeWork is the perfect place to grow your business.

San Francisco: BeMyApp is a digital transformation and developer relations agency. They ideate, plan, and execute events and online campaigns for technology companies and brands, helping them connect with the best developers and startups. They produce conferences, hackathons, pop-up incubators, workshops, DevLabs, white-label, and remote accelerators globally. BeMyApp has a community of 100,000 developers, startups, mentors, and partners.

New YorkAngel.ai is a technology company that supports businesses in automating conversational commerce using natural language processing. It’s run by Navid Hadzaad, the CEO and cofounder, formerly of GoButler. Most recently, he was featured on the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the Consumer Tech category.

AustinHowdy and Message.io. Howdy is a bot coworker for Slack teams and has also created Botkit, an open-source toolkit for creating bots for Slack, Twilio, Facebook Messenger, and more. Message.io is a cross-platform deployment utility for bot developers.

Toronto: Massively.ai allows anyone to create and deploy polished chatbots. Launched in 2014, Massively manages your most important relationships by powering chatbots people actually want to talk to. One-to-one at massive scale.

Melbourne: Peter Marko has struggled with diets and daily what-should-I-eat questioning. He just started working on an A.I. era of meal planning and mindful eating by combining chatbots and fitness trackers with intelligent grocery planning and takeaway food options.

Tel Aviv: Aleph is a $150 million early stage fund, which partners with Israeli entrepreneurs looking to build companies that are scalable global change agents. Aleph was founded in 2013 by Eden Shochat and Michael Eisenberg.