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Bandwidth’s Hackathon and Big Idea Week Inspire Employees to be Entrepreneurs

Many of the communications industries’ most talented minds competed this month to shape the future of voice, mobile and messaging, as part of Bandwidth’s annual Hackathon within the company’s Republic Wireless division.

Bandwidth, one of the nation’s leading communications technology companies, hosts the Republic Wireless week-long Hackathon to provide developers and other team members with an open canvas to come up with exciting new product development ideas, which are presented to their peers and management. Some of Republic’s best product ideas and upgrades were born out of past events, where every individual has the chance to make a big impact and be heard.

“This month’s Hackathon was fantastic–it’s so inspiring to see the level of fearless innovation coming from our team,” said David Morken, Bandwidth co-founder and CEO. “We have some incredibly smart people at Bandwidth. The Hackathon is an opportunity for each person to work on something totally new and exercise their creativity through technology. It’s a healthy competition that has benefits for our people and the business."

The Hackathon is just one of several programs offered by Bandwidth to foster innovation among employees. Other entrepreneurial programs include:

  • Bandwidth’s Big Idea Week. This is an internal contest held a few times a year where all employees compete to develop the best new product, technology or improvement. Ideas are presented to a panel of judges “Shark Tank” style, often focused around a particular theme or challenge and team members get to pitch their ideas to the senior leadership team. The top three winners receive a cash prize, and the winner’s idea is funded and becomes a business focus during the months ahead. The winning idea from last year’s Big Idea Week has been fully developed into a product that is now sold by Bandwidth.
  • "Sprint Sabbaticals." Developers need a chance to take a few steps back from their daily work and think about the big picture. That's where the majority of professional development occurs. Bandwidth offers "sprint sabbaticals," which fit in well with the Scrum framework. As some developers are sprinting to complete a big project, others are taking time off to work on another project of their choice. It's rejuvenating and encourages different approaches to solving common development problems.
  • Bandwidth Labs. This is an incubator (skunkworks-style) that Bandwidth employees use to develop the ideas and technologies that dictate the company’s future. As Bandwidth’s entrepreneurial hub, employees have the opportunity to propose big ideas and work on projects apart from their usual jobs—for both short-term and longer-term periods.

“Bandwidth is proof that one idea can change an industry when the right people get behind it. That’s how this company started 15 years ago and the reason we continue to grow. I firmly believe that the smartest innovations are developed by teams that work, play and compete together with the common goal of changing our industry for the better,” said Morken. “It’s essential that we provide our team with an environment that encourages and supports their ideas. We choose special weeks to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of our collective team, but that spirit is ingrained in the fabric of our company, every day. We’re looking forward to working on many of the great ideas generated this week.”

To view Bandwidth’s innovations, people and philosophy, visit http://www.bandwidth.com/.

About Bandwidth

Bandwidth is among the nation's largest and fastest-growing communication technology companies. The company operates two divisions – Business Solutions and Republic Wireless – that share a mission of transforming the communications industry. Across the divisions, Bandwidth provides a full range of communications services, including voice origination, termination and toll free; a full suite of 9-1-1 services; SMS solutions; SIP Trunking; hosted VoIP for SMBs; and a consumer wireless business. Founded in 1999, and a certified CLEC in 49 states, Bandwidth is a profitable company headquartered in Raleigh, NC with a large remote office in Denver, CO and field offices in eight other cities.

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