Esri and TechCrunch team up for a hackathon

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Aug 24, 2021


Esri Techcrunch hackathon

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Esri and TechCrunch have teamed up to run a hackathon called “Hack for a sustainable future.” The hackathon will run from August 23 through September 13, 2021. In addition, developers are invited to use the ArcGIS Platform, a new location platform as a service (PaaS) from Esri.Β 

β€œEsri’s location services and ArcGIS Platform are enabling a community of developers to use maps and location to build solutions that are powering the world,”

David Cardella, product manager for ArcGIS Platform. 

Esri’s developer team has attended TechCrunch Disrupt events before as well. In addition, the company remained a product sponsor and exhibitor at TechCrunch’s Disrupt events. Although, a major focus of its involvement has been the marketing and promoting of its GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software.

Update: Winners of Hack for a sustainable future Hackathon

Esri’s Startup Program

Esri also runs a startup program called the Esri Startup Program. Startups entering the program can use Esri’s product to build their offerings. For example, if your startup meets the below conditions, you can partner with Esri.

  • Founded within the last three years
  • Generating less than $1 million annually
  • Strategically aligned with Esri and ArcGIS and seeks long-term partnership

Most startup apps are listed on Esri’s marketplace; you may check them out here. From architecture and banking to electric and gas utilities, there are all kinds of industries where startups are innovating using Esri’s software.

Esri’s Startup Program Benefits

If you want your startup to have some kind of location or mapping-related features in your app, you can easily get access to all Esri products and services without paying for them. You can still apply for the program if you are a small startup or developer with a specific idea. Plus, you will get training, technical support, and access to the Esri events. For more information, check out Esri Startup Program benefits here.

The GIS Software space

Esri’s most popular competitors are Google Maps Pro (the Google Maps API), Blue Marble Geographics, and Magnitude. However, Esri’s brand image and active participation in the startup ecosystem give it very good visibility.

Esri’s history

The journey of Esri becoming a hot brand in the GIS market is not short. Here’s an interactive history of how Esri got where it is today. Unfortunately, the abbreviation Esri is used so pervasively that most of us hardly know the company’s full name, which is “Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.”.

Where is the GIS software used?

The GIS software is critical to infrastructure, planning, and transportation planning. It is a sort of effective planning and decision-making tool for many industries. Some of the most popular uses of GIS software are:

  • Mapping
  • Navigation
  • Surveying
  • Urban planning
  • Asset management and monitoring
  • Accident and hot spot analysis

Esri’s involvement in the startup ecosystem and hackathons

The GIS software market has traditionally been limited to professionals only. For instance, processing and analyzing geospatial data was limited to workstations operated by professionals. However, over time, it has become a routine task executed via a standard computer, tablet, or phone.

Esri has also switched from being a standalone GIS suite to software offered via web services.

“Over the last five years, our software-as-a-service offering, ArcGIS Online, has grown to over 6.6 million users,” said Dirk Gorter, Esri’s director of product management, while talking to the Trajectory Magazine.

To stay relevant to the ‘SaaS’ (software-as-a-service) market, Esri has reinvented itself to be a champion in the startup ecosystem, offering startup programs, conducting hackathons, and being a regular participant in the TechCrunch Disrupt event.

You may check out the official announcement by the company about the hackathon, though it is more of a marketing-oriented press release. However, the company can be an interesting prospect and a useful partner for all the new location or navigation software startups.


How many employees does Esri have?

4000 employees in 73 countries. They have never downsized because the company is constantly growing quarter over quarter.

How much does Esri cost?

Individuals and personal use costs $100 annually, and custom pricing is for business use. They work closely with the business’s needs and design a custom solution that helps them solve their real-world problems.
How much is Esri worth?

Esri is in the billion-dollar club. Their annual sales are more than a billion a year, which is why they are featured in our billion-dollar startups in the Inland Empire.

Will Esri go public?

Esri is a privately owned company. The founder is convinced they should remain that way and focus on improving their product rather than spending their energies on venture capital or going public.

Is Esri open source?

Esri is not open source, but they strongly believe in getting inputs from the open source community and contributing to them. You can find three open-source alternatives to the Esri here.

Esri in Inland Empire Location


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