At Bottle Rocket, innovation is fueled by passion, drive, and fearlessness (plus plenty of caffeine). We jumpstart that innovative spirit annually with Rocket Science – an official timeout from normal work duties to focus on individually selected projects.

This 24-hour-hackathon-style event, as Founder and CEO Calvin Carter stresses, is an exercise with no judgment. It’s an opportunity to stretch skills, explore new technologies, take risks, and work on passion projects.

As an added bonus this year, Jeremy Katz from Ogilvy joined us to take it all in. The self-described hackathon skeptic emerged a true convert. “I was surprised and inspired by not just the amount of work done, but the energy, the teamwork, and the problem solving that I saw.” One particular project Katz enjoyed was the Coffee Rocket, “…a beautiful cold brew tower [that] is a physical manifestation of the ethos of this place: methodical, caffeinated, magnificently engineered, and without bitterness.”

 

Key takeaways

Many worry about putting passion projects ahead of regular work for any period. But our experience continues to show that these 24 hours away yields both indirect and direct benefits for our company and our clients.

“The point of Rocket Science is to give our passionate, talented team the freedom to explore without any constraints. What they come up with, time and again, is breakthroughs in thinking and emerging technology. Plus, renewed energy and inspiration – of course this feeds us as individuals, and it also ultimately makes our work better for the clients we serve,” said Carter.

Lead Android Engineer, Luke Wallace, assembling a 3D printed robotic hand.

Lead Android Engineer, Luke Wallace, assembling a 3D printed robotic hand.

 

EVP of Innovation, Matt Johnson, hammering a nail into two boards in a VR construction set.

EVP of Innovation, Matt Johnson, hammering a nail into two boards in a VR construction set.

 

The force is strong with this Rocketeer as he tests a VR Lightsaber simulator.

The force is strong with this Rocketeer as he tests a VR Lightsaber simulator.

 

The possibilities that come from innovation labs like Rocket Science continue to make a difference not only in individual passion projects but in client work and beyond. Rapid iteration helps sift through ideas in record time to come up with game-changing pieces of technology. If you’re interested in running a hackathon for your brand, connect with Bottle Rocket’s innovation team to find out more.