Unlocking Innovation: ZhenFund 36-Hour Hackathon Tackles the Future of AI Gaming
True to ZhenFund’s commitment to supporting AI entrepreneurs, we have already co-hosted or sponsored 6 hackathons so far this year. ZhenFund pledges ongoing events and activities to nurture budding innovators across China.

This past weekend, ZhenFund concluded our first independently-organized hackathon focused on driving innovation in AI gaming. On June 17th-18th, the intense 36-hour “Z Events” hackathon brought together more than 60 on-site developers and 40+ online participants formed 33 teams to rapidly transform ideas into creative prototypes. Despite rainy weather, participants arrived energized and ready to innovate.

Working at a blistering pace, they took concepts from blank pages to implemented products exhibiting innovative applications of AI in gaming.

"We were thrilled by the passion and ingenuity displayed at the ‘36-hour AI hackathon’" said ZhenFund's Managing Partner Yusen Dai.

Yusen kicked off the event discussing historical parallels where gaming proved to be an important gateway for cutting-edge technologies like personal computers and mobile devices to achieve mainstream adoption. He challenged participants to envision what categories of "AI native" games might emerge. What opportunities will AI development bring for AI native games? What games can only be born on new AI technologies, with 100 times better gaming experiences? This is worth pondering and is also one of the themes of this hackathon: What games are AI native games?

Following the opening ceremony, hackathon organizer and ZhenFund investment principal Tianyi Qin took the stage to convey contest guidelines and participation details to the engaged participants looking to push boundaries over the 36-hour sprint.

The event saw participation from top domestic and international universities like Harvard, National University of Singapore, Tsinghua University, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, as well as major technology companies like Tencent and Huawei.

The elite gathering gaming luminaries eager to share their industrial insights with the creators and innovators of tomorrow. Respected industry executives Lie Guo, Zixiong Luo and Sien Wang joined the “TALK” at the hackathon. In spirited on-stage discussions alongside ZhenFund’s partners, they tackled topics from the cutting edge of AI’s assimilation into gaming.

On the evening of June 18th, after 36 intense hours of working, a total of 6 teams, onsite and online, won prizes and cash rewards for their innovative and technically excellent ideas. The winning projects combined innovative concepts with excellent technical implementation across areas like procedural content generation, interactive storytelling, and simulation realism.