What is a Hackathon?

A Hackathon is a creative and intensive process where a diverse group of people come together to solve meaningful problems by creating a Minimum Awesome Product, often using technology. Instead of a strategic session, forum, or code camp, Hackathons allow participants to bring ideas to life! 

Who goes to Hackathons?

Anyone can go to a Hackathon. Generally those who go to a Hackathon have an open and positive mindset. Whether you're a data analyst, designer, researcher, developer, budding entrepreneur, student, or just someone who is willing to learn, Hackathons need a mix of diverse people in order for innovation to occur. 

What can be my role at a Hackathon?

In the startup world, we say that teams should comprise of the Minimum Viable Team. It consists of: 

The Hipster = person who designs the prototype

The Hacker = person who creates the prototype

The Hustler = the person who sells the product

Teams may nominate a Herder = person who facilitates and manages the team so that everyone is on the same page and achieves their outcomes

What happens at a Hackathon?

Hackathons consist of the following:

1. Team forming: meet others quickly and find team members

2. Define the opportunity: Find a problem to solve for a paying customer

3. Get Hacking!: Set the goal you want to achieve at the Hackathon and get working at the Minimum Awesome Product

4. Pitch: Create a video and put your demo online so that the judges can go through your presentation

5. Awards: Prizes will be given and certificates issued to all participants. Remember, everyone is a winner so reflect on your accomplishments! 

How can I prepare to go to a Hackathon?

There are many articles that you can read, however we've put together a set of templates and tools so that you know exactly what to do when you participate in your first Hackathon. You can access our online store, or go to The Hacker Toolkit via OpenLearning.

"There is no better way to bring the entrepreneurial spirit to so many brilliant minds at the same time. Hackathons rock!"

"I love the thrill of being able to build cool projects with people you’ve never met"

"Hackathons are a mixture of teamwork, ingenuity, commitment and diversity, whre you can add your experience to a porfolio and resume"

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