Hackathon

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HACKATHON

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A hackathon is an event that brings together programmers, designers and other technology professionals to collaborate intensively on software projects, mobile applications, hardware and other technology challenges. The aim is to develop a prototype or solution to a problem in a limited time, usually 24 to 48 hours. Hackathons often focus on specific topics such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital health or sustainability. During the event, participants work in teams to develop innovative solutions and present them to a panel of judges. In addition to competition, hackathons also offer opportunities for learning, collaboration and networking in the technology industry. Hackathons can be organised by companies, non-profit organisations, universities, governments and other groups to address specific problems or simply to encourage creativity and innovation in technology.

What can a hackathon bring to an entrepreneur?

A hackathon can bring the following benefits to an entrepreneur:

  • Creativity and collaboration: Hackathons are collaborative events where people with different skills and experience come together to work on a common project. This encourages creativity and collaboration, which can help entrepreneurs develop innovative solutions.
  • Validation of ideas: During a hackathon, participants have the opportunity to present their ideas and receive feedback and suggestions from other entrepreneurs and experts. This can help entrepreneurs validate their ideas and improve them.
  • Learning: hackathons often include workshops and training sessions, which can help entrepreneurs learn new skills and gain important knowledge for their business.
  • Networking: hackathons are a great opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and industry experts. This can be very valuable for entrepreneurs looking to establish relationships and build their network.
  • Awards and recognition: Many hackathons offer cash or in-kind prizes to winning participants. In addition, participation in a hackathon can help entrepreneurs increase their visibility and attract the attention of investors and other key players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

How to find a hackathon to participate in?

TO SEARCH FOR HACKATHONS TO PARTICIPATE IN, YOU CAN FOLLOW THESE STEPS:

  • Search the internet: You can search Google, social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and specialised websites such as Hackathon.com, Devpost.com, among others.
  • Participate in entrepreneurship events: If you attend entrepreneurship events, you can meet other entrepreneurs and possibly find out about a hackathon that is being organised.
  • Ask in your community of entrepreneurs: If you belong to a community of entrepreneurs, you can ask if they know of any hackathons or if they are organising one.
  • Contact companies or institutions that organise hackathons: Some companies or institutions organise hackathons to look for talent or to boost the development of technologies and applications in specific areas. You can contact them to find out if they have an upcoming event.
  • Register on hackathon platforms: There are online platforms that allow you to sign up to receive notifications of upcoming hackathons, such as HackerEarth, ChallengeRocket, among others.

Remember that it is important to verify the legitimacy and reputation of the event and organisers before participating.

Hackathon is a type of event that is becoming more and more widespread in the world of entrepreneurship, especially when we are talking about technological innovation, although the truth is that these types of work dynamics are already being used in all types of companies in their quest to adapt to the needs of the digital era and they are a good way to find an opportunity and create new businesses. There are many companies that have been born in a Hackthon, so take heart, find the ones that are going to be held, some are online, and participate!!!!

The concept of a hackathon originates from two terms: hack and marathon.

It is therefore a kind of innovation 'marathon', usually featuring programmers and computer scientistsalthough they are suitable for all types of related professionals: designers and creatives, marketing specialists, data analysts, copywriters... The goal is usually the development of specific softwareThe team assembled for this type of event will work intensively to achieve this goal, working side by side and horizontally with the other professionals present. The appointment can last a day, a week, or any agreed period of time. Normally, the idea is to work until a final product is obtained, the result of a combination of talents. The communication and listening are key in hackathon processes: the focus is on problem solving through teamwork, creativity and common learning.

Thus, although the work at this type of event is usually intensive, it also generates interesting dynamics and a close atmosphere, based on collaboration and understanding. All of this helps to ensure that the final result (and the experience of the team members) be much more interesting than that obtained from other methodologies. It also condenses work time, preventing a project from being spread out over months and suffering from the dysfunctions of less fluid communication between team members. It is clear that the most interesting of such events is precisely the horizontal, intensive and collaborative working dynamics. The result goes far beyond the mere software product: for its participants, a hackathon offers them a process of concentrated and comprehensive learning which can help them to better understand other professional aspects related to their activity.   

IN TERMS OF THE WAY HACKATHONS ARE RUN, THERE ARE USUALLY CERTAIN COMMONALITIES:

  • Gathering of participants in the same space for a specified time.
  • Assignment of a mission or objective (can be more or less open-ended).
  • Creation of teams to share the work and collaboration between them. 
  • Presentation of results (which may consist of apps, prototypes, analyses, etc.).
  • In the case of a competition, selection of the winning team.
THE ADVANTAGES OF HACKATHONS ARE MANY:

It is a creative and innovative way of solving problems and needs, helping to turn ideas and concepts into realities quickly, effectively and equally. In addition, they offer a learning opportunity based on real cases and create a community of specialists and stakeholders in technological development. Perhaps this is why large companies in different sectors (e.g. finance) are increasingly introducing this model into their working dynamics to address their digital transformation challenges. The products resulting from these processes can to meet the needs of all types of companies in areas such as cybersecurity, payment methods, education, improving user experience and so on.

Now that you know about hackathons, look for upcoming ones and participate in one of them!!!!

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Picture of Jaime Cavero

Jaime Cavero

Presidente de la Aceleradora mentorDay. Inversor en startups e impulsor de nuevas empresas a través de Dyrecto, DreaperB1 y mentorDay.
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