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What is a Hackathon?

Hackathon is an innovative way of including creative individuals into finding and solving the challenges of your company. Our hackathons offer an answer not only to innovation challenges that companies today are facing, but also to their increasing HR challenges. More and more companies are aware that proactive new employees are essential for successful operations in the radically changing business environment. Because young people, or Gen-Z as some may call them, are mostly present and feel quite comfortable in the virtual environment, we have created the Online hackathon next to our traditional (on-site) hackathon.

On-site hackathon

A live event where 50 – 100 external or/and internal competitors are put in teams to create and pitch (present) a new solution to the corporate challenge in only 36 – 72 hours.

Online hackathon

An online event, with no limited numbered of participants and with a timeline that suits the corporation (e.g. could be 2 days or 1 month). The competitors are put in teams or compete individually to create and pitch (present) a new solution to the corporate challenge.

Benefits of a hackathon

Sourcing innovation

The nature of hacking challenges promotes an out-of-the-box approach to workflow. Competitive environment, when followed by an attractive prize, helps bring the best solutions in a short period of time. For large organisations in particular, hackathons can be adapted to greatly accelerate the process of digital transformation. They are less about designing new products and more about “hacking” away those old processes and ways of working.

A new way of thinking

An internal hackathon can uncover latent talent within your organization. The event allows your employees to get out of their daily role and flex their creative muscles. Hosting a hackathon is also recommended if your company needs a different perspective on a problem that they have struggled to solve with traditional approaches.

Promoting diversity and teamwork

Good teams usually consist of team members with diverse backgrounds which enables them to challenge each other and come up with new, innovative ideas. For that, they also need good communications skills. So, it is recommended to open applications for the hackathon to everyone (external and internal) and then form diverse teams to give them the best chance.

Recruiting new talent

When hackathons are not only held within the company, but also open to the interested public, they turn into a promotional initiative. This can be used to source new tech talents, recruit programmers, engineers, graphic designers, and other sought-after profiles! Hackathons are the ultimate interview. They give you an opportunity to work directly with potential employees and see who is a good cultural fit.

Employee retention

Employee retention can be another beneficial aspect of hackathons held within a company. Stagnation and a focus on repetitive tasks only are a major reason for employees leaving the company. When presented with an opportunity to broaden their skill set, however, they are inclined to stay in the same company as they are given more than just the pay check. They’re given an opportunity to grow.

PR and Marketing

It is simple; hackathons are great PR and generate easy but great stories to tell. They also help promote products or services of your company to a broader audience.

Why do we do Hackathons?

A hackathon boosts the energy, raises adrenaline and increase creativity of everyone involved. Numerous competitors, who like challenges and being challenged, gather to ideate and create solutions they wish to see in the world. This results in tremendous energy and positive vibe. And trust us – it is contagious!

Can you imagine day 1 of the hackathon, when you don’t know a lot about the sponsor (company giving the challenge) and you probably aren’t familiar with the people on your team, and then you rock the stage with a new – potentially profitable – idea on only the second day? It is a hectic and stressful time that makes the participants move the boundaries of possible and come up with great ideas, analysis and business propositions. It is also a great team building.

This is definitely one of the reasons why we organize and run hackathons, however, there is also a deeper meaning to it. While startups and students like the drive and a chance to solve creative challenges, the story is a bit different for corporates. What we don’t want is to make them lose time and money. Hackathons have to bring added value to the innovation process they run internally. It is way to explore, sketch and test new ideas. Furthermore, the corporate gets a detailed analysis and recommendations for further steps from all competing teams. And further steps sure are important. Hackathons are usually just a beginning of the innovation journey.

Do a Hackathon with us and increase your database of innovative solutions and talents!

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