Recently, we attended a hackathon in DCU in Dublin, hosted by PCH. 52 hours of blood, sweat and tears to create a prototype from one of the first day pitch ideas. That doesn’t mean you need to be an engineer or anything of the sort. At the hackathon there were all types of people present, from homemakers to engineers. All the ideas were amazing!
We got to mentor at this hackathon; it was amazing to be able to help these great young minds and see where this hackathon took them.
You don’t need to be an engineer to pitch an idea. Anybody with an idea can pitch it and everybody listens intently. The more you know about your target market the better.
The best example is Stephen Keane who successfully pitched a great idea to make Triathlete shoes smart. Based on his experience as a triathlete he knew that fastening the cycling shoe caused triathletes the all important seconds and sometimes injuries.
More about hackathons:
- Hackathons are great places to test teams. If you can take the weekend pressure chances are you’re are built to last.
- Hackathons can lead to job opportunities. People get to know each other and their abilities. Who knows who you’re talking to!
- Hackathons are competitive but in a collaborative way. Sure the teams want to win but they will help their fellow hackathoners out.
- Hackathons are a great business experience. Where else can you pitch cold, design a product, create a team, create websites/twitter accounts/logos, learn pitching skills and present in front of serious people in 52 hours and for less that €50.
- Hackathons don’t seem to be a good way to find true love. There were no pitches from women and a low turn out of women over the weekend. The ladies that were there were great and worked hard with their teams and as mentors.
- Hackathons can lead to new companies and startups. The winning team BlueTape will get €3,000 and an office in the DCU Innovation Campus once the company is official. They have access to big name companies and people such Intel, PCH and others.
Here are some interviews with organisers and participants: