If you have been following us for a while, you probably already know a lot about hackathons. But if you are just getting started in the world of hackathons, let us guide you through the basics.

1. What is a hackathon?

A sprint-like event where participants team up and create solutions to different topics or challenges in an intense period of time, usually in 24-48 hours. Using creativity, technology, and mentoring, the event results in prototypes, new concepts, and innovation.

The exact challenges or open-topics (depending on the hackathon) are usually provided by multiple or in some cases by one specific sponsor, who deals with real-world issues and is open to fresh solutions. After the live pitches of the solutions, the jury and the audience select the best ones in the different categories and the winners get rewarded with thousands of Euros.

2. How does a hackathon event look like?

The first thing a participant needs to do is register. Almost all of our hackathons are hybrid, meaning anyone can choose to participate online or offline. However, because of the venue limitations, those who want to take part offline, need to get an admission confirmation from the organizers. If they do – they can join the offline event, if they don’t – they can still compete online.

1–2 days prior to the hackathon we announce all of the challenges or topics that participants can freely choose from. After arriving at the venue, during the opening ceremony we share every important information needed for the competition – including challenge introductions from the partners, so don’t worry if you are not sure which challenge to work on, you will get more insight about them by the end of the first day.

As soon as the ceremony is over, participants can book sessions with experienced mentors to get feedback on their projects and improve them before submission. Depending on the hackathon they have 24-48 hours to create a demo and a 2-minute-long video explaining their idea. During this time offline participants are provided with food, coffee, energy drinks and they can even sleep at the venue if they choose to do so.

At the end of the hackathon, the best teams get the chance to pitch their ideas live and win thousands of Euros worth of money prizes.

3. What types of hackathons are there?

We usually differentiate our hackathons based on how many partners we have. 

Multi-sponsored hackathons usually have 3-6 different sponsors providing challenges they face at their own companies. During these types of hackathons, each challenge sponsor can offer a unique prize to their own challenge winner. On the other hand, custom hackathons only have one partner and they can decide how many challenges they define and what type of prizes they award to the best teams.

However, we can talk about different themes as well, for example, we’ll have a Web 3.0 hackathon in February called HACK3, while we’ll organize a totally different healthcare-related Hack&Heal in March.

4. Why is it worth joining as a participant?

You literally have nothing to lose.

Joining a hackathon is totally free of charge – as a matter of fact, offline participants get a lot of free stuff just by taking part in the event. First off, a welcome bag with an event T-shirt, and small gifts from the partners. Food and beverages are provided during the whole event for free as well, and the more adventurous types sometimes sleep in the venue in our comfy beanbags.

But this is not why most people come to hackathons.

By attending a hackathon you become a part of an amazing community where people thrive on improving and challenging themselves. You’ll get to meet like-minded individuals with different experiences and lifestyles, you can network and learn from your peers as well as from the mentors and partners. You can build things that can improve other people’s lives, and get financial support from huge multinational companies. 

If you are looking to increase your value in the job market, this is also a great opportunity for you. You can proudly attach your hackathon certificate to your CV, but many of our partners are looking to hire the most talented ones as well. We have many previous participants who got offered a job from a partner company after seeing how hard they worked for those 48 hours. 

And of course the prizes. We provide different types of prizes at each of our hackathons, meaning you have high chances of winning at least one if you put in the work. We suggest using the thousands of Euros you win to execute and improve your project, but the use of it is unrestricted. If you win – it’s yours. 🙂

5. How to win a hackathon?

Determination, a well-built team, listening to the mentors, and experience. The more hackathons you come to, the better you will become at it. We also organize free one-day long hackathon trainings from time to time – if you don’t want to miss them subscribe to our newsletter on this link!