You can prepare for a hackathon just showing up and hoping for the best can work out fine. Put yourself into the hacker mindset and prime your brain for thinking creatively, efficiently, and adaptively. Be ready to make decisions quickly and rethink them even faster. Take the time to fully understand the theme of the hackathon and also take the time to know who are the sponsors and judges.
How to attract attention for your idea
First of all, the idea must be impressively original and current. Then, to attract attention at the hackathon, your idea should be easy to understand. Can you explain your idea completely using a phrase? If you could do that, you have a great idea.
It’s a very common situation for everyone that the project idea you choose, already exists. Don’t worry! Novelty in your idea is what makes difference.
Next and the most important key to attract attention is the final presentation. Depending on the hackathon, your presentation may be as much as 33% of your weighted score. What they want is for you to be able to explain usually in less than five minutes, why you think your app need to win. This is time to state all of the things from the theme that you used. Make sure you don’t get lost with too much details and empashize the main idea of your project.
Investors and mentors
Some firms consider hackathons essentially as good PR, and pay for them out of their marketing budgets. Others find them helpful with recruiting. Investors love hackathons because of the unique opportunity they offer to meet teams and see how effectively they work together to refine their business concepts. Software engineers/hackers are in high demand. A big benefit for investors is that they can find passionate people and can identify the brightest technical minds. Companies gain exposure by giving tech talks about their APIs and sending their developers to come hang out/answer questions/participate as judges/mentor the teams.
The participants have the benefit to gain exposure in front of investors and also investors tend to give away a lot of swag, software licenses, or even hardware in some cases.
Participants benefit from mentor’s help because they play a key role. Mentors work with teams to help them define workflows, generate ideas, problem solve, and develop final presentations. Mentors are expected to be available to their assigned team for the duration of the hackathon to ensure consistency and provide participants the best opportunity for learning and growth. The most important role of any mentor is to be helpful and encouraging.
4 more things you need to know
If you want your idea to win, these are some things you need to know:
To participate to a hackathon is the best choice because is full of benefits. You can demonstrate your skills, connect with others passionate developers, make friend and you can gain a prize.
If you already got excited by reading all this, we want to tell you that you don’t have to wait anymore! DevHacks is coming soon, so make sure you will be there: https://goo.gl/FzSDfv
Also, HIPO sponsors 100 invitations to DevHacks, so apply now and get the chance to win one: https://goo.gl/cXnbHL