How To Ace A Hackathon!

The key to winning lies in strategizing

Be smart about team selection, Plan your every move; Prioritize and Create a mind-blowing presentation!

By HIBA KHAN

Every hackathon epitomizes innovation! While applying for one can be a slightly nerve-wrecking process, the key to winning it lies in strategizing and having an inventive and pro-active approach.

If you are thinking of participating in a hackathon, here’s all you need to know to bring home the coveted first prize.

Be Smart About Team Selection

Whether you are participating in a coding or non-coding hackathon, it is important to get together a team that possesses a varied skill set. Choose members based on their forte and don’t forget to assign positions to each member so they know what role to carry out.

The top skills you should be looking for are technical expertise, organizational skills, business development abilities and impressive presentation skills.

Additionally, ensure that the member of your team is compatible and good at communicating effectively.

Plan Your Every Move

Most hackathons have a theme and set of rules. Make sure you fully understand what the theme, purpose and rules entail. Take out time to understand the evaluation criteria, the type of deliverables needed and basic requirements.

If possible, dig in to the profiles of the judges to find out their backgrounds. Are they business development executives, engineers, investors, company representatives? Knowing your audience will allow you to impress them better.

“Having a team that interacts with eachother is key, understand each persons role  thoroughly, spend time on the importance of why?, dig deep into the purpose of the challenge and how your product or service will genuinely make a difference to peoples lives. Remember a success solution is not based on the Out Put it is based on the Out Come. Finally make sure your team are all on the same page when you go to present – it is critical that you allocate time for this otherwise all that hard work will crash and burn at the last hurdle!” Sarah Landry, Managing Director

Prioritize

A hackathon will judge your time management skills like no other challenge can. Focus your time and energy in to creating a clear product vision and coming up with the integral steps needed to build it. Additionally, run a quick rehearsal of your demo before you go on to present it.

Create A Mind-Blowing Presentation

Finally, it all comes down to presentation! The best way to give an impressive presentation is to engage with the audience, demonstrate your enthusiasm for the product and be uber confident.

Here’s a simple format to base your presentation on:

  • Situation
  • Problem
  • Implication
  • Need Analysis (Solution)
  • Target Market
  • Product Demo
  • Business Model
  • Future Rollout

Prepare to think on your feet as you will be met with questions at the end of your speech.

Strategic planning and a stellar team will help you successfully pave your way in every challenge.

Now that you know how to hack your way to a win, check out our hackathons page and get involved!

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