HerHackathon 2023: A strong sense of community achieves outstanding solutions

Germany’s largest all-female hackathon brings together 200 creative minds 

„We as women found a space, the right platform to express our views, opinions and demonstrate the work and the skills that we have“ is how participant Rayene sums up HerHackathon 2023, „I feel more heard and more seen.“ Many talents who demonstrated their skills at HerHackathon 2023 also share that sentiment. 200 young, talented women from 40 nations spent 48 hours working on six exciting challenges set by the event’s challenge setters: Freudenberg Group, ING Germany, John Deere, Schwarz IT, Bayer and Beiersdorf. As an incentive, a prize pool of 10,000 euros and the opportunity to hack for a better future! With plenty of coffee and snacks the participants worked together, brainstormed and exchanged ideas. Strangers quickly became friends and developed solutions together. A crackling atmosphere and a sense of community amid smoking heads. 

Together rather than against each other

Whether a startup founder or a seasoned professional, each has helped increase the visibility of women in tech. In Europe, women are still underrepresented in tech at just 22 percent. As attendee and keynote speaker Dorothee Ebert explained,” They are usually the only women in the room at their workplace. Now being in one place with so many like-minded, tech-savvy women was an extraordinary experience for all involved.” Full of determination and enthusiasm, the talented individuals demonstrated their technical skills, creativity and problem-solving abilities throughout the event. A positive working environment was created during the hackathon, characterized by the idea of mutual support rather than competition against each other. 

Making the most of networking opportunities 

Exciting lectures by industry experts awaited the talents, who were happy to pass on their knowledge and inspire with their experience. Contacts with leading companies in the technology sector could be made at the popular speed dating session. The event thus invited networking, both with potential employers and like-minded people. As a result, great solutions and ideas emerged for real-world challenges to change people’s lives. „It is amazing to see such a diverse group of women looking for solutions to improve other women’s lives “, Theodora from Bayer tells us. The innovations and approaches from different perspectives highlight how much female perspectives are needed in the development of technical solutions. 

Agriculture succeeds

Team “Harvest Hero” under the challenge setter John Deere which convinced the jury was the winner of HerHackathon 2023. The first-place winners were delighted to receive prize money of 5,000 euros. The app was developed to help farmers make quick decisions about harvesting and field management to achieve the best possible harvest and sales revenue. Farmers can upload pictures of their fields to the app and then receive recommendations: When is the best time to harvest? When should the crop be sold and what should be grown on which soil? The jury was impressed by both the originality of the concept and the technical implementation and the potential it offers. “What ultimately convinced us was the size of the task,” explained jury member Dr. Julia Freudenberg. “We thought it was great that young women were tackling a problem in such a male-dominated field.”  Second place went to the “FLYMZIS” group with a challenge from ING and third place went to “Co.her.ence” from the Freudenberg Group. 


Reunion brings joy

As a summary, the majority of participants said: we will be back! They were convinced by the organization, the potential job opportunities and the exciting challenges. But one thing stood out: the sense of community, the atmosphere and the work in an all-female team. A factor that makes participation worthwhile and shows the importance of such events. After all, we are the ones paving the way for equality and making the voice of women in the technology industry heard.” Seeing other women who are so talented, brilliant and intelligent gives me the confidence that anything is possible,” sums up participant Sarah. 
The next HerHackathon will take place June 28-30, 2024, at Mannheim Castle.