Happy New Year! Here are our 10 Tips on how to win a Hackathon

Happy New Year from The Hackathon Company! We hope you’ve had a great start to the new year. We wish you creative adventures, amazing ideas, exciting projects, prosperity, and success. May all your ideas and visions come to life. If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, consider learning how to win a hackathon. To ensure a successful hackathon experiece, we aim to provide you with the best tips to improve your skills. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. 

1. Teamwork makes the dream work:

If the rules of your hackathon allow it, consider building a team with friends or other participants who have complementary skills, such as designers and coders. You may not always have the luxury of choice, but if it is possible, take advantage of the opportunity. Sometimes, mixed teams are even a requirement from the outset. Effective communication and mutual support within the team are essential to realizing your ideas.

2. Your mind can do wonders:

Mindset is everything. Prepare yourself to win even if you end up not doing so. Be motivated, focused, and dont forget to have fun and enjoy the experience. Its not all about winning, but good mindset can lead to great ideas. Get inspired by likeminded people.

3. Good or bad ideas:

Not all ideas are great, and that’s okay. Take your time to brainstorm ideas with your team and listen to one another. Filter the ideas based on their value and choose a vision that is achievable within the given time. Create a raw prototype on paper, outlining all the important key components and assigning tasks to team members. 

4. Build a concept and work towards the same goal:

Ensure that the team is clear on what they want to achieve and that they share the same objective (winning? 😉). Discuss priorities, dependencies, and milestones within the team. Validate the concept before proceeding with development.

5. Food is fuel:

Take breaks. Have a snack, drink water, or take a walk to recharge.  Short breaks can refresh the mind and provide an opportunity to communicate with team members. 

6. Practise your pitch:

Before presenting, rehearse your speech a few times. Pitch it to your team and mentors to get feedback on what works best.  Aim for interactivity rather than just reading words. The more comfortable and fluent you feel with your topic, the better.

7. Invest in the presentation:

Take a few hours to prepare a good presentation. It is key to winning. Collect all the materials developed by the team that you want to share. Keep the presentation short and simple, including the slides. Explain your prototype in a way that is easy to understand, including its functions, features, and advantages. Be prepared to answer questions. Discuss the problem you are trying to solve and explain how your prototype uniquely addresses it.

8. Dont stress yourself:

Your product doesn’t have to be without mistakes. Don’t focus too much on building the one perfect, bug-free solution. Choose simplicity over complexity and enjoy the event. Maintain a positive energy in the team.

A mix of good preparation, a great team, strategy, and understanding the challenge, along with a clear presentation, increases the chances of winning. However, Hackathons are primarily about the experience, learning new skills, and meeting inspiring people. 

And for your personal developement: 

9. Take a chance: 

If you are searching for a job, don’t miss the opportunity to connect with leading companies and talk directly to them. Hackathons have resulted in great chances. Some offer speed dating or other ways to present yourself to the corporates. Taking a chance may result in a new job adventure.

10. Get inspired:

Take the opportunity to expand your knowledge by attending workshops and talks. Listen to exciting topics and hear professionals talk about their experiences. You will learn a lot.

Good luck in your Hackathon 2024-Adventures!
We look forward meeting you at one of our events!