What is a hackathon?

What is a hackathon?
  • What is a Hackathon? 

Hackathons are conducted to find interesting and often times unheard solutions to problems. A hackathon provides you with a platform along with the opportunity to meet like-minded skilled team members to find solutions with. In other words, hackathons are innovative competitions where people come together to solve problems in unique, novel and innovative ways. 

 

How are hackathons structured?  

Hackathons are structured as design-sprint events which can range from 24 hours up to 42 hours and sometimes even more.  

There is a big misconception about hackathons, that they are only related to hacking, IT, or technology. In reality hackathons are held in various industries all around the world. I.e.  agriculture, Health, Education, gaming, finance and more. 

“The word hackathon is derived from two words: Hack & Marathon”  

Participants gather and pitch their ideas, while mentioning the skills they are looking for in their teams. Once the teams are decided, everyone breaks into their groups and the work begins!  

Experts and mentors are available to provide guidance and support to the teams. Often, teams work straight through the night with the help of massive amounts of caffeine and the occasional nap.  

At the end, all teams are required to give a demo of their solutions to the judges, after which winners are announced and prizes are distributed.  

 

Some notable hackathons from around the world.

EOSIO is a platform for everyone. EOSIO Hackathons empower engineers, designers, marketers, entrepreneurs, and any other innovators to build their ideas on EOSIO blockchain. 

Along with Hackathons from time-to-time, they help others host their own hackathons. Whether you need a technology partner or just some advice as you host, they have experts to help your hackathon reach its potential. 

hackNY has empowered a community of student-technologists in New York City through the annual hackNY Summer Fellowship program and student hackathons. hackNY is co-organized by faculty from NYU, Columbia, and Harvard Business School. 

Participants (“hackers”) spend 36 hours working in teams of 1 – 4 people to build or code or design projects (“hacks”) that they’re excited about. There are workshops, mentors, food, swag, and buckets of coffee to guide you along the way. You bring your ideas, and we give you everything you need to make them come to life. 

 

 

Some previous hackathons conducted at the NIC.

 

For Hacktivate 1.0 NIC teamed up with Pakistan’s leading tech & education communities to enable people to solve educational problems in Pakistan within 48 hours. It started with brainstorming ideas and forming teams (min 2, max 4 people). NIC provided a platform for opportunist to have fun and  create an impact with the help of expert guidance in the form of mentors and influencers.

The National Health Hackathon allowed people to collaborate and develop modern solutions to control the spread of communicable diseases like COVID-19. Called all techies, health experts, educationists, engineers and businessmen to a national level platform. For everyone to step up, come forward with their ideas and solutions and collectively rise above the chaos. #SolveForHumanity

  • Hacktivate 3.0

The NIC is conducting an Agriculture Hackathon “Hacktivate 3.0” which will be geared towards finding solutions for agricultural problems in Pakistan and the world. Click here to learn more. 

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