So what is a hackathon?
A hackathon is a fun, multi-day innovation event in which developers, creative designers and business people collaborate intensively on business projects linked by a theme. The aim is to enable innovative outcomes that solve real problems in a relaxed, supportive and competitive environment.
Does this have anything to do with cybercrime?
Nothing at all. "Hackathon" is a combination of the words "hack" and "marathon", where "hack" is a modern term to describe getting shit done fast. A hackathon is about innovation, creativity and exploration around a theme – in our case the theme is responding to the challenges of sustainability in business.
How does HackNelson compare with Startup Weekend?
There is definite overlap in terms of duration, intensity, innovation and some of the tech and business skills involved. The big thing with HackNelson is that it is problem-led. Everyone is focused on solving real problems that real NelsonTasman businesses already care about. This is not about inventing a business from scratch, it is about unlocking new value for established businesses and creating opportunity for the innovators as well.
Can we create our own teams for the event? or do you select the teams?
Could be either or. We encourage people to come along and join teams after the business problems are announced on the Friday night. The organizers will make sure every participant is placed in a suitable team - so don't be shy if you are entering alone!
Why does it cost money to participate?
Even though participants need to purchase tickets, HackNelson is a non-profit event, and wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors (ticket sales definitely do not cover all event expenses). The $99 participant fee ($49 for students) goes towards paying for venue hire, meals for the whole weekend, and event t-shirts. Putting ticket costs aside, we believe the networking opportunities and educational value through mentor guidance and team collaboration far exceeds the cost. Last years participants were blown away with the enjoyment and value of HackNelson weekend.
Who owns the solution ideas?
IP is jointly owned. There is a mutual opportunity for companies and each team to further the relationship formed over the weekend and commercialise ideas after the event. The key is collaboration, working together to solve real problems.
Is there a limit to the size of the teams?
No – however we’re thinking around 6 – 10 people per team.
What sort of business problems relate to this year's theme: "Sustainability - Preparing for your future" ?
We're excited to hear all kinds of different problems faced by NelsonTasman businesses. Here are a few examples but anything goes...
- How to measure your environmental footprint?
- Where to manage or minimise wastage within your business?
- What to measure and change to address the impact of climate change?
- How to communicate your sustainability credentials to global customers?
- How to create sustainable jobs in this region?
- What tools could be created to combine the efforts of suppliers, competitors or customers?
Is this just about software or is it more holistic?
Definitely more holistic! Think of it as a blank sheet, with freedom and creativity when it comes to the approach and outcomes. The process and the journey are equally as important as the outcome.
So this isn’t about making an app?
It could be, or it may be something completely different. The teams will likely have a mix of different mind types, so anything is possible!
Are the business owners open to hearing that maybe they haven’t understood the root cause or wider context that underlies the stated problem?
Definitely! - This event is about fresh perspectives and deep understanding so keep exploring what you think the best direction might be.