What is a Hackathon?


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What are hackathons and how did they come about?
(This is a keynote talk leading into the WRIC Health Congress and Health Hackfest, Brussels 2014)

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What is a Hackathon?

  1. 1. What is a ?
  2. 2. Jurjen Söhne • Catalyst for Creativity, Innovation and Co-Creation • Entrepreneur in Emerging Technologies & Experiences • Fellow & Connector of the Royal Society of Arts @juris_tweets jurjensohne infiniteplayground @infinitePG “committed to finding innovative, practical and game-changing solutions to today’s challenges”
  3. 3. Hackathons (a.k.a. hackfests, hack days, codefests) are events where computer programmers - and others involved in software development - meet to collaborate on computer programming. Occasionally there is a hardware component as well. Software Developers coders hardware hackers researchers entrepreneurs students
  4. 4. Hackathons are not about breaking into the
  5. 5. “Good” Crackers ! Who use their computer security related skills and knowledge to learn more about how systems and networks work to help to discover and fix security holes. "Evil" Crackers ! Who use the same skills to write harmful software (like viruses, trojans) and illegally infiltrate secure systems with the intention of doing harm to the system. “White Hat” Hackers “Black Hat” Hackers Computer Security Experts Computer Criminals
  6. 6. … a place for self-expression and creativity through technology. Where people with technical, scientific and artistic backgrounds come together and collaboratively code on industry-changing solutions. Hackathons are…
  7. 7. The History of Hackathons
  8. 8. 1975 Homebrew Computer Club 1999 2005 Super Happy Dev House Communal Competitive Facebook 2006 Yahoo! Hack Day 2007 Startup Weekend 20092010 College Hackathons 2011 Music Hack Days Startup Hackathons 2012today TV Media Hackathons Health Hackathons ’80 - ‘90
  9. 9. CivicHackathons CollegeHackathons CorporateHackathons SpaceHackathons BrainHackathons
  10. 10. Civic Hackathons Civic hacking events are focused on finding solutions to the solve local civic challenges. Smart cities, open data, social cohesion
  11. 11. College Hackathons A student-run “mega hackathons", where more than a thousand student programmers from all over the world come together to learn how to work with new technologies.
  12. 12. Corporate Hackathons Hackathon hosted alongside a large single sponsor event (Salesforce in this case)
  13. 13. Space Hackathons An international hackathon focused on finding solutions to problems faced on Earth and in Space… 100 countries, 6 continents
  14. 14. Hack the Brain In the days of Rembrandt we explored the body, now we explore the mind.
  15. 15. Success Stories
  16. 16. Like and Chat came out of an internal hackathon
  17. 17. “The GitHub for legal documents wins a $650k round”
  18. 18. Stats Messi Place Bet Replay Help reinvent the TV with Gracenote’s APIs
  19. 19. of innovation powering the next generation invention and creativity
  20. 20. Companies and Organisations that supported
  22. 22. THE PURPOSE & AIMS The purpose of this hackfest is to support the healthcare industry and startup scene with ICT tools to stimulate for the creation of innovative, relevant and scalable solutions. Our aim is to empower the participants with their ideas, to provide the right environment to develop their ideas into prototypes, to stimulate for collaboration, and to make them feel recognised and appreciated for their creativity and efforts they put into the projects.
  23. 23. The Challenges in the Market
  24. 24. Research
 How do we bridge the skills between research and technology? How can technology play a supportive role, addressing the grand challenges in healthcare? Funding
 What funding programs are available for projects and researchers? How can they tap into this source of support? Fragmentation How do we consolidate a market which is multinational, multilingual, multicultural and multi-marketed? Challenges
  25. 25. “fail early, fail often and fail fast” Silicon Valley Europe “if you fail in Europe, you’re done” Attitude European investors: Previous failure is a sign not to invest Attitude American investors: Multiple failures shows tenacity and experience Startup Culture
  26. 26. Body-adapted Wearables Quantified Self (Predictive Analytics) Brain-Computer Interface Cognitive Computing Emerging Technologies
  27. 27. Future Approach? Form an EU hackathon force to utilise this new phenomenon to tackle problems and find solutions – from civic issues to entertainment, down to health and environment. Blend international cooperation and competition to help facilitate innovation.
  28. 28. Thank You& hope to see you around at the hackfest next door!
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