What are you trying to do? Learn something new? Look for a Job? Start a new business? Create a cool mobile app? Win an Ipad? Meet angels and VCs? Test your idea? Make sure you pick the right Hackathon.
Start by searching Twitter and Blogs about the Hackathon you plan to attend, look for names, follow people, Check linked-In profiles, check the participants out, even ping them before you arrive. You will save TONS of time and save yourself some stress by getting a team in place or at least who you have in mind to talk with.
Also, bring two of three ideas (web app, mobile app and game) Most hackathons will also list attending people, so see what the majority of people are strong at (mobile? Gaming?)Research the Hackathon’s sponsors, see previous winners, check out what APIs and What prizes are being offered.Check the Judges, what do they do, what do they invest, watch video of their presos and conferences
Your survival Kit should include – Sleeping bag, a change of clothes, comb, mouthwash and eye dropsYour Tech Kit – Laptop, extra battery, extra power strips, extra phone chargers, external monitor, keyboard mouse, projector, extra laptop, devices you need to developSoftware – GitHub account, Amazon Services, Graphic Widgets, Wireframes, Photoshop, Hosting, subdomains, APIs you need that are not providedGiveaways – if you have an idea and a domain ready, give stickers, pens, tshirts. Share your beer!Food – Most places will have it, so just bring snacks, red bulls, extra beer will make you everyone’s friend if you find a fridget to keep it cold
Pitch your idea but listen to othersLook for team membersBe in touch, get a # to text, commit earlyBe flexibleSplit the workload soon Establish milestone deadlines – Priorities might shift depending on team, time, etc…
Here is the secret:Use as many APIs as you can, depending on the sponsorsIntegrate them to your app somewhereThe more, the merrier, the likelier to get selected for the next round
The 3 temptations:Go outside for a drink - stay inGo home to sleep – sleep in set a comeback time if going home is inevitableObsess about the competition – Worry about your ideasDon’t do this!
Get your twitter, FB, Posterous, Tumblr, Turntable.fm goingJoin the hashtags for your eventDon’t be selfish, give props, be funnyKeeps you in the judges and organizers
Don’t wait for the last minute for a deckRehearse your pitch and have a 5-6 page deckRecord a decent demo video – get a digital cameraHave a ‘bulletproof’ nonfunctional demo, (e.g. screenshots of pages)Have an account with data
Hackathon survival guide
Hackathon Prep and Survey Guide From a Hackathon Loser! – Lessons Learned Francisco Guerrero Founder Pintics @Guerrero_FJ @pintics
So you want to join a Hackathon… Why? Pick one based on your needs