7 Tips to Win a Hackathon

7 Tips to Win a Hackathon

Riya Aggarwal's photo
Riya Aggarwal
·Jun 30, 2022·

7 min read

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Do you support your talent and desire for success? Or Are you Worried about winning the hackathon? Hackathons can sound scary… but really they’re fun and relaxed events where you can learn how to create cool technology.

Everyone aspires to success in both life and hackathons, but success only goes to those who really want it. A hackathon is the ultimate test of talent and stamina because there is little time to come up with solutions and submit prototypes.

Let's start your hackathon winning streak with us!

INTRODUCTION

Winning is not always a straight line and requires a mix of skills, and planning some tricks, here we will spill some of them.

Before we dive into strategies to win hackathons, let us explain a bit about hackathons for those who are unfamiliar with the concept of a Hackathon.

Hackathons are where your crazy ideas become reality.

What is a hackathon?

A Hackathon is something similar to events that are designed to push individuals to learn something new, step outside of their comfort zone and meet like-minded people.

They're places where you can connect with like-minded people, pick up new skills, and develop innovative technologies. They can sound rather frightening. But to participate, you don't need to be a genius or a coding expert at all.

As a newbie. before enrolling in any new hackathon, spend some time understanding how hackathons operate, their essential elements, and the abilities needed by participants.

Do not wait for assignments to be given to you. Ask for them, provide suggestions, and collaborate with your team. Work with a partner to program, assist coworkers with their assignments, or examine the design and make suggestions. Go for consultation from mentors on both personal and professional matters in addition to the hackathon and seek guidance.

Check out the collaboration, planning, design, and programming tools that other participants are using. What makes them choose these tools over others?

Tips to win a hackathon

Before the event

1. Duration of the Hackathon

The duration of the hackathon is the very first factor you should research. It can range from 24 hours to 10 days or even 40 days in this game, but it will often last between 3 and 4 days.

Now, you need to consider the duration because it determines how you must pace yourself when finishing. So the duration should guide your work pace and efficiency.

2. The idea of your project

The idea for the hackathon project is the second-most crucial component of any hackathon; the majority of participants invest a lot of time in making sure it succeeds.

Original Idea or Existing One with some New Features?

You'll also wonder whether it would be better to improve upon an existing idea rather than come up with something entirely fresh and original.

We personally recommend you to go with a unique and new idea. one that appeals to the ears and can be genuinely marketed to a business. As a final step, you will present this to a panel of judges. They are seeking a catchy and original thought since they have to see what everyone else has to say.

Basically take the old wine and sell it in a new bottle and add a new flavor or something.

If you decided on a project and now prepare yourself for starting procedure of how you can get started with your Hackathon project.

Pro-Tip: While brainstorming during the planning session, choose the most incredible concept and make it the foundation of your system. Then, build just those elements around the main system that you believe will complement it and serve as a major selling point.

3. The Team

One of the key elements that can greatly affect your chances of winning a hackathon is selecting the appropriate teammates.

When talents and expertise vary, a team made up of individuals with a variety of abilities would be excellent. Additionally, it will be much simpler for team members to get into the flow if they are familiar with one another.

“You can't win a hackathon or build a house without a good foundation”. “If you have a good and engaged team, the next stages will be successful.”

For executing the idea it was very important to have a multidisciplinary team. Everyone contributed with their skills. The (short) time was a challenge, but we managed to do it!”

During The Hackathon

4. The Product Plan

Have a clear goal ASAP! 🎯.

Plan your working curriculum as soon as possible with a clear vision. It's time to begin to work on the idea you wish to explore after gathering the team.

Your team strategy, master plan, or whatever name you use, should be straightforward and easy to comprehend. To ensure that your team has a clear and intuitive understanding of how to put everything up, I mean by plan the product idea, how it all functions, how the front end and backend are connected, and pipelines.

This will aid with project visualization and assist you steer clear of the significant setbacks that frequently occur throughout project development.

5. Choosing Simplicity

Hackathons are time-based events. Therefore, choosing simplicity over complication is preferable.

It will be considerably harder and take much longer to go for a lengthy code. Additionally, even the smallest inaccuracies will lead to faults in your software. Making a sophisticated user interface or design quickly might be annoying. Making the decision to be simple results in a more concise and legible code. Likewise, a simple yet attractive design.

6. Engage properly

Don’t just follow the rules, dig deeper 😎.

After reading the details of the challenge, you might feel compelled to start coding right now. This frequently results in teams creating initiatives based on false assumptions.

The majority of firms will have mentors or experts ready to assist teams and clear up any questions along the process. They should always be consulted, and you should solicit their input as well.

Many organizers also provide informative webinars for larger, more complicated hackathons that are jam-packed with helpful material. You ought to always go to them if you have the chance.

7. Presentation Time

In hackathons, Victory consists of 50% presentation, 30% ideas, and 20% implementation.

With this fact in mind, you shouldn't disregard the time needed for presentation preparation. Prepare all the tools required for product presentation in advance.

A mediocre prototype won’t make you lose, but a mediocre presentation definitely will. It all boils down to the presentation in the end. Imagine developing a superb final project, but nobody understands what you’ve done because it’s not presented perfectly? Heartbreaking 💔.

During the presentation

  • Briefly describe the real-world issue you're trying to resolve. If it's significant enough, the judge ought to be aware of it; otherwise, if it's not well recognized, make an emotional connection. Everybody enjoys a good tale.

  • Make sure to outline all the functions, features, and advantages of your product. The team presentation is usually followed by a Q&A session. Throughout this, judges will quiz you on your stated idea or notion. They'll also point out the flaws, so you should be able to counter them.

  • Additionally, it is advised that you keep your presentation concise. Prepare your presentation appropriately if the pitch is only 3 minutes long. You don't want your presentation to be interrupted midway through due to time constraints. Because it demonstrates your team's thought process and the specifics of your project, this stage is very highly regarded.

That’s a wrap! 🍬

“The worth of an idea lies in the application of it" as the proverb says.

To win a hackathon requires a combination of several factors, which isn't always achievable.

Hackathons aren’t really about winning prizes. They’re about to play with awesome technology.

To win a hackathon, you must create a strong team, have a specific objective, make a straightforward yet compelling presentation, and utilize all available resources effectively.

When you combine all of these secret sauces then you will observe a significant change in your final product.

Bonus Tip 💯 : We know useful, valuable information is like pure gold. And who better to give some extra advice to beginners other than our experienced hackathon winners?

Only starting to learn to code? Read

Also, if you’re looking to participate in a hackathon and want to organize one for you, head over to our challenges page and join our community of 1.5M+ student innovators.

Join our community: discord.gg/AYsverePuZ

Would you want to contribute any advice that you may have as well? What have you produced if you've already participated in a hackathon? Please comment on this:)

Happy Hacking!

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