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How to Organize a Great Hackathon with the Hackathon Canvas

The Hackathon Canvas is a visual and strategic tool for hackathon organizers.
It's used as a dashboard during the organization process to start, design, prepare, communicate and debrief easily.

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DOWNLOAD : http://hackathoncanvas.co
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The 7 blocks help you to cover the main topics to organize your hackathon and avoid typical pitfalls. Each block contains the right questions and real examples to guide you.

This is a guideline on How to use the Hackathon Canvas.

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How to Organize a Great Hackathon with the Hackathon Canvas

  1. 1. How to Organize a Great Hackathon with the Hackathon Canvas Michel Duchateau Innovation Coach Startup Weekend Facilitator Hackathon Animator www.hackathoncanvas.co
  2. 2. 2 Definition of a Hackathon A typical hackathon is a two-day workshop where attendees form teams to build solutions together. In a mindset of positive competition, teams go as far as possible to design, prototype and deliver concrete results in a time-boxed marathon. At the end of the event, teams present their results to others or a panel of judges. This definition includes non-IT events, innovation-related and business oriented events, and differs from the original definition of the term “hackathon”. More on Wikipedia
  3. 3. 3 Organizing a Hackathon Is Not Simple A lot of people are facing difficulties and obstacles when organizing their own hackathons. This is what I learned after organizing and animating 50 hackathons. Whatever the type, goal, and size of the event, typical pitfalls could have been avoided with a better preparation. Here are the top 10 most common pitfalls.
  4. 4. Top 10 Pitfalls 4 When organizing a hackathon Reasons Examples 1 No clear purpose. ‘Let’s plan a hackathon because it’s hype.’ 2 No preparation about what happens after the event. ‘Thank you for your demo. Goodbye!’ 3 No communication strategy. ‘Just set up a registration page and wait for attendees to come.’ 4 No clue regarding participants’ profiles. ‘We target everyone.’ 5 Poor results (slide decks instead of prototypes). ‘Attendees will present something cool.’ 6 Bad estimation of the resources needed. ‘Preparation is a 2 hours meeting.’ 7 Confusing objectives for organizers and attendees. Attendees will validate business models for us! 8 Partners are involved but not committed. ‘Venue’s guys changed their minds the week before the event.’ 9 No clear event goal. ‘We want everyone to create stuff.’ 10 Egocentric. No empathy for attendees. A public hackathon where attendees work for a for-profit company for free.
  5. 5. 5 The Hackathon Canvas Your visual tool to organize a hackathon easily A visual and strategic tool The 7 blocks help you to cover the main topics to organize your hackathon and avoid typical pitfalls. Each block contains the right questions and real examples to guide you. It’s free and open for everyone. http://hackathoncanvas.co
  6. 6. When to Use the Hackathon Canvas 6 Organizing a hackathon like a project Design Elaborate the vision, strategy and goals Prepare Involve partners, suppliers, stakeholders Communicate Recruit and prepare attendees Start Set up your organizing team Run Execute the hackathon, capture feedbacks Debrief Review results and collect lessons learned The Hackathon Canvas can be used as a dashboard during the organization process to start, design, prepare, communicate and debrief easily.
  7. 7. 7 How to Use the Hackathon Canvas Using this visual tool as a dashboard Print it and use it with sticky notes. In 30 minutes, you structure the concept of your hackathon, define your action plan and prepare a fantastic event. Challenge your event with your team, maximize the experience for attendees and create value for stakeholders.
  8. 8. 8 Key Resources Key Results Key Partners AttendeesAttendees’ Value Propositions Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type
  9. 9. 9Hackathon Goals
  10. 10. Hackathon Goals 10 v  What are the objectives of our hackathon? v  What is the context? v  What is the purpose? Examples for organizers - Source an incubation program - Contribute to the ecosystem - Create new startups - Boost visibility and credibility - Solve problems in a field Examples for attendees - Improve collaboration - Have fun - Create real stuffs - Learn tools, methods, best practices - Kick off innovative projects Questions
  11. 11. 11Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type
  12. 12. Hackathon Type 12 v  What are the characteristics of our hackathon? What is the theme? v  Is it a public, private, or semi-private event? v  Is it a business or technical oriented event? Is it a for-profit or non-profit event? v  What is the expected duration? v  How many participants are expected (10, 50, 100)? Examples - A private for-profit event gathering 50 participants to develop solid business cases during 2 days - A public non-profit event gathering 100 participants to develop business and technical innovative solutions in the FinTech industry during 54 hours - An event where organizers are volunteers and results are open-source Questions
  13. 13. 13 Key Results Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type
  14. 14. Key Results 14 v  What are the results expected from participants? v  What kind of deliverable is required from participants at the end of our hackathon? v  What are success criteria for the jury? v  What is the quality level expected from participants? Examples - Prototype, Minimum Viable Product (MVP) - Brief presentation of team results - Validated business model or business case - Implementation plan or go-to-market strategy - Bootstrapped projects Questions
  15. 15. 15 Key Results Attendees Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type
  16. 16. Attendees 16 v  Who are the participants? v  Which skills and expertise are needed to provide results? v  Do the attendees have to pay to attend the event? v  Are the attendees invited or paid to come? Examples - Collaborators of the same organization - End-users, business partners - Entrepreneurs, designers, developers - Experts from a specific industry Questions
  17. 17. 17 Key Results AttendeesAttendeesAttendees’ Value Propositions Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type Pre-hackathon Post-hackathonDuring hackathon
  18. 18. Attendees’ Value Proposition 18 Pre-hackathon v  How to recruit the best participants, coaches, experts and jury? v  How to prepare participants (knowledge, skills, experience)? v  How to prepare the working environment? Examples - Organize information sessions for potential attendees - Organize workshops about tools and best practices - Set up a process to select the best attendees and projects - Prepare tools, data sets, contact lists and authorizations Questions for pre-hackathon
  19. 19. Attendees’ Value Proposition 19 During hackathon v  How to maximize participants’ experience? v  How to support and energize participants? v  How to monitor their working environment? Examples - Organize relevant coaching sessions - Deliver valuable prizes for winners - Organize ad hoc workshops to support participants - Develop networking opportunities Questions for during hackathon
  20. 20. Attendees’ Value Proposition 20 post-hackathon v  What are the next steps for projects and participants? v  Who owns each project? v  What is planned next with the organizers? Examples - Prepare incentives to continue - Organize a Demo Day - Support projects within an incubation program - Communicate on success stories Questions for post-hackathon
  21. 21. 21 Key Results Key Partners AttendeesAttendees’ Value Propositions Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type
  22. 22. Key Partners 22 v  Who are the sponsors? v  Who are the stakeholders? v  Who are the suppliers? v  Who are the partners? Examples - Sponsors : public organizations, customers - Suppliers : venue, catering, facilitator, experts - Partners : businesses, communities, press, media Questions
  23. 23. 23 Key Resources Key Results Key Partners AttendeesAttendees’ Value Propositions Hackathon Goals Hackathon Type
  24. 24. Key Resources 24 v  What are the most important key resources in our hackathon? v  Who do we need to involve in our hackathon? v  What are the roles needed to organize our hackathon? Examples - Financial resources to cover costs from venue and catering - Time resources from organizers, coaches, experts and jury - Experience in animation from a hackathon facilitator - Time resources to recruit and prepare participants Questions
  25. 25. 25
  26. 26. 26 The Hackathon Canvas Your visual tool to organize a hackathon easily It’s free and open for everyone. This canvas is under Creative Common license. Any organizing team can use it for any kind of event like company, private or public events. http://hackathonCanvas.co
  27. 27. Contact 27 michel@hackathoncanvas.co +32 491 50 70 90 @miduchateau mduchateau www.hackathoncanvas.co Michel Duchateau

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