How to Prepare for the Hackathon!

When you've overcome your confusion, fear, even lack of ideas and show up at a Garage48 hackathon, what you will most likely witness is something like this:

First off, all the participants who have a startup idea make a 90 second  pitch

 presenting the problem they found, the possible users/customers and the probable solution.

After the pitch, the ones scouting for ideas can join the pitchers. It often happens that some ideas do not get anyone interested. Yet it can happen that an idea, which had relatively low interest in the start, turns out to be a success story in the end. Thus nobody really knows if you should join somebody with a not so attractive idea, stay true to your own idea that nobody seems to be interested in or join other teams.

Now that you have a great team with new talented friends on board, discuss and elaborate on the idea. Most importantly concentrate on “the pain” or the problem you’re solving and your customers - who are they and why should and would anybody pay money for your product or service.

Lastly, pitch your updated idea again to the mentors and the other teams.

 Here are the main things you need to focus on before attending the hackathon.

Whether you’re a marketer, programmer, designer or just a tech enthusiast, attending a hackathon is an amazing experience to have. Plus, you`ll make memorize and possibly friends for life!

Below you will see a list, where we cover some areas of interest you should know prior to going to a hackathon.

1.Research the topic/theme before going

Most likely, there will be a topic or theme set for the hackathon. If your goal is to win, do your research. Brainstorm on relevant apps, programs and ideas ahead of time. Also research the possible solution you would like to create.

2. Learn to know yourself beforehand

It is handy to take some time to think about your strengths and weaknesses and be comfortable with them. You’ll likely be looking for team members and it can be helpful to have a short personable elevator pitch to effectively explain your skill set.

That is, put yourself into the mindset and prime your brain for thinking creatively, efficiently, and adaptively. Be prepared to come up with an idea or hear someone else’s idea. Teamwork is the key to success.

If you have an idea you would like to pitch to others then make one presentation slide for the audience. So that they can get your thought clearly and have a visual in front of them, which makes you more memorable.

3. Get some sleep

Hackathons are not for the weary! Sleep is often hard to come by at a hackathon particularly if it’s over a weekend. It is fairly common to pull an all-nighter to get your idea finished. In that case you should make sure to come to the hackathon well rested, so make sure you get some decent sleep the nights leading up to the the hackathon

4. Be prepared

   - Make a list of everything you’ll need, including travel tickets, hotel reservations, your laptop charger, headphones, or extra USB cables, notebook.

   - If you need something specific for your prototype  the send a letter to the organizers and ask is they have it on the spot or not.

   - Bottle of water, because you never know.

   - Sugary snacks!  Get that fast-release carbohydrate in your blood for the last stretches!

   - Internet connection (3/4G) and a tethering option, since the WiFi there can sometimes be way too crowded!

   - Take a extension cord(s), since wall sockets tend to be miles from where you tend to find a seat.

   -  A notebook and a pen to scribble down some initial ideas.

   -  Put all of the before mentioned into a nice easy to carry around backpack.

   - Oh! Don`t forget your gadgets and hardware you want to code with! Or just a portable battery charger, they are lifesavers!

5. Take a chance and NETWORK!

The beginning of a hackathon is your chance to network. Be friendly, introduce yourself, and make new connections. and before you noticed you have met great people, who share same interests as you!