Want to organize a hackathon or are you curious about the possibilities? Our team of Hackathon Experts are the market leaders in the Netherlands in the field of hackathons, with over 100 hackathons organized to date in the last 8 years.
We offer different types of hackathons. Geared to the goal you have in mind, the audience or the challenge you’re struggling with.
Nick van Breda and his team of hackathon experts developed the first Campus Party Europe in the Netherlands including 27 different hackathons in one huge festival and is therefore regarded as an important expert and specialist in the field of the organization of hackathons. The event brought together more than 9000 of the most talented young talents from 52 different countries. In 24-68 hours they worked on new robotics, 3D printed materials, mobile apps, chatbots, social campaigns, hackbattles, blockchain solutions and web applications that more than 150 media outlets subsequently discussed.
Organizing a hackathon: The 5 most popular types we offer
1) ExO Sprint (10 weeks)
The most powerful choice as an engine and driving force for innovation. We can organize an ExO Sprint of 10 weeks which is a combination of a Design Sprint and very intense innovation journey. Using the newest methodology in setting up 10x growth for your business or startup based on the Exponential Transformations book with an in-person opening Awake & Align Week by a professional world-leading business consultant, to set the tone and to make everyone enthusiastic about getting started. We set up everything a month in advance, prepare the leadership and board of directors with what will come and what space they have to offer to the top management team and innovators in the business to make sure they are granted at least 20 hours a week to work on new exponential business models and pitch them to a series of investors after 5 weeks to make a pivot and get some critical feedback for iteration. With 10 weeks of continuous experimentation and validation in week 10, the final presentation will be given to the board of directors for direct investment into a fully worked out and prototyped Edge or Core initiatives to create 10x growth. With this type, continuous learning and market research has turned into daily habits, working remotely with external advisors (includes 10 advisory calls with top experts), creating internal and external communities to create a feasible solution in no time is guaranteed. From trends to business models, from setting up a culture of innovators to creating a lobby with its stakeholders by working in co-creation, we ensure that new ideas and technological developments come together. Participants use various tools and methods to come up with creative solutions, in a fraction of the time that would normally be required, it will feel like going through an MBA program and closing off with a startup team and MVP. This will most definitely transform your business. The various stages the participating teams go through can also be done separately in hackathons as explained below.
2) Classic hackathon (24 hours)
Organize the classic hackathon? In the classical form, participants work for 24 hours on a concrete solution for a current challenge, this can be a society related problem, an organizational problem, a team problem or individual problem. Is there a business or a conceptual challenge? It is the most organized form in the Netherlands to work very specifically on a solution by bringing as much creative power as possible together and allowing it to work together.
3) Design Thinking based hackathon (48- 68 hours)
The ultimate creative choice that lasts two or three days. On the first day, during the hackathon, the participants will work on the challenge that has been formulated. On the second day, they get to work with their ideas, to translate them into actual and concrete solutions validated and co-designed by the end-user and pitched to all stakeholders. During two days, a close-knit community emerges, working together on the important challenge of helping the organization or movement one step further. On a third day, validation is also done via Growth hacking masterclasses and teambuilding exercises to further bond the teams into possible startup teams.
4) An in-company Hackathon/Creathons (4-24 hours)
The most flexible version to organize a hackathon for one day within the organization. All knowledge and skills are brought together in a creative way, by bringing together different departments and skill-sets, to work together on solutions for an important challenge. Innovation and strategic new business models play a central role, while the in-company hackathon also offers the opportunity to take steps in the field of team-building. We have organized many teamdays in the form on in-company hackathons. When they take less than 24 hours they are called creathons, makathons or designathons, depending on the type of challenge you face. L&D plays a central role, while people have no time for discussions and have a common goal in mind departments most often figure out that they could actually use each other viewpoints and this will result in a better innovation ecosystem afterwards and more efficiency and higher productivity. This hackathon is relatively the easiest and fastest to organize as sourcing participants can go as fast as in 2 weeks, wherein other hackathons it sometimes takes up to 3 months (250 hours) to prepare. We have designed and organized hackathons for over 10 universities, 10 different municipalities and 25 different corporates/NGO’s.
5) Innovation Game (5-9 days)
Is the challenge you want to have solved a complex problem you are facing for over years, do you wish to have a more sustainable innovation culture output than a classic hackathon, extend your hackathon with a few more days to make sure that through design thinking the problem behind the problem will be identified, teams have enough social time to bond and you can give more than just your group of participants access to a week-long set of masterclasses and courses to train themselves, with a lot of buzz and marketing as result. We have organized off-grid Innovation games, both outdoor and indoor in places that breath excitement. Within an innovation game you get your skin deeper in the game and this will result in true innovators and solid output: a clearly defined problem statement, a validated business model, various forms of prototypes, customer insights and new market tests, trend & market research a solid startup team and a dragons Denn final pitch with investors at the table. Most often this option is requested by Provinces Noord-Brabant (3), Friesland (2), Gelderland (1) and international clients (in Brazil, South-Africa & Germany).
Curious about the variant that is best suited for this? We like to think along with you, based on the experiences we have had before. We help organizations by fully relieving them and we can advise you in advance about all that is involved. We organized dozens of hackathons for various companies. It concerned data-driven hackathons and other social themes, for which we brought together as much creativity, knowledge and expertise as possible. Moreover, in many cases, we succeed in also creating the desired media attention. It is therefore good to think about when you want to organize a hackathon: whether the process or the result is more important. L&D, Recruitment, R&D, Marketing & Branding, for any kind of prefered outcome is a different setup and program of a hackathon possible.
Organizing a hackathon: What we value
When we organize a hackathon, good preparation is crucial. We organize a preparatory session, to discuss the goals and work out the approach. Moreover, we come up with a name for the event and we make the planning so that you know what needs to be done at what time to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Did you know that an average hackathon needs around 250 to 300 hours of preparation time?
We support you with online and offline marketing, as well as with reaching out to an important public. We ensure that we organize a hackathon with sufficient external attention, for example, to create a campaign with a clear message in mind. We often make an event website, design posters, program booklets, manage and boost sign-ups and write a blog to create interest and invite the relevant press.
Talent scouting (recruitment)
Which participants will participate and how do you find the right mentors, experts and candidates for the jury or further guidance? We help you with recruitment and selection, for example by approaching to partner innovation communities, students via partner schools and previous participants in our network. We keep them informed of developments with reminders and make sure they come to the event by calling them and requesting them to let us know their motivation. We often organize a pre-event teambuilding activity to explain the program and do a serious game to detect different types of participants (hipsters, hackers, hustlers and helpers), to make sure we keep the no-show low and ensure great diverse teams. During the hackathon we ensure that the right people are present and teams are set up for success to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Program and facilitation
If we organize a hackathon we provide the complete program and all the tools needed per team, from process canvasses, towards post-its, prototyping material, energizers, masterclasses and prizes. This to make sure the hackers (participants), the jury and all other stakeholders will feel like they only have to worry about the challenge and everything else is sorted out and butlered to them. We recruit mentors and make sure the best facilitators are guiding each team towards success. A briefing so that everyone knows what needs to be done. Moreover, a day program, catering, venue and productional needs can be all done by us, including the opening by an experienced speaker and all the masterclasses to give everyone no matter what background the same opportunities to succeed and learn new skills in the hackathon.
Evaluate & follow-up
We help you to get the results that you wished for to finish of the hackathon successfully. We will then evaluate the event, what you can do next to follow-up the outcomes and review all the steps went that could possibly be improved next time. To make sure you have received the most desirable process and output for the time we spend together.
Do you want to organize a hackathon now? There are all kinds of options and there is a lot involved, if we haven’t listed it above that doesn’t mean we cannot co-design it, from setting up escape rooms to hack battles we have done it all before. Thanks to our extensive experience with dozens of events, we will help you to be well prepared. Moreover, we can arrange a photographer, a cartoonist, a day moderator, energizers, fire breathing shows, technology tables and an aftermovie or a wake-up call presentation by an expert or trendwatcher in the field. That way the event is complete and will be an unforgettable experience. Exactly the hackathon that you have in mind, right? Let’s grab a cup of coffee to see if we can do something for you?
Below one of the Energizers a “Haka” we have done before, check out our Education Hackathon aftermovies here.