Hackathons have been a staple in Silicon Valley tech culture for quite some time, but recently we have seen seeing hackathons evolve outside of the valley — from Los Angeles to Prague.
The format of the Hackathon is pretty straightforward: You bring together a group of developers in a room, give them a topic to code around, then they break into teams and begin hacking for usually from 24-72 hours. On the final day, theypresent what they’ve built. Winners usually go home with cash, prizes, and of course notoriety.
As the hackathon has moved outside of Silicon Valley, it has also evolved beyond just the startup or tech scene. Hackathons have become more specialized and are being used in a growing variety of industry sectors. For example:
Each business sector evolves the hackathon format to suit its needs. There are a number of constraints as the hackathon spreads. For example, some industries are reluctant to use the word “hack” due to the term’s negative connotations.
Nonetheless it’s obvious the hackathon format is gaining momentum when it comes to identifying talent, sharing ideas, crunching big data, building apps and networking beyond Silicon Valley and the startup community.