What is a Hackathon?
A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate with issue advocates and subject matter experts on software & hardware projects. Competitors work intensively, competing to present the best solution in a given time frame.
What is “hacking” in a Hackathon? Is it illegal?
There are a lot of different meanings to the word Hacking or Hack, including “a bad cough”, “raising falcons”, and “breaching security”, among others. However, we use the terms in best possible way, and that for us Hacking or Hack means “innovative problem solving” or “solution to a problem or challenge”. Hacking or Hack at our hackathons, the way we intend them to be are legal, and NOT in any way related to cyber security breaches or other types of security breaches.
What are the #ExpeditionHacks events?
Blue Compass, LLC has created a series of Hackathon events in tech hubs throughout the U.S. to help inspire innovative solutions to common problems, expose crucial data, engage with niche capabilities and technological enhancements, and seek out positive social impacts. The intended outcomes are to engage passionate developers, and entrepreneurs with subject matter experts and advocates with ideas and passion for innovation, to help uncover viable solutions that can assist with customer needs and challenges.
Why should I participate in, be a sponsor of, or become involved in an #ExpeditionHacks event?
Sponsoring a hackathon is a great way to get access to the top IT and technical talent. Hackathons are quickly replacing career fairs and other traditional methods of recruiting and marketing. Additionally, for a 100- participant event, it’s like having your own personal developer think-tank. The next generation of software engineers, entrepreneurs, advocates, and subject matter enthusiasts and experts are coming to hackathons to create possible solutions, have fun, compete for prizes, learn new skills, and perhaps contribute to social good. This is definitely something worth being a part of…whether if it’s as a financial sponsor, data sponsor, platform provider, SME, mentor, judge or event volunteer.
What can I win?
Each event is different depending on sponsorships obtained. Make sure to continue to check the event webpage for updates, as they can increase over time, or additional prizes added if more sponsorship is secured. Typical prizes include cash prizes, technology items and gear, gift cards, software subscriptions, etc.
What does an ideal team look like?
Ideally teams are 3-5 people, but the maximum is 5 per team. We would suggest covering your bases by including at least one or two “tech” type people or coders, one front end designer, one or two people versed in the subject matter, and a “pitch man”. Each of these roles do not need to be separate people, so one person could be your subject matter person and your “pitch man”, or another example – your front-end designer could also be a coder. The more well-rounded a team the better the outcome usually. However, we have seen a few teams of two take the grand prize!
I don’t have a team, or need more people for my team – How can I find teammates?
Once you register, you will be sent an email with a link to sign up for our slack page. Slack is a great place to meet other participants and find teammates. We will also have a team building session after the opening ceremony of the event and will help facilitate anyone needing a team get matched up.