INTERNAL BUSINESS HACKATHONS

A CULTURE OF INNOVATION

INNOVATION WITHOUT EXPERIMENTATION IS LIKE A FORGOTTEN DREAM…

A culture of innovation actively promotes experimentation, accepts failures through fail-fast approaches, and supports successes to its logical conclusion. At Smartbridge, we strive to organize internal business hackathons each quarter to promote the spirit of innovation, stretch our abilities, and experiment.

A Smartbridge hackathon is one day where our employees are divided into teams and are challenged to create a solution to the specific topic in a 12 hour window. At the end of the day, each team presents their solutions to the company in a 12-15 minute presentation.

Explore our Hackathon Insights

WHAT IS A HACKATHON, AND HOW CAN IT IMPACT YOUR ORGANIZATION?

Think of a hackathon as an opportunity to do things differently…

  • Innovate and experiment. Let your creativity blossom
  • Try new ideas and concepts without fear of failure or repercussions
  • Acquire new skills and learn new technologies
  • Network and connect with people across the company and external parties who participate
  • Collaborate with others in a team environment
  • Make awesome things in a short period of time with agility

Resources with the ultimate skillset contribute to the overall success undertaken in the hackathon. It requires different perspectives to conceive and assemble the overall solution.

Strong technical developer nerds and business savvy team members are a must, though non-technical folks are welcome to join in on the action.

Hear our Transform IT Podcast episode on hackathons!

Hackathons for an Innovative Culture

HOW ARE HACKATHONS DONE?

Before the process begins, generate ideas by sending out a call for topics from employees as well as clients. It’s especially important for clients to know a hackathon is being conducted and they are open to participate. Even if they cannot participate on the day of the hackathon, ensure their ideas are open to be heard and explored.

  • Decide on topics: It’s best to choose 7 or less topics from the submitted ideas so the hackathon isn’t too disjointed and there aren’t too many teams.
  • Choose the applicable topics: When selecting topics, choose ones that seem more interesting and can be applicable to clients or services offered by the company.
  • Select champions: Each hackathon topic needs to be led by  one or two key individuals. They will be in charge of planning and managing the team.

Divide into teams

Hackathons by nature are quick and require lots of teamwork, so it’s important to put together teams of no more than 4-7 people. Assign each team to a topic with a champion.

Make an approach

The planner and champion will need to create a general approach prior to the hackathon. This is a time to make sure teams have everything they need such as infrastructure, data and access.

Make a kickoff deck

The hackathon starts with a kickoff meeting where everyone is informed of what team they are on, what the topic is, where they will be stationed, and the agenda for the day.

Work with admin

It’s important that the planner works with the admin team to sort out all operational planning for the hackathon, such as meals and building security measures.

Divide into teams

Tap Here!

Hackathons by nature are quick and require lots of teamwork, so it’s important to put together teams of no more than 4-7 people. Assign each team to a topic with a champion.

Make an approach

Tap Here!

The planner and champion will need to create a general approach prior to the hackathon. This is a time to make sure teams have everything they need such as infrastructure, data and access.

Make a kickoff deck

Tap Here!

The hackathon starts with a kickoff meeting where everyone is informed of what team they are on, what the topic is, where they will be stationed, and the agenda for the day.

Work with admin

Tap Here!

It’s important that the planner works with the admin team to sort out all operational planning for the hackathon, such as meals and building security measures.

SEE FOR YOURSELF! 

See first hand how our hackathons have impacted our company culture, clients, and overall innovative success through the eyes of our champions.

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