Hackathons: The Gateway to Product Innovation

Hackathons are fast gaining popularity the world over and for all the right reasons! Hackathons are essentially a collaboration fest for programmers, designers and software developers. However, it is as much about technology as it is about creativity and imaginative thinking.  A hackathon brings together people with technical skills to build a solution or an innovative idea through collaborative coding. The result? A website or a mobile app or sometimes even a robot that does something unique or adds efficiency to an existing process. Hackathons are also breeding grounds for startup successes. Popular productivity app, Workflow, was first built in 48 hours at a hackathon in January 2011. It was later acquired by Apple. 

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Various brands, big and small, tech and non-tech invest in sponsoring and enabling hackathons in order to encourage ‘out of the box’ thinking, and product innovation.

Facebook organizes internal hackathons every few weeks for its employees and has famously claimed that many of Facebook’s features (including video, Like button, chat) were built at Hackathons. Would you believe that ‘tagging in comments’ was actually built at a Facebook hackathon by an intern?

.TECH, a domain extension exclusively for the technology industry, has been actively engaging the tech community through hackathons all over the world. In its first year, .TECH supported over 135 hackathons, reaching over 20,000 tech enthusiasts, programmers, coders and web designers globally. From HackPrinceton in the US to HackPrague in Prague to HackCity in London, ECJamming in Hong Kong, RoboHacks in Canada and ClashHacks in India; www.get.tech is reaching out to the tech community far and wide through partnerships, special prizes for .TECH category and free .TECH domain names!  

For students of technology, hackathons are god-sent to build something from scratch and win cool prizes; and sometimes even a job offer! University and school hackathons are a great place for organizations to find future product innovators who are capable of blending in imaginative product features with technology. Often, disruptive startups and entrepreneurial ideas have come out of on-campus hackathons. Take, for instance, www.betagig.tech, which was built by Nicole Klein and Melissa Hargis at the Launch Festival 2016  hackathon in San Francisco. They won the first prize of $250,000 which became their capital to launch the business.

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Various student hackathons are hosted on .TECH domains, such as www.pixelhacks.tech, the Bay Area’s First All-Female High School Hackathon and anvil.goldsmiths.tech, a student-run hackathon at Goldsmiths, University of London. Students at these hackathons have built various exciting product innovations that have huge potential if developed into a business idea.

This year, .TECH  is looking forward to supporting more than 200 hackathons worldwide, reaching over 30,000 programming enthusiasts worldwide. Watch this space for more updates!

Organizing a hackathon at your school, university or workplace? We’d love to partner with you! Get in touch with us at [email protected]!

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