A great Friday at the Hackathon

A great Friday at the Hackathon

By: Anne Mette Ehlers

By: Anne Mette Ehlers

"We need to see some energy. By Sunday, everyone will be dead." Christobal Alonso starts by promising the participants the hardest and most enjoyable weekend, as it is Hackathon Friday at last.

Chill-out areas with artificial grass and bean bag chairs. Good music in the background, a Telia delivery bike in the corner, table football and cans of cola. Masses of helpful Telia staff and workstations with whiteboards and wi-fi.
It's Friday afternoon, and Telia is ready to go. And as the room fills up with over 100 participants, the place erupts.
The Hackathon weekend is under way. Christobal explains from the stage that they have twisted the arms of the people at Telia, so the winner will receive DKK 30,000, with two other prizes of DKK 10,000. The room is right with him.
The Hackathon is all about working hard and having fun.
"Get as much out of Telia as you can, and listen to the mentors," says Christobal, while serial entrepreneur Nicolaj Højer Nielsen adds:
"Now you have your chance. Don't repeat my mistakes."
And there is more to fight for: an accelerator programme running over several weeks, with DKK 300,000 for the best start-up.

Pitch in one minute
The first pitches are for one minute with no slides. You just stand in line for the microphone, then off you go. Many of the pitches are cheeky, so it's almost like stand-up.
Afterwards, each start-up idea is written up on a row of whiteboards, and they all have half an hour to get together and form teams of three to seven for each start-up idea. To keep a grip on things, everyone has been given a sticky note to be placed on their chosen start-up.
There should be a good mix of back-end, front-end, design, marketing and PR, so each team gets the whole package. Christobal is here, there and everywhere to help the teams set up and get the right mix.

18 teams in 40 minutes
People crowd together and move around in front of the whiteboards, music starts up, and it's all go in the marketplace for ideas. And although it might seem impossible, the teams have come together in just 10 minutes over the time allowed.
At 21.11, 18 teams are counted. Each team is applauded onto the stage, and they get to work. Among other things, they have to validate the idea, allocate roles, find out what the challenges are and prepare for the first checkpoint the next morning – and a mentoring session in the afternoon.
Each team quickly sits down in a work area. Most of them work until Telia close at 1 a.m. Those who want to can sleep in the basement in their sleeping bags.

A great Friday at the Hackathon