WHAT IS A HACKATHON?

A hackathon is an exciting way to innovate beyond the regular boundaries of an organisation; a fast-paced design sprint in which small teams develop user-centric, innovative, and feasible solutions to a business challenge brought in by a company through a pressure cooker format.

 

An army of problem solvers engages in a process of co-creation to find solutions for the challenges at hand.

A FRESH PERSPECTIVE

There is not one way to Rome and our own creativity is limited to what we know and what we can combine. Sometimes we need a fresh unbiased perspective to spice things up a bit. Or maybe 100+ unbiased fresh perspectives. We enable this fresh perspective for you by recruiting a strong army of problem solvers from outside your company.

ACCELERATION

Our pressure cooker approach helps companies move big steps forward in just one day. By using the power of timeboxing our experienced innovation coaches will guide the participants from problem to solution in just a few hours.

CO-CREATION

Our unique strength is the possibility to create multidisciplinary teams from students and academics from all of Maastricht University faculties’. Together with  your company representatives they will create a melting pot of knowledge and experiences driving the innovativeness of your solutions.

HACKATHON

Our typical hackathon will have the following format:

Immersion Week

Student Participants get 1 week to dive deep into the challenge that is brought in by you. They will explore the context in which your company operates, look for best practices around the world and find out more about your target customers. This will get them fully prepared to start the hackathon day.

Hackathon Day (usually 1 day from 9.00-17.00)

Student participants and company representatives meet up in their teams (physically or online).  Our innovation coaches will guide all teams through a structured design process by

providing the teams with timeboxed interactive exercises to develop concrete, innovative and feasible solutions to your challenge. Think about creative thinking exercises and rapid prototyping (e.g. building a customer journey).

Our innovation coaches will constantly guide the teams on team-level by challenging their ideas, challenging their thoughts and helping them to make their ideas concrete.

Pitching Week

After the hackathon day the student participants (in collaboration with the company representatives) still get 1 week to finalize their solution and create a final pitch to company.

WHAT WILL YOU GET?

At the end of the hackathon you will have:

  • an idea vault with all the ideas of the teams that participated
  • minimum 10 pitches of concrete solutions ready for implementation (including 1 winning solution)
  • a lot of new insights, ready to take home to your own organisation
  • many motivated employees to move forward with these new solutions

 

…made a big step in tackling your business challenge!

PRACTICAL INFO

TIMING

More and more companies look for students with extracurricular experience. It also happens to be that service design skills & knowledge are currently in high demand because of servitisation transitions in many sectors. Joining one of our projects is a smart way to stand out on the job market.

FEE

Our projects are incentivised by real life clients who influence the real world. The practical experience you will have is a great way to further develop your generic skills (such as communicating, problem-solving and flexibility). Furthermore you will learn a lot from working together with people from different disciplines and backgrounds.

Q&A

What is needed from the organisation that brings in the challenge?

The first step is that we need a clearly defined business challenge. Our innovation coach will help to formulate the final challenge during an intake conversation with you. We need one challenge owner from your organization that is willing to represent the challenge and explain the challenge to the students (either through a video or through a presentation during the hackathon day). In addition it is not obliged, but very welcome, to have several employees from the organization participate during the hackathon day in the teams with students to promote multidisciplinarity, increase the feasibility of new solutions to your organizations and create support from within your organisation for the solutions that will be developed. After the hackathon we will ask you to choose one winning idea, and a small token of appreciation/gift for the winning team.

Which challenges apply for a hackathon?

We can make the hackathon work for basically any business challenge. Because we have access to students from all faculties we can cover a broad range of knowledge and invite the right people for the right challenges. In the past we have hosted hackathons for service innovations in healthcare, business model innovation in several small to medium sized companies, attracting and retaining customers during the coronacrisis for retail, tourism and event management or social innovation (e.g. sustainability).

Sounds interesting? Get in touch to learn more about our Sprints.