How I Won My First Ever Hackathon

Finding a worthy project

On a whim, on Friday night at around 11 PM I decided to join a hackathon, I had no idea what I was doing or how I was going to do it. However I had an app idea a week prior that reemerged and I instantly knew that this could be a solid app idea for the hackathon. I validated the app with a friend who is blind and he said he would love the app. This app, later named Eye Maps, allows users to place 3D audio throughout the World to guide blind people. Similar to my last project, I learned that validation from others is key to success because they are the end user, not yourself.

Plan Ahead

Hackathons typically start mid-day on a Friday and last till Sunday morning, so there isn’t a whole block of time to work with. Therefore, you must prepare and plan ahead. Be sure to have backup plans in the event that a core feature does not work and be prepared to spend some late nights working on the project.

Save Time For Marketing

Marketing is key to winning a hackathon and is often ignored until the very end. However, starting on the video or presentation early guarantees success and taking a break from coding isn’t a bad thing. With marketing, be sure to emphasize the issue and how you're addressing it. Importantly, remember to not underestimate a well put together video demo.

The Future

After winning the hackathon, I completely open sourced the app and it will be free forever. If you want to contribute, you can find Eye Maps on Github or join our Discord below.

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Andreas Ink

Andreas Ink

Hey! I'm Andreas and I'm an 19 year old software developer and university student who's sharing his experience