RESEARCH ON HACKATHONS
Hackathons are short events that represent an opportunity for entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and makers to collaborate and innovate by presenting prototypes and new ideas to an audience of judges. Hackathons have gained popularity in the last 20 years, yet there is limited academic research on this topic. This section collects studies that explore this phenomenon in a number of ways.
If you have a working paper or an article that you would like to include in this collection, please email Chiara Spina at:
chiara [ dot ] spina [ at ] insead [ dot ] edu
Design at hackathons: new opportunities for design research
— Meagan Flus and Ada Hurst.
Hackathons are short-term events at which participants work in small groups to ideate, develop and present a solution to a problem. Despite their popularity, and significant relevance to design research, they have only recently come into research focus. This study presents a review of the existing literature on the characteristics of designing at hackathons. Hackathon participants are found to follow typical divergence–convergence patterns in their design process throughout the hackathon. Unique features include the initial effort to form teams and the significant emphasis on preparing and delivering a solution demo at the final pitch. Therefore, hackathons present themselves as a unique setting in which design is conducted and learned, and by extension, can be studied. Overall, the review provides a foundation to inform future research on design at hackathons. Methodological limitations of current studies on hackathons are discussed and the feasibility of more systematic studies of design in these types of settings is assessed. Further, we explore how the unique nature of the hackathon format and the diverse profiles of hackathon participants with regards to subject matter knowledge, design expertise and prior hackathon experience may affect design cognition and behaviour at each stage of the design process in distinctive ways.
Digital Entrepreneurship and Agile Methods—A Hackathon Case Study
— Nancy Richter and Djanina Dragoeva.
What if, when they ask ‘Alexa, where can I do something here tonight?’, travellers no longer receive the answer ‘I don’t know’? And, could start-ups use all tourist data freely and without restriction to develop innovative applications for travellers at any time?” (“German National Tourist Board”, n.d.). These and similar questions are currently being asked by those responsible for tourism marketing and product development, such as destination management organisations (DMO: “Public or public–private entity whose aim is to foster, plan and coordinate the tourism development of a destination as a whole”.) (“IGI Global”, n.d.) in Germany. In particular, the travel destination Thuringia sees itself as a pioneer on topics such as AI, decentralised data structures and new types of interactions: “We were looking for a way to make the data of Thuringian tourism up-to-date, findable and freely usable and thus provide the path for open innovation and new technologies.” (Detlef Klinge, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH retrieved from “German National Tourist Board”, n.d.). To meet these challenges, the DMO relies on the processing of open data in a tourist content architecture and on entrepreneurial management methods such as the hackathon. This method, in turn, must be embedded in a holistic management approach; otherwise, creative results will be lost even before they come to the market. The question is how these technologies and management methods must be implemented in DMOs so that they generate sustainable competitive advantages and customer benefits for the respective travel destination.
Do Hackathon Projects Change the World? An Empirical Analysis of GitHub Repositories
— Lukas McIntosh and Caroline D. Hardin.
Hackathons, the increasingly popular collaborative technology challenge events, are praised for producing modern solutions to real world problems. They have, however, recently been criticized for positing that serious real world problems can be solved in 24-48 hours of undergraduate coding. Projects created at hackathons are typically demos or proof-of-concepts, and little is known about the fate of them after the hackathon ends. Do they receive continued development in preparation for real world use and maintenance as part of actually being used, or are they abandoned? Since participants often use GitHub (Microsoft's popular version control system), it is possible to check. This quantitative, empirical study uses a series of Python scripts to complete a robust analysis of development patterns for all 11,889 of the U.S. based 2018-2019 Major League Hacking (MLH) affiliated hackathon projects which had GitHub repositories. Of these projects, approximately 85% of commits were made within the first month, and approximately 77% of the total commits occurred within the first week. Only 7% of projects had any activity 6 months after the event ended. Evaluated projects had an average of only 3.097 distinct commit dates, and the average of commits divided by the length of the development period was only 0.1. This indicates that few projects receive the post-event attention expected of an actively developed project. Finally, this study offers a dialogue of possible ways to reformat hackathons to help increase the average longevity of the development period for projects.
Educating sustainability through hackathons in the hospitality industry: a case study of Scandic hotels
Education for sustainability (EfS) in the hospitality sector is increasingly recognised as one of the driving forces for sustainable development. One way of fostering sustainability in the hospitality industry is through sustainability hackathons, which are intensive events focusing on “hacking” new sustainability ideas. This paper critically explores how the hospitality industry designs and executes sustainability hackathons within the context of EfS. An exploratory case study was conducted on the Scandic Hotels chain. Data utilised including both relevant reports and in-depth interviews with the highest level of management of Scandic. The execution of the sustainability hackathon illuminates how value-based education, creative problem-solving and co-opetition were critical aspects to foster EfS in the hospitality industry. Moreover, the hackathon facilitators, i.e. the hotels’ General Managers, were found to play an essential part in shaping the sustainability education and the event’s potential impacts. This paper contributes to expand knowledge on EfS offered by the hospitality industry (as opposed to EfS in formal educational institutions) and make practical recommendations on how sustainability hackathons could be better facilitated by hotel chains.
Gender Differences in Hackathons as a Non-traditional Educational Experience
Hackathons, the time-bound collaborative project-based computer science competitions increasingly popular with computer science students, are one of the largest-scale innovations in computing education of the past decade. This research examined three hackathons and 46,500 surveys to find that educational benefits were unequal between genders in ways that would especially impact women returning to the workforce.
Learnings and Implications of Virtual Hackathon
— Shan Wang, William Yeoh, Jie Ren and Alvin Lee.
This article introduces a large-scale virtual hackathon where we observed the way participants found collaborators and undertook innovation processes entirely in the virtual world. As an emerging social-technical practice, the virtual hackathon leverages the power of familiar strangers, the improvisation of low-cost digital services, and the crowdsourcing mechanism to enable open innovation under the constraint of physical distancing. This study contributes to the research by introducing and conceptualizing a modified artifact – virtual hackathon. The implication of and the lessons learnt from the virtual hackathon are applicable and generalizable to organizations when managing virtual collaborations, digital infrastructure, and open innovation.
Online Hackathons as an Engaging Tool to Promote Group Work in Emergency Remote Learning
— Kiev Gama, Carlos Zimmerle, Pedro Rossi.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educational activities had to be done remotely as a way to avoid the spread of the disease. What happened was not exactly a shift to an online learning model but a transition to a new approach called Emergency Remote Teaching. It is a temporary strategy to keep activities going on until it is safe again to return to the physical facilities of universities. This new setting became a challenge to both teachers and students. The lack of interaction and classroom socialization became obstacles for students to continue engaged. Before the pandemic, hackathons -- short-lived events (1 to 3 days) where participants intensively collaboration to develop software prototypes -- were starting to be explored as an alternative venue to engage students in acquiring and practicing technical skills. In this paper, we present an experience report on the usage of an online hackathon as a resource to engage students in the development of their semester project in a distributed applications course during this emergency remote teaching period. We describe details of the intervention and present an analysis of the students' perspective of the approach. One of the important findings was the efficient usage of the Discord communication tool -- already used by all students while playing games -- which helped them socialize and keep them continuously engaged in synchronous group work, "virtually collocated".
Open innovation in the face of the COVID-19 grand challenge: insights from the Pan-European hackathon ‘EUvsVirus’
— Alberto Bertello, Marcel L.A.M. Bogers, Paola De Bernardi.
Being a grand challenge of global scale, the COVID-19 pandemic requires collective and collaborative efforts from a variety of actors to enable the expected scientific advancement and technological progress. To achieve such an open innovation approach, several initiatives have been launched in order to leverage potential distributed knowledge sources that go beyond those available to any single organization. A particular tool that has gained some momentum during COVID-19 times is hackathons, which have been used to unleash the innovation potential of individuals who voluntarily came together, for a relatively short period of time, with the aim to solve specific problems. In this paper, we describe and analyze the case of the hackathon EUvsVirus, led by the European Innovation Council. EUvs Virus was a 3-day online hackathon to connect civil society, innovators, partners, and investors across Europe and beyond in order to develop innovative solutions to coronavirus-related challenges. We have identified four dimensions to explore hackathons as a crowdsourcing tool for practicing effective open innovation in the face of COVID-19: broad scope, participatory architecture, online setting, and community creation. We discuss how these four elements can play a strategic role in the face of grand challenges, which require, as in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, both urgent action and long-term thinking. Our case analysis also suggests the need to look beyond the ‘usual suspects’, through knowledge recombination with atypical resources (e.g., retired experts, graduate students, and the general public). On this basis, we call for a broader perspective on open innovation, to be extended beyond openness across organizational boundaries, and to explore the role of openness at societal level.
Open Innovation via Crowdsourcing: A Digital Only Hackathon Case Study from Sweden
— Serdar Temiz.
This paper explores HacktheCrisis, the Swedish hackathon that was a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to address the challenges that it brought up. The main aims of the research were to explore the feasibility of the digital only COVID-19 hackathon as an open innovation method and to uncover the major issues that emerged during the HacktheCrisis hackathon in Sweden. The process and outcomes were assessed, leading to the lessons and development of recommendations for future health hackathons as an innovation in health care. We have found that conducting the virtual hackathon for COVID-19 resulted in significant growth in the digital health community in Sweden. Governments should be as fast as the private actors and citizens to address these challenges and to undertake organizational adaptations. Not only the hackathons, but the projects and processes after the hackathons should also be planned. Matchmaking between individuals and private and public actors should be facilitated throughout the year. Technology companies should provide platforms that facilitate flow of process with nice structures and user-friendly tools. Organizations were not ready to utilize the outcomes of these hackathons. Compared to public organizations, private organizations were faster to join hackathons.
Enabling Digital Transformation Strategies with Hackathons in Large-Scale Critical Infrastructures
— Cordina Lauth, Deanna House, Ibrahim Inuwa.
In order to be successful and effective, digital transformation requires a significant effort related to reinvention in an organization. In addition, there are many cultural changes and collaborative requirements that must be applied. The use of hackathons has gained in popularity as a method of collaboration to quickly solve a business problem. Companies have used hackathons to build prototypes, elicit design ideas, make decisions, and explore innovative ways to do things. This study utilized a qualitative dataset that was collected during multiple hackathons conducted in a large global commercial/consumer water pump company. The preliminary findings from this research project indicate that elements of digital transformation occurred both during and after the hackathon. Future research leads to the proposal of an updated framework for strategizing-as-practice that can be utilized to qualify strategizing and prototyping experiences from hackathons over complex large-scale critical infrastructures.
Using collaborative hackathons to coproduce knowledge on local climate adaptation governance
— Hanna Kvamsås, Simon Neby, Håvard Haarstad, Mathew Stiller-Reeve, Jesse Schrage.
While coproduction of knowledge is growing in popularity in social sciences, and especially climate change research, we still need to better understand how to coproduce climate knowledge. In this paper, we explore how collaborative climate hackathons coproduce local adaptation knowledge, and what this method reveals about local climate governance. The data derives from two collaborative climate hackathons, called Klimathons, that attracted 73 and 98 participants in Bergen, Norway. The participants were practitioners and decision-makers from local, regional, and national institutions as well as researchers from natural and social climate sciences. The collaborative group work revolved around the challenges and solutions of local adaptation planning and uncovered how a diversity of key actors understand the local adaptation work in Norway. These interventions revealed that there are significant disagreements and divergent understanding of relevant laws, regulations and responsibility between practitioners working within the same governance system. Though the cross-sectorial interaction does not dissolve these divergences, they allow actors to renegotiate boundaries between divergent knowledge communities. The Klimathons helped us navigate the complexity of local climate adaptation by shifting the focus to how different actors make sense of and work on adaptation and showing the intertwining and interdependence of potential drivers for adaptation
Using the Hackathon Model in Social Work Education
— Julie Cwikel and Meital Simhi.
A recent innovation adapted from the world of commercial computer hacking is known as a Hackathon event. Hackathons are characterized by problem-solving in small groups, under time pressure, to develop creative solutions to a challenging problem. This paper presents the evaluation of a Hackathon applied in two courses on trauma-informed practice (one BSW and the other at MSW level). Students (N = 57) developed interventions to address group and community trauma presented in case studies. Social work doctoral students served as judges (N = 5), evaluated the presentations and selected the winning team. The evaluation showed that the students and judges felt that the Hackathon promoted learning, creativity, teamwork and the incorporation of concepts learned in the course. The competitiveness and being judged were viewed as negative aspects by the students and the judges concurred that the competition detracted from the educational experience. More research is needed on how to apply the Hackathon model to other types of social work curricula including the teaching of various research methods. The current COVID-19 pandemic is challenging the social work profession to address its myriad social implications. How to adapt social work practice toward the incorporation of e-therapy and e-consultation might benefit from Hackathon brainstorming.
What Do Hackathons Do? Understanding Participation in Hackathons Through Program Theory Analysis
— Jeanette Falk, Gopinaath Kannabiran, Nicolai Brodersen Hansen.
Hackathons are increasingly embraced across diverse sectors as a way of democratizing the design of technology. Several attempts have been made to redefine the format and desired end goal of hackathons in recent years thereby warranting closer methodological scrutiny. In this paper, we apply program theory to analyze the processes and effects of 16 hackathon case studies through published research literature. Building upon existing research on hackathons, our work offers a critical perspective examining the methodological validity of hackathons and exemplifies how specific processes for organizing hackathons are modified for different purposes. Our main contribution is a program theory analysis of hackathon formats that provides an exploration and juxtaposition of 16 case studies in terms of causal relations between the input, process and the effects of hackathons. Our cataloguing of examples can serve as an inspirational planning resource for future organizers of hackathons.
10 Years of Research With and On Hackathons
— Jeanette Falk Olesen, Jeanette Falk Olesen.
Hackathon formats have been praised for their potential for promoting innovative thinking and making in a short timeframe. For this reason, hackathons have also been embraced by many researchers who use hackathons as part of their research in various ways. Through an extensive review of 381 publications published during a 10 year time span, we document the multiple ways in which hackathons are embraced and used by researchers The paper contributes to a better understanding of hackathons as part of research by providing a broad overview as a resource for researchers. We identify three main motivations for using hackathons as part of research: 1) Structuring learning, 2) structuring processes, and 3) enabling participation. For each of the motivations, we identify research with hackathons, and research on hackathons as two main categories. Drawing on several examples from the review we discuss benefits and challenges of using hackathons as part of research.
Corporate Hackathons, How and Why? A Multiple Case Study of Motivation, Projects Proposal and Selection, Goal Setting, Coordination, and Outcomes
— Ei Pa Pa Pe-Than, Alexander Nolte, Anna Filippova, Christian Bird, Steve Scallen, James D. Herbsleb.
Time-bounded events such as hackathons, data dives, codefests, hack-days, sprints or edit-a-thons have increasingly gained attention from practitioners and researchers. Yet there is a paucity of research on corporate hackathons, which are nearly ubiquitous and present significant organizational, cultural, and managerial challenges. To provide a comprehensive understanding of team processes and broad array of outcomes of corporate hackathons, we conducted a mixed-methods, multiple case study of five teams that participated in a large scale corporate hackathon. Two teams were "pre-existing" teams (PETs) and three were newly-formed "flash" teams (FTs). Our analysis revealed that PETs coordinated almost as if it was just another day at the office while creating innovations within the boundary of their regular work, whereas FTs adopted role-based coordination adapted to the hackathon context while creating innovations beyond the boundary of their regular work. Project sustainability depended on how much effort the team put into finding a home for their projects and whether their project was a good fit with existing products in the organization's product portfolio. Moreover, hackathon participation had perceived positive effects on participants' skills, careers, and social networks.
Hackathons as Stepping Stones in Health Care Innovation: Case Study With Systematic Recommendations
— Akira-Sebastian Poncette, Pablo-David Rojas, Joscha Hofferbert, Alvaro Valera Sosa, Felix Balzer, Katarina Braune.
Background: Until recently, developing health technologies was time-consuming and expensive, and often involved patients, doctors, and other health care professionals only as passive recipients of the end product. So far, users have been minimally involved in the ideation and creation stages of digital health technologies. In order to best address users’ unmet needs, a transdisciplinary and user-led approach, involving cocreation and direct user feedback, is required. In this context, hackathon events have become increasingly popular in generating enthusiasm for user-centered innovation.
Objective: This case study describes preparatory steps and the performance of a health hackathon directly involving patients and health care professionals at all stages. Feasibility and outcomes were assessed, leading to the development of systematic recommendations for future hackathons as a vehicle for bottom-up innovation in health care.
Methods: A 2-day hackathon was conducted in February 2017 in Berlin, Germany. Data were collected through a field study. Collected field notes were subsequently discussed in 15 informal meetings among the research team. Experiences of conducting two further hackathons in December 2017 and November 2018 were included.
Hackathons in Museums – Recommendations from
an International Event Series
— Susanne Marx, Michael Klotz.
Hackathons as events for participative, creative problem solving, originating from software development have been adapted to many other industries in recent years, among them museums. A series of hackathons was implemented in museums in different countries in the Baltic Sea region, in an international project uniting museums, universities and NGOs. This document summarizes the experiences made and lists the recommendations derived from reflections of the organizing teams of the four events. In this working paper, firstly, the project and the concept of hackathons is introduced. Then, the experiences made with different concepts for realizing hackathons for museums are described. Finally, the major part of this document describes the recommendations for developing a tailored hackathon concept, developing the event communication and planning the event infrastructure. The document additionally provides a template for a project plan and provides examples for gathering feedback after the event.
How to Gather Requirements from the Crowd with Hackathons – Challenges, Experiences and Opportunities
— Patrick Mennig, Frank Elberzhager.
[Context and motivation] Today’s software systems become more and more complex, especially when we think about connected systems such as cyber-physical systems or digital ecosystems. Customers thereby demand flawless apps and have several needs in mind that such solutions should provide. If these are not fulfilled, they do not use the solution. In such connected environments, usually many different stakeholders exist that all have different requirements. [Question/problem] In complex cyber-physical systems, the manifold requirements and possible solutions can overstrain requirements engineers and developers. What are ways to consider needs and requirements from different stakeholders? How can such input be used for requirements engineering? [Principal ideas/results] In order to gather ideas, issues and requirements from several different stakeholders, we propose to consider hackathons besides well-known and established requirements engineering methods. With these, one gets to know his stakeholders, get real needs from his stakeholders, and get early ideas and prototypical solutions. [Contribution] We share our experiences with two hackathons we performed in a research project that aims at developing a climate neutral city district with supporting digital services. We discuss opportunities and challenges and how results might be used for requirements engineering.
How We Do It: Creation of a Workforce Development-Focused Track at a Surgical Hackathon
— Nensi M.Ruzgar, Chaarushi Ahuja, Kristin E.Yu, Aminah Sallam, Ronnie Rosenthal, Brigid Killelea.
Healthcare hackathons are fast-paced, mentored events that bring together individuals with diverse skillsets to identify clinical needs and propose solutions. Traditionally geared toward device development and workflow optimization, platforms that address women and minorities in surgery are rare. We aimed to expand the traditional healthcare hackathon model to include a novel workforce development (WD) track to address concerns faced by surgeons and trainees.
Participation in Hackathons: A Multi-Methods View on Motivators, Demotivators and Citizen Participation
Hackathons are problem-focused programming events that allow conceiving, implementing, and presenting digital innovations. The number of participants is one of the key success factors of hackathons. In order to maximize that number, it is essential to understand what motivates people to participate. Previous work on the matter focused on quantitative studies and addressed neither the topic of demotivators nor the relationship between participation in hackathons and citizen participation, although hackathons constitute a promising participation method where citizens can build their own project, amongst other methods such as meetings or online platforms. Therefore, in this study, we examined a specific hackathon organized in Belgium and collected data about the motivators and demotivators of the participants through a questionnaire and in-depth interviews, thereby following a multi-methods approach. This study contributes to the scarce theoretical discussion on the topic by defining precisely the motivators and demotivators and provides recommendations for hackathon organizers to help them bring in more participants. Furthermore, from our exploration of the relationship between participation in hackathons and citizen participation, we suggest a citizen participation ecosystem embedding hackathons to provide benefits for the society.
The Effects of Hackathons on the Entrepreneurial Skillset and Perceived Self-Efficacy as Factors Shaping Entrepreneurial Intentions
— Izabela Szymanska, Tom Sesti, Hali Motley and George Puia.
Purpose: While traditional university programs primarily use regularly scheduled classes as the primary means for developing students, this program evaluation explores the direct effects of intensive entrepreneurial learning activity in the format of a hackathon. This is one of the first papers to explore the learning outcomes of hackathons as an intensive entrepreneurial pedagogy. Design/methodology/approach: The researchers implemented a pre-test/post-test model with students participating in an entrepreneurship hackathon and tested the changes in their confidence levels in the ability to craft a successful entrepreneurial venture. Findings: The results support a hackathon model of entrepreneurial learning. As the result of a one-day workshop, significant results were achieved for self-reported ability in identifying a viable entrepreneurial concept, and for having the ability to successfully launch a new venture. Further, class standing and prior entrepreneurial courses, as well as gender did not influence the learning outcomes. Importantly, while hackathon-generated increases in entrepreneurial self-efficacy proved to be statistically significant, same gains proved not to be significant in a traditional entrepreneurship class setting. Authors conclude that short, intensive entrepreneurship learning methods like hackathons may be more effective in developing entrepreneurial self-efficacy than semester long courses. Originality/value: A hackathon is likely an effective entrepreneurial learning methodology suitable for a general student population which includes students with limited knowledge of and interest in entrepreneurship. The usefulness of a hackathon for entrepreneurial learning has potential implications for educators, scholars and policy makers. For educators, a hackathon approach may outperform a number of traditional entrepreneurship pedagogies in the form of lectures, case studies, class discussions or even a business plan development over a semester-long course. A hackathon may also allow students to gain entrepreneurial skills and self-confidence much quicker and using less resources than in a traditional entrepreneurial course. The potential reasons for these findings as well as their implications are discussed along with future research areas.
The Research Role of the Librarian at a Community Health Hackathon - A Technical Report
— Nancy Shin, Kathryn Vela, Kelly Evans.
A hackathon is a social event that is focused on building small and innovative technology projects. The 2018 Hackathon hosted by the Washington State University (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine aimed to solve rural health problems in Washington state. One major modification to the regular format of a healthcare hackathon was the inclusion of research librarians. Librarians with health sciences and business expertise provided research and library services at a designated Research Station, which included literature, patent, and internet searches. Participant and hackathon librarian observations, verbal feedback, and librarian survey results demonstrate the positive value/outcome of library services to the health hackathon winners. The winning hackathon teams used the services by the Research Station extensively. Areas of strength for this event included collaboration between librarians, promotion of library services, and efficient information retrieval. Areas for improvement included making regular contact with hackathon teams during the event and clearer signage and marketing.
The Soundscape Hackathon as a Methodology to Accelerate Co-Creation of the Urban Public Space
— Jorg De Winne, Karlo Filipan, Bart Moens, Paul Devos, Marc Leman, Dick Botteldooren and Bert De Coensel.
The design of urban public spaces is typically performed by architects and urban planners, which often only focus on the visual aesthetics of the urban space. Yet, a visually pleasing public open space designed for relaxing will be underused if it sounds unpleasant. Ideally, sonic design should be integrated with visual design, a need the soundscape approach answers. The current trend of co-creating the urban space together with all stakeholders, including local residents, opens up new opportunities to account for all senses in the urban design process. Unfortunately, architects and urban planners struggle to incorporate the soundscape approach in the urban design process and to use it in the context of co-creation. In this work, a hackathon is proposed to generate creative concepts, methods and tools to co-create the urban public space. A soundscape hackathon was organized in the spring of 2019. Participants were challenged to apply their own immersive approaches or virtual and/or augmented reality solutions on selected urban soundscapes. They presented their results to colleagues in the field and to a professional jury. This paper describes the process and results of the event and shows that a hackathon is a viable approach to accelerate the co-creation of the urban public space.
University Hackathons: Managerialism, Gamification, and the Foreclosure of Creativity
— Anthony Logan Clary.
This research presents a generative critique of hackathon events held in the contemporary research university. Through the analysis of cultural imaginaries and embedded techno-political forms, it works toward an assessment of whether these events support, foreclose, or redirect ideas of the future that might otherwise challenge technocratic, accumulatory, and/or hierarchal organization. Informed by institutional histories and firsthand field research at events, dynamics of entrepreneurialism, gamification, and techno-solutionism are extrapolated and problematized. Ultimately, this research draws on a historical materialist approach to understanding how and why hackathon events have flourished in the university setting. Corroborating recent theories of platform capitalism, vectoralism, and the “hacker class,” this research uses critical genealogy and
ethnography to problematize events and caution against the coercive filtering and funneling of creative energies at the hands of capitalist pressures.
Code camps and hackathons in education - literature review and lessons learned
— Ari Happonen, Antti Herala, Jouni Ikonen, Jayden Khakurel, Antti Knutas, Jari Porras.
Code camps and hackathons been used in education for almost two decades. These approaches are usually intensive and for most times quite practical events for solving some real-world problems with various educational objectives. The objectives and structures of these events differ depending on the role of the event in curricula.
Problem statement: Both code camps and hackathons been implemented in various ways, with varying success levels. As expected the implementation of the event varies considerably depending on the objectives set for the event, but that then leads to the difficulty and problem setting to understand what organizing of these events actually mean. For educational context, curricula have also its role in defining the targeted skills and competencies the events has to consider too.
Conceptualization of hackathon for innovation management
— Seija Halvari, Anu Suominen, Jari Jussila, Vilho Jonsson, Johan Bäckman.
Although hackathons have become a popular phenomenon beyond the IT industry, the current use of the concept is ambiguous. However, concept definitions are essential building blocks of theory. Therefore, this paper addresses the hackathon as a concept. Following the conceptualization model of Podsakoff et al. (2016), this paper studies the attributes of the hackathon concept. Specifically, it focuses on the necessary and sufficient concept structure of the hackathon as a phenomenon and presents the eight necessary and sufficient
attributes of the hackathon. Moreover, it proposes three main categories for the eight attributes, i.e. the concepts of 1) short time-bounded event, 2) coopetition, and 3) radical collocation. Furthermore, this exploratory paper defines the hackathon as an innovation contest. The results will benefit both academics studying hackathons and companies who aim to enhance their innovation management, especially in the fuzzy front end of innovation.
Does it matter why we hack? - Exploring the impact of goal alignment in hackathons
— Maria Medina, Alexander Nolte.
Time-bounded events such as hackathons have become increasingly popular in recent years. During these events participants typically form teams, exercise fast prototype development, challenge themselves to innovate, practice new skills, collaborate with diverse team members, and compete against other teams. Hackathon organizers have a certain vision in mind about which outcome they would like to achieve and design the event based on this vision. Participants on the other hand do not necessarily share the same vision and come with their own goals and aspirations. While work in related fields suggests that it is important for goals of organizers and participants to align in order to achieve them this might be different in hackathons due to their unique setup. Drawing from literature we identified potential goals of organizers and participants and conducted a case study of three hackathons focusing on the alignment of goals between organizers and participants. Our findings indicate that the goals of organizers and participants did not align in all cases, that goal awareness on the part of the organizers appears may have a stronger impact on goal achievement and that hackathons appear to have inherent characteristics that can materialize even when not planned for.
Health hackathon as a venue for interprofessional education: a qualitative interview study
— Atipong Pathanasethpong, Rosawan Areemit, Daris Teerakulpisut, Katharine Morley, Michael Morley.
A Health Hackathon provides an opportunity for healthcare professionals to collaborate with IT developers and designers to solve health issues using technology and thus serves as a potential venue for interprofessional education. The present paper reports the views and experiences of participants on how the KKU mHealth Hackathon 2017 served as a venue for interprofessional education. A phenomenological approach was used involving semi-structured in-depth interviews of three faculty members and three students who participated in the hackathon. Participants expressed their learning experiences during the event, as well as factors that promoted or hindered learning. Our findings suggest that a health hackathon can serve as a suitable venue for interprofessional education as interviewees reported how they had learnt to successfully collaborate in interprofessional teams, move beyond their prior views and appreciate complementary work from other professions, focus on solving problems practically, and create a collegial, collaborative atmosphere. There were also some potential downsides of the hackathon that could be solved with an improved design in future occasions. A Health Hackathon can be an important opportunity for interprofessional education. Further studies should focus on methods to reproduce these positive learning experiences, mitigate the negative aspects, and investigate their long-term effects.
Improving time use measurement with personal big data collection - the experience of the European Big Data Hackathon 2019
— Mattia Zeni, Ivano Bison, Britta Gauckler, Fernando Reis, and Fausto Giunchiglia.
This article assesses the experience with i-Log at the European Big Data Hackathon 2019, a satellite event of the New Techniques and Technologies for Statistics (NTTS) conference, organised by Eurostat. i-Log is a system that allows to capture personal big data from smartphones’ internal sensors to be used for time use measurement. It allows the collection of heterogeneous types of data, enabling new possibilities for sociological urban field studies. Sensor data such as those related to the location or the movements of the user can be used to investigate and have insights on the time diaries’ answers and assess their overall quality. The key idea is that the users’ answers are used to train machine-learning algorithms, allowing the system to learn from the user’s habits and to generate new time diaries’ answers. In turn, these new labels can be used to assess the quality of existing ones, or to fill the gaps when the user does not provide an answer. The aim of this paper is to introduce the pilot study, the i-Log system and the methodological evidence that arose during the survey
Incubators at the Frontiers of Capital: An Ethnographic Encounter with Startup Weekend in Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Technology incubators are one of the infrastructural ends at the urban frontiers of capital. When built in areas of poverty in cities of the Global South, these hubs cultivate entrepreneurialism and opportunities for profit at the intersection of development and technological innovation. They promise to address the social challenges of urban marginality with remunerative market solutions. In Cape Town, Africa’s so-called Silicon Cape, the largest technology incubator of the city ventured into its most marginal township—Khayelitsha—in 2015, pledging to lay the infrastructural groundwork for fruitful entrepreneurial innovation. This article recollects, ethnographically, an important moment at the outset of this incubator: a fifty-four-hour franchised hackathon, Startup Weekend, which took place in September 2015 as an inaugural event. The argument of this article is that such an incubator was a sociotechnical formation meant to create the conditions for entrepreneurship in a deprived urban area, relying on a web of material and immaterial connections; that it materialized the rationalities of millennial development as well as alternative goals; and that, as infrastructure, it was patched with diverse aspirations and improvised forms of sociality. The article thus contributes to an urban geography of development that acknowledges its uncertainties and singularities as political openings. Key Words: Cape Town, infrastructure, millennial development, technology incubator.
Innovation contests, routine dynamics and innovation management
— Heini Ikävalko, Tea Lempiälä
This paper investigates an innovation contest as organizational routine of innovation management. We draw from a qualitative longitudinal study in an industrial company. We examine the meanings, performance and artifacts related to the contest and show their mutual dynamics.
Iterative Coordination in Organizational Search
— Sourobh Ghosh, Andy Wu.
Firms use iterative coordination, or periodic coordination meetings, in their technology development on a presumed link to both exploratory innovation and exploitative performance. We critically evaluate this practice and identify boundary conditions to its effectiveness. With a leading technology firm, we embed a field experiment within a software development competition to measure iterative coordination's effect on firm outcomes and search process.
Persuasion in Corporate Idea Contests: The Moderating Role of
Content Scarcity on Decision-Making
— Alexander Kock, Tobias Kruft, Andreas Schindler, Christoph Tilsner.
Organizations increasingly use corporate online ideation platforms to foster individual innovativeness. Recent research, however, has shown the downside of such contests—the selection of ideas is not entirely rational. Analyzing the impact of content scarcity, which occurs when ideators provide very little issue-relevant information when submitting ideas, contributes to this new literature stream. The main argument is that evaluators increasingly rely on heuristics based on issue-irrelevant information when content scarcity obstructs reflective decision-making. The default-interventionist model of decision-making in combination with the Yale attitude change approach allows us to examine the mechanisms evaluators apply when content scarcity occurs. The hypotheses are tested on an extensive data set of 3025 ideas. The results show that content scarcity affects the evaluators’ decision-making process by preventing them from intervening their first intuitive decision. The scarcer the content of the submitted idea, the stronger the persuasiveness of issue-irrelevant aspects that affect idea selection: aspects of the ideator, message, and community.
Reducing Information Frictions in Venture Capital: The Role of New Venture Competitions
— Sabrina Howell
Venture capital, an important source of financing for potentially high-growth new businesses, is believed to suffer from information frictions. This paper quantifies the magnitude of these frictions among participants in new venture competitions. In a regression discontinuity design with data from 87 competitions, winning a round increases the chances of external financing by about 35 percent.
Speeding-Up Innovation with Business Hackathons
— Myrna Flores, Matic Golob, Doroteja Maklin, Christopher L. Tucci.
In recent years, the way organizations innovate and develop new solutions has changed considerably. Moving from ‘behind the closed doors’ style of innovating to open innovation where collaboration with outsiders is encouraged, organizations are in the pursuit of more effective ways to accelerate their innovation outcomes. As a result, organizations are establishing creative and entrepreneurial ecosystems, which not only empower employees but also involve many others to co-create new solutions. In this paper, we present a methodology for organizing hackathons, i.e. competition-based events where small teams work over a short period of time to ideate, design, prototype and test their ideas following a user-centric approach to solve a specific challenge. This paper also provides insights into two different hackathons organized in the United Kingdom, and Mexico, as well as a series of 5 hackathons organized in Argentina, Mexico, Switzerland, United Kingdom and in Senegal.
An Extended Hackathon Model for Collaborative Education in Medical Innovation
— Robson Capasso, Robert T. Chang, Jason K. Wang, Ravinder D. Pamnani.
To support the next generation of healthcare innovators - whether they be engineers, designers, clinicians, or business experts by training – education in the emerging field of medical innovation should be made easily and widely accessible to undergraduate students, graduate students, and young professionals, early in their careers.
Hackathons in Software Engineering
Education – Lessons Learned from a
Decade of Events
— Ari Happonen, Antti Herala, Jouni Ikonen, Jayden Khakurel, Antti Knutas, Olaf Drögehorn, Jari Porras.
Hackathons are currently a hot topic in industrial learning settings. Like intensive collaborative courses (e.g. code camps), hackathons have been shown to be successful tools for learning. However, current research has failed to adequately compare the two approaches with respect to who benefits, which stakeholders are involved, and what the practical arrangement differences are. We used a literature review, our own multi-year learning experiences, and written and interview material from students and industry participants to present an overview of hackathons and code camps.
Hacking Hackathons: Preparing the next generation for the
multidisciplinary world of healthcare technology
— Nathaniel Baum, Lucas Bulgarelli, Michael P. Cassidy, Leo Anthony Celi, Alon Dagan, Nicholas Gomez, Luk Hendrik, Yoon Jeon Kim, Mataroria P. Lyndon, Kenneth E. Paik.
Objective Machine learning in healthcare, and innovative healthcare technology in general, require complex interactions within multidisciplinary teams. Healthcare hackathons are being increasingly used as a model for cross-disciplinary collaboration and learning. The aim of this study is to explore high school student learning experiences during a healthcare hackathon. By optimizing their learning experiences, we hope to prepare a future workforce that can bridge technical and health fields and work seamlessly across disciplines
How Can Hackathons Accelerate Corporate Innovation?
— Ahmed Al-Ashaab, Adriana Encinas, Myrna Flores, Matic Golob, Martin Herrera, Doroteja Maklin, Veronica Martinez, Leon Williams, Karina Flores Pineda, Lourdes Sosa,Christopher Tucci, Mohamed Zaki.
In recent years, the way corporates innovate has changed significantly. Going from ‘behind closed doors’ innovation to open innovation where collaboration with outsiders is encouraged, companies are in the pursuit of more effective ways to accelerate their innovation outcomes. As a result, many companies are investing to create more entrepreneurial environments, which not only empower employees to proactively propose and test new ideas, but also reach beyond company walls to involve many others in the co-creation of new solutions.
How Does Feedback Affect Entrepreneurial Performance
— Sandy Yu.
Does feedback affect start-up firm performance? Feedback can be beneficial and particularly actionable for early-stage firms — it may motivate firms to experiment and improve on their ideas, or help firms speed up the failure process for lower quality ideas. In this paper, I use a proprietary database of business plan competition participants and judges combined with text analysis of feedback to investigate whether firms incorporate feedback and improve over time. Specifically, I leverage the feedback sentiment of randomly assigned judges as an instrumental variable to estimate causal effects of feedback on short-term and long-term performance.
How Does Online Interaction Affect Idea Quality? The Effect of Feedback in Firm‐Internal Idea Competitions
— Alexander Kock, Jens Leker, Marc Wentker, Hangzi Zhu.
Social media technologies that enable interactive feedback during idea generation can complement existing modes of knowledge exchange in innovation management. Especially large, multinational companies use internal online idea competitions to promote intraorganizational knowledge exchange. Although current studies mainly focus on idea generation through crowdsourcing, little attention has been paid to the effect of online interaction between contributors on idea quality.
Institutionalizing healthcare hackathons to promote diversity in collaboration in medicine
— Michele Barry, Ami S. Bhatt, Robert T. Chang, Shivaal K. Roy, Jason K. Wang.
Medical students and healthcare professionals can benefit from exposure to cross-disciplinary teamwork and core concepts of medical innovation. Indeed, to address complex challenges in patient care, diversity in collaboration across medicine, engineering, business, and design is critical. However, a limited number of academic institutions have established cross-disciplinary opportunities for students and young professionals within these domains to work collaboratively towards diverse healthcare needs.
Open data hackathons: an innovative strategy to enhance entrepreneurial intention
— Maria Kamariotou, Fotis Kitsios.
In terms of entrepreneurship, open data benefits include economic growth, innovation, empowerment and new or improved products and services. Hackathons encourage the development of new applications using open data and the creation of startups based on these applications. Researchers focus on factors that affect nascent entrepreneurs’ decision to create a startup but researches in the field of open data hackathons have not been fully investigated yet. This paper aims to suggest a model that incorporates factors that affect the decision of establishing a startup by developers who have participated in open data hackathons.
Translating Science Into Business Innovation: The Case of Open Food and Nutrition Data Hackathons
— Heidi Gautschi, Christopher Tucci, Gianluigi Viscusi.
In this article, we explore the use of hackathons and open data in corporations' open innovation portfolios, addressing a new way for companies to tap into the creativity and innovation of early-stage startup culture, in this case applied to the food and nutrition sector. We study the first Open Food Data Hackdays, held on 10–11 February 2017 in Lausanne and Zurich.
Using hackathons to teach management consulting
— Yossi Maaravi.
In the current article, the already existing process of hackathons was used to teach management or organisational consulting. Two separate events were conducted with dozens of students working in teams for twelve straight hours to solve real organisational challenges. Results from post-event surveys indicate that participants − students, faculty, industry mentors and company representatives – were highly satisfied with these intense experiential learning events, both due to their educational value and the contribution of the solutions for the organisations if further developed.
From appfest to entrepreneurs: using a hackathon event to seed a university student-led enterprise
— David Cobham, Kevin Jacques, Carl Gowan, Jack Laurel, Scott Ringham.
Hackathons were once industry-specific programming sprints to get overdue features and applications completed; today they are a worldwide phenomenon, with businesses, educators, and entrepreneurs taking an interest in the benefits they can provide. Hackathons can be a breeding ground for brainstorming, innovation, networking, and product development, and as such they can have multiple outcomes including the sparking of new businesses and entrepreneurial activity. This paper investigates the effectiveness of utilising a hackathon as the genesis for the creation of sustainable student entrepreneurial activity. In particular, it seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of using hackathon-type events to initiate a successful University student enterprise project. The paper outlines the findings from this project, and concludes with a series of recommendations from the authors, on how one should market and structure a hackathon, and whether this vehicle should be chosen as a means to initiate a student enterprise project.
From hackathon to student enterprise: an evaluation of creating successful and sustainable student entrepreneurial activity initiated by a university hackathon
— David Cobham, Bruce Hargrave, Kevin Jacques, Carl Gowan, Jack Laurel, Scott Ringham.
Hackathons are a worldwide phenomenon, with both industry and educators considering the opportunities and benefits that they generate. They can provide a forum for innovation, networking, and product design and development, thereby offering multiple outcomes. This paper develops the authors’ previous work on the effectiveness of utilising a hackathon as the spark for initiating student entrepreneurial activity by considering the success of the student enterprise that was created as a result and the extent to which that success was attributable to the hackathon event. Using a case study approach, the paper seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of using hackathon-type events to initiate a successful University student enterprise project and to identify the key elements in the future organisation of such a hackathon event that might lead to a sustainable and effective student enterprise. The paper outlines the findings from this project, which focus on the team building and bonding that take place in such an event, and concludes with a series of recommendations from the authors on how one should market and structure a hackathon to best ensure the success of a subsequently formed student enterprise, based on the evaluation of the project one year after it was founded.
Hackathons as Co-optation Ritual: Socializing Workers and Institutionalizing Innovation in the “New” Economy
— Max Papadantonakis, Sharon Zukin.
Hackathons, time-bounded events where participants write computer code and build apps, have become a popular means of socializing tech students and workers to produce “innovation” despite little promise of material reward. Although they offer participants opportunities for learning new skills and face-to-face networking and set up interaction rituals that create an emotional “high,” potential advantage is even greater for the events’ corporate sponsors, who use them to outsource work, crowdsource innovation, and enhance their reputation.
Health hackathons: theatre or substance? A survey assessment of outcomes from healthcare-focused hackathons in three countries
— Elizabeth Bailey, David R Bangsberg, Santorino Data, Priya Garg, Anthony J Guarino, Sahil Mehta, Kristian R Olson, Rebecca Petersen, Alexis Steel, Madeline Walsh.
Background Healthcare-focused hackathons are 48-hour platforms intended to accelerate novel medical technology. However, debate exists about how much they contribute to medical technology innovation. The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) has developed a three-pronged model to maximise their effectiveness. To gauge the success of this model, we examined follow-up outcomes. Methods Outcomes of 12 hackathons from 2012 to 2015 in India, Uganda and the USA were measured using emailed surveys.
Idea Competitions in New Service Development: Co-creation with a Certain Consumer Group
— Dorothee FlÖtotto, Sabine Kuester, Monika C. Schuhmacher.
New service development (NSD) processes are often ineffective in bringing about successful services because companies miss what is fundamentally important to their consumers (Kumar and Whitney 2003). Therefore it has been advocated to better align key activities in development projects with the needs of actual and potential consumers (Jaworski and Kohli 1993) and to integrate consumers into the development process (von Hippel 1986). Thus, the integration of consumers for cocreating value has been stressed as critically important (e.g., Kristensson and Magnusson 2005). Idea competitions are one way to integrate consumers (Piller and Walcher 2006).
Open Digital Innovation Contest
— Anders Hjalmarsson, Gustaf Juell-Skielse, Paul Johannesson.
This chapter introduces open digital innovation contests that aim to develop digital services. Key stakeholders in such contests are identified: organisers, participants, resource providers, and beneficiaries. A classification of digital innovation contests is proposed based on the length of a contest and its inclusiveness. Other design elements of contests are also discussed, including media, target group and evaluation.
Training Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Pitch Experienced Investors: Evidence from a Field Experiment in the United States
— David Clingingsmith, Scott Shane.
Accredited investors finance more than 75,000 U.S. startups annually. We explain how training aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their new business ideas to these investors affects their odds of continued funding discussions. We model accredited investors’ decision to continue investigation as a real option whose value is a function of their experience and the information contained in the entrepreneurs’ pitches. We derive four hypotheses from the model, which we test through a field experiment that randomly assigns pitch training at four elevator pitch competitions. The data support all four hypotheses and are inconsistent with alternative explanations.
The Rise of Hackathon-Led Innovation in the MENA Region: Visualizing Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Time-Bounded Events
— Nada Alkhalifa, Sitah Almishari, Maram Alwan, Areej Al-Wabil, Nora Salamah.
Hackathons are poised to accelerate technological progress and redefine the technology innovation lifecycle. Time-bounded events have spawned a raw form of creativity that is rarely seen elsewhere in the digital innovation landscape. Efficient monitoring and analysis of data emerging from time-bounded events - and trends in the technology innovation process that emerge from encouraging developers, designers and entrepreneurs to go from the drawing board to a working demo - is of interest to both professional analysts and the general public.
Big Data, Small Apps: Premises and Products of the Civic Hackathon
— Sara Jensen Carr, Allison Lassiter.
Connections and feedback among urban residents and the responsive city are critical to Urban Informatics. One of the main modes of interaction between the public and Big Data streams is the ever-expanding suite of urban-focused smartphone applications. Governments are joining the app trend by hosting civic hackathons focused on app development. For all the attention and effort spent on app production and hackathons, however, a closer examination reveals a glaring irony of the Big Data age: to date, the results have been remarkably small in both scope and users. In this paper, we critically analyze the structure of The White House Hackathon, New York City BigApps, and the National Day of Civic Hacking, which are three recent, high-publicity hackathons in the United States.
Bringing Medicine to the Digital Age via Hackathons and Beyond
— Walker, A. & Ko, N.
Health care technology and innovation is a rapidly growing industry with great potential. Hackathons have become an increasingly popular venue for institutions to generate ideas and enthusiasm for innovation. These events can inspire change and eventual improvement in medical systems. However, alongside developers and business-savvy entrepreneurs, the ongoing participation by health care providers and researchers is essential for the careful development, implementation and evaluation of any technological intervention.
Civic Hackathons: New Terrain for Local Government-Citizen Interaction?
— Pamela J. Robinson, Peter A. Johnson.
As more and more governments share open data, tech developers respond by creating apps using these data to generate content or provide services that citizens may find useful. More recently, there is an increase in popularity of the civic hackathon. These time-limited events gather tech enthusiasts, government workers and interested citizens, in a collaborative environment to apply government open data in developing software applications that address issues of shared civic importance. Building on the Johnson and Robinson (2014) framework for understanding the civic hackathon phenomenon, Canadian municipal staff with civic hackathon experience were interviewed about their motivations for and benefits derived from participation in these events. Two broad themes emerged from these interviews. First, through the development of prototypical apps using municipal open data and other data sets, civic hackathons help put open data into public use. Second, civic hackathons provide government staff with valuable feedback about municipal open data sets informing and evolving future open data releases. This paper concludes with reflections for urban planners about how civic hackathons might be used in their practice and with recommendations for municipal staff considering using civic hackathons to add value to municipal open data.
Datathons: an experience report of data hackathons for data science education
— Anslow, C., Brosz, J., Maurer, F.
Large amounts of data are becoming increasingly available through open data repositories as well as companies and gov- ernments collecting data to improve decision making and ef- ficiencies. Consequently there is a need to increase the data literacy of computer science students. Data science is a rela- tively new area within computer science and the curriculum is rapidly evolving along with the tools required to perform analytics which students need to learn how to effectively use.
From Idea to Business—How Siemens Bridges the Innovation Gap
— Jörg Schepers, Ralf Schnell & Pat Vroom.
The path from an innovative idea to a profitable business is long and difficult. Often, good ideas will never be realized because they do not succeed in bridging the innovation gap that exists between the different R&D departments and the operational units, especially in large companies. Siemens Corporate Technology held an idea competition to help bridge this gap. In so doing, it identified several factors that make such competitions successful, as well as the risks. Furthermore, it learned that idea competitions can be a first step toward more comprehensive innovation processes that will be successful in the long term.
Hackathons as an Informal Learning Platform
— Meris Mandernach, Arnab Nandi.
Hackathons are fast-paced events where competitors work in teams to go from an idea to working software or hardware within a single day or a weekend and demonstrate their cre- ation to a live audience of peers. Due to the “fun” and informal nature of such events, they make for excellent informal learning platforms that attract a diverse spectrum of students, especially those typically uninterested in tradi- tional classroom settings. In this paper, we investigate the informal learning aspects of Ohio State’s annual hackathon events over the past two years, with over 100 student par- ticipants in 2013 and over 200 student participants in 2014.
Hackathons as Community-Based Learning: a Case Study
— Lara, M. & Lockwood, K.
A “hackathon” is a computer-programming event in which volunteers work intensely in small teams for a short amount of time to develop a program prototype. These events became widespread during the 2000s as software companies and venture capitalists used them to “quickly develop new software technologies, and to locate new areas for innovation and funding” (Briscoe and Mulligan 2014, p.4).
Hackathon for Learning Digital Theology in Computer Science
— Emmanuel Awuni Kolog, Eeva Nygren, Erkki Sutinen.
Hackathon is an event where programmers and subject field specialists collaborate intensively in teams with the ultimate aim to create and design fresh ICT (information and communication technology) based solutions to a given task in a limited time. In this study, we analyzed students‟ perceptions and experience in a hackathon where they were to design a concept for an application aimed at people that are preparing for their own death. The hackathon was part of a Digital Theology (DT) course at the university for Computer Science (CS) students.
Healthcare Hackathons Provide Educational and Innovation Opportunities: A Case Study and Best Practice Recommendations
— Silver, J.K., Binder, D.S., Zubcevik, N. et al.
Physicians and other healthcare professionals are often the end users of medical innovation; however, they are rarely involved in the beginning design stages. This often results in ineffective healthcare solutions with poor adoption rates. At the early design stage, innovation would benefit from input from healthcare professionals. This report describes the first-ever rehabilitation hackathon—an interdisciplinary and competitive team event aimed at accelerating and improving healthcare solutions and providing an educational experience for participants.
How to Hackathon: Socio-technical Tradeoffs in Brief, Intensive Collocation
— Erik H. Trainer, Arun Kalyanasundaram, Chalalai Chaihirunkarn, James D. Herbsleb.
Hackathons are events where people who are not normally collocated converge for a few days to write code together. Hackathons, it seems, are everywhere. We know that long- term collocation helps advance technical work and facilitate enduring interpersonal relationships, but can similar benefits come from brief, hackathon-style collocation? How do participants spend their time preparing, working face-to- face, and following through these brief encounters? Do the activities participants select suggest a tradeoff between the social and technical benefits of collocation? We present results from a multiple-case study that suggest the way that hackathon-style collocation advances technical work varies across technical domain, community structure, and expertise of participants. Building social ties, in contrast, seems relatively constant across hackathons. Results from different hackathon team formation strategies suggest a tradeoff between advancing technical work and building social ties. Our findings have implications for technology support that needs to be in place for hackathons and for understanding the role of brief interludes of collocation in loosely-coupled, geographically distributed work.
Idea Generation by Employees and External Participants in Innovation Competitions
— Simon Hassannia, Stefan Stieglitz.
Innovation competitions are considered to be an instrument by which companies can inspire customers and employees to generate value-added ideas. However, there is little research on how the quality contributions are made and by whom. In this paper, a case study-based analysis is carried out at a global telecommunications company. Through the analysis of log files, the participating users are categorized on the basis of their level of activity and membership of user groups. We differentiate between employees and external users.
Issue-oriented hackathons as material participation
— Carl DiSalvo, Thomas James Lodato.
In recent years, intensive design and development events known as hackathons have become increasingly common. Issue-oriented hackathons are a subset of this trend that bring together ad hoc groups under the auspices of conceiving and prototyping technologies to address social conditions and concerns. In this article, we present ethnographic accounts of a set of issue-oriented hackathons that took place in the United States between 2012 and 2013, in order to explore how these events structure and express emerging forms of participation. Specifically, we propose that issue-oriented hackathons are sites of experimental material participation.
Synergy between smart cities' hackathons and living labs as a vehicle for accelerating tangible innovations on cities
— Maya Alba, Manuel Avalos, Carlos Guzmán, Victor M. Larios.
Governments, universities and companies around the world are seeking ways to promote innovation in order to build solutions towards Smarter Cities. As smart cities grow, living labs are created as platforms to test these solutions in a real-life context before implementing them on cities. Hosting smart cities' themed hackathons is an excellent way for empowering and engaging citizens to be aware of how their active participation can positively affect the quality of life in their cities. Hence, a synergy between living labs and smart cities' hackathons has been proven successful, more specifically in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, where a series of biannual smart cities' hackathons has been hosted with concrete results.
The hackathon model to spur innovation around global health
— Angelidis P, Berman L, de la Luz Casas-Perez M, et al.
The challenge of providing quality healthcare to underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) has attracted increasing attention from information and communication technology (ICT) professionals interested in providing societal impact through their work. Sana is an organisation hosted at the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that was established out of this interest.
The innovation-driven hackathon: one means for accelerating innovation
— Frank J. Frey, Michael Luks.
Established companies often have difficulties developing new innovative products in a fast and creative way because of their fix structure and organizational complexity. With decision processes divided across several departments it takes too long to get all required skills and people onboard compared to more agile competitors. There are plenty of causes for organizational obstacles which hinder and slow-down the companies developing innovative products, particularly, within large companies having established processes and a lot of bureaucracy.
Business Plan Competitions: Start-Up 'Idols' and Their Twenty-First Century Launch Pads
— Kimble Byrd, Linda W. Ross.
Business plan competitions (BPCs) promise to expand regional economies and catalyze new venture development. BPCs have evolved into a talent search and a launch pad for nascent entrepreneurs. "American Idol" style contests are hailed and criticized. An assessment of BPCs as both business and pedagogical processes adds to the literature on competitions.
Crowdsourcing: Leveraging Innovation through Online Idea Competitions
— Walter Buchinger, Oliver Gassmann, Marianna Obrist, Fiona Maria Schweitzer.
Along with other Web 2.0 market intelligence tools, online idea competitions can provide essential input for decision making in the early phases of product innovation. However, in order to use online competitions effectively, it is essential to know when to use which method, how to use it, and to what extent virtual and conventional research techniques can be used interchangeably or complementarily. A first step toward assessing the power of Web 2.0 techniques is to compare them with traditional ones.
Hackathons and the Making of Entrepreneurial Citizenship
— Lilly Irani.
Today the halls of Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) and Davos reverberate with optimism that hacking, brainstorming, and crowdsourcing can transform citizenship, development, and education alike. This article examines these claims ethnographically and historically with an eye toward the kinds of social orders such practices produce. This article focuses on a hackathon, one emblematic site of social practice where techniques from information technology (IT) production become ways of remaking culture.
Learning through inquiry: a Global Health Hackathon
This article offers a description and critical evaluation of a novel method for inquiry-based learning (IBL) directed at undergraduate students: a Global Health Hackathon. The hackathon was piloted as part of an ‘Introduction to Global Health’ undergraduate course in order to enable students to gain and create knowledge about specific global health-related challenges and, simultaneously, to acquire tangible and transferable skills. We provide a critical evaluation of our practice by drawing on relevant academic literature concerned with IBL, course material to describe the hackathon and its related components and outputs, and student evaluations to reflect on the overall module experience. We conclude by sharing reflections and recommendations of necessary measures required to institutionalize IBL in a more sustainable manner in higher education institutions.
Low-Income Consumers as a Source of Innovation, Insights from Idea Competitions in Brazilian Low-Income Communities
— Aline Krämer.
The dissertation shows why innovations are vital to succeed in the low-income market segment, i.e. the four billion people living on less than 8 USD per day. In particular, it explores the role low-income consumers can play in corporate innovation processes. The study tests and expands theoretical findings on user innovations and lead users in the Brazilian low-income context. The findings also aim to enhance the capacity of companies to develop new solutions for the so far untapped low-income market by leveraging the knowledge of their target group.
StitchFest: Diversifying a College Hackathon to Broaden Participation and Perceptions in Computing
— Gabriela T Richard, Yasmin Bettina Kafai, Barrie M Adleberg, Orkan Telhan.
While coding competitions and hackathons have steadily increased in number, few women participate. Because these public events present viable opportunities to broaden participation in computing, we designed the theme to focus on "Wear & Care" and collaborative arrangements in a hardware hackathon, called StitchFest, in which 33 undergraduate and graduate students used the LilyPad Arduino to design wearables. Our analysis focused on the interviews conducted with eight female and seven male college participants to understand how targeted recruitment, thematic framing, space arrangements, kinds of materials and material distribution impacted participation and perception. We discuss what we learned about setting a thematic focus and fostering collaborative learning in coding competitions for broadening participation in computing.
The Markathon: Adapting the Hackathon Model for an Introductory Marketing Class Project
— Michelle Calco, Ann Veeck.
“Hackathons,” the intense, focused, idea-spawning sessions that originated in the programming community, are valued for their ability to inspire creativity, critical thinking, and innovation—all skills that employers say are essential but often lacking in business graduates. This paper introduces the “Markathon,” a team-based project that incorporates features of a hackathon to provide an opportunity for students to put to use marketing concepts learned during the semester, as well as practice other essential business skills. Working in an environment that embodies the spontaneity and time constraints inherent in hackathons, student teams are challenged to develop a product or service that will improve or promote the university. Assessment of this project by students in three sections of introductory marketing classes indicates that the project teaches students important marketing concepts and valuable business skills, while also contributing to students’ engagement in the course.
What are Hackathons for?
— Janne Järvinen, Klas Kindström, Marko Komssi, Mikko Raatikainen, Danielle Pichlis.
A swift execution from idea to market has become a key competitive advantage for software companies to enable them to survive and grow in turbulent business environments. To combat this challenge, companies are using hackathons. A hackathon is a highly engaging, continuous event in which people in small groups produce working software prototypes in a limited amount of time.
Civic Hackathons: Innovation, Procurement, or Civic Engagement?
— Peter Johnson, Pamela Robinson
At all levels, governments around the world are moving toward the provision of open data, that is, the direct provision to citizens, the private sector, and other third parties, of raw government datasets, controlled by a relatively permissible license. In tandem with this distribution of open data is the promotion of civic hackathons, or “app contests” by government. The civic hackathon is designed to offer prize money to developers as a way to spur innovative use of open data, more specifically the creation of commercial software applications that deliver services to citizens.
Contests as innovation intermediaries in open data markets
— Hjalmarsson Andersb, Johannesson Paul, Juell-Skielse Eleaa, Juell-Skielse Gustafa, Rudmark Daniel.
Innovation contests are becoming popular instruments for stimulating development of digital services using open data. However, experience indicates that only a limited number of the results developed during these events become viable digital services attracting a significant user base. To further deepen our understanding of the role, design and function of innovation contests in open data markets, we conducted a survey of the websites of 33 digital innovation contests. The results of the survey show that organizers design digital innovation contests to function as intermediaries for open data innovation.
Digital Innovation: The Hackathon Phenomenon
— Gerard Briscoe, Catherine Mulligan.
Innovation with digital technologies continues to emerge, but increasingly there are efforts to help nurture such innovation. A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate intensively over a short period of time on software projects. These hackathons are encouraging of experimentation and creativity, and can be challenge orientated. From holding large numbers of these events, the hackathon phenomenon has emerged as an effective approach to encouraging innovation with digital technologies in a large range of different spaces (music, open data, fashion, academia, and more). We consider the origins and diverse format of hackathons, leading us to a high-level classification of the types of hackathons that occur.
Hackathon – a method for Digital Innovative Success: a Comparative Descriptive Study
— Mohajer Soltani, Poryah & Pessi, Kalevi & Ahlin, Karin & Wernered, Ida
The scarcities of resources with the changing fiscal environment of more nations have increased the need for innovative solutions in most fields. Numerous bodies have as a result called for higher integration of ICT in organizational processes. Its adaption has in several cases democratized innovation processes. From this, open and/or social innovation has emerged. One type of open innovation is the ideation contest known as hackathon. The aim of the paper is to identify factors leading to the success of hackathon contests. This has been done by examining six such contests held between the years 2012 and 2014. Structured interviews have been held with the owner/project manager of each contest. In addition, the authors attended five of the contests.
Hack for the homeless: A humanitarian technology hackathon
— Natalie Linnell,Silvia Figueira, Neil Chintala, Lauren Falzarano, Vincente Ciancio.
In this paper, we discuss our experiences with, and the outcomes of, a hackathon for undergraduates centered on the topic of technology for the homeless. Working closely with a partner NGO, we provided students with ideas, a sample database, programming tutorials and design feedback. Our hackathon was very successful, resulting in high-quality work and student engagement. In addition to reporting on lessons learned, we will also discuss the top two projects. One was Homeless Helpline, an automated voice system that allows homeless clients to call in and receive information about the services available to them in their area. This project ties into our partner NGO's existing database to automatically extract the information needed for the user, allowing anyone with access to a phone - even a payphone or a feature cell phone - to get access to this information, with very little cost to the NGO. The other project we discuss takes a different approach, making the same information available as a smartphone app, allowing the user to get more precise information about the services closest to their current location, alongside directions, etc. The hackathon was successful enough that we intend to make it an annual event. The paper will also discuss our thoughts on how to host your own successful socially-motivated hackathon for undergraduates.
Less noise, more hacking: how to deploy principles from MIT's hacking medicine to accelerate health care
— Santorino Data, Ryan Carroll, Zen Chu, Jacqueline W Depasse, Andrea Ippolito, Kristian R Olson, Allison Yost.
Medical technology offers enormous potential for scalable medicine-to improve the quality and access in health care while simultaneously reducing cost. However, current medical device innovation within companies often only offers incremental advances on existing products, or originates from engineers with limited knowledge of the clinical complexities. We describe how the Hacking Medicine Initiative, based at Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed an innovative "healthcare hackathon" approach, bringing diverse teams together to rapidly validate clinical needs and develop solutions. Hackathons are based on three core principles; emphasis on a problem-based approach, cross-pollination of disciplines, and "pivoting" on or rapidly iterating on ideas. Hackathons also offer enormous potential for innovation in global health by focusing on local needs and resources as well as addressing feasibility and cultural contextualization. Although relatively new, the success of this approach is clear, as evidenced by the development of successful startup companies, pioneering product design, and the incorporation of creative people from outside traditional life science backgrounds who are working with clinicians and other scientists to create transformative innovation in health care.
Unleashing innovation through internal hackathons
— Shiven Kumar, Bard Rosell, John Shepherd.
Hackathons have become an increasingly popular approach for organizations to both test their new products and services as well as to generate new ideas. Most events either focus on attracting external developers or requesting employees of the organization to focus on a specific problem. In this paper we describe extensions to this paradigm that open up the event to internal employees and preserve the open-ended nature of the hackathon itself.
Industrial Experiences of Organizing a Hackathon to Assess a Device-Centric Cloud Ecosystem
— Vittorio dal Bianco, Janne Järvinen, Klas Kindström, Marko Komssi, Mikko Raatikainen.
A hackathon (hacking marathon) is an event to innovate and develop prototypes, typically lasting at most a few days. Despite several innovations having been reported resulting from hackathons and the increasing popularity of hackathons, results about, organizing of, and experiences regarding hackathons have been scarcely reported. We studied a hackathon as a means to assess a device-centric cloud ecosystem in industrial settings. We provide a descriptive account of a three-days hackathon. The experience was that the hackathon was realistic as well as an efficient and effective assessment of the requirements and design of the ecosystem, providing guidance for future development. We also summarize the lessons learned about successfully organizing a hackathon. The results also highlight encouraging experience about the hackathon among the participants in terms of the social benefits, such as collaboration, inspiration, and work motivation, resulting in repeating hackathons for various purposes in the near future. In general, the results indicate a hackathon as a promising new approach in software engineering, where speed of development is becoming essential.
Spurring Innovation Through Competitions
— Alan MacCormack, Fiona Murray and Erika Wagner
Rather than seeking in-house solutions to problems, companies are increasingly turning to contests to generate many diverse ideas. Even the most successful companies have trouble developing breakthroughs. R&D road maps, as helpful as they can be at accelerating progress in known areas, are not particularly effective at spotting new opportunities outside a company’s experience base.
Innovation Contests: A Review, Classification and Outlook
— Sabrina Adamczyk, Angelika C. Bullinger, Kathrin M. Möslein.
Innovation contests as a means to realize innovative product or service solutions are growing in popularity among practitioners and researchers. An increasing number of organizations worldwide have adopted innovation contests, not only for innovation purposes, but also for other reasons such as promoting sustainability. At the same time, innovation contests represent a growing research field to scholars from different backgrounds, e.g., economics or information systems. In this article, first, the growing body of literature on innovation contests is reviewed and classified into five research categories: economic perspective, management perspective, education focus, innovation focus and sustainability focus.
Test-Driving the Future: How Design Competitions Are Changing Innovation
— Ajay Bhalla, Pushkar P. Jha, Joseph Lampel.
As organizations realize the potential of “open innovation” models, design competitions—target-setting events that offer monetary awards and other benefits to contestants—are regaining popularity as an innovation tool. In this paper we look at the innovation agendas of organizations and individuals who sponsor and organize design competitions. We then examine the architecture and governance of such competitions, and explore how open innovation and crowdsourcing, in combination with online platforms, have transformed design competitions.
Incentives and Problem Uncertainty in Innovation Contests: An Empirical Analysis
— Kevin J. Boudreau, Nicola Lacetera, Karim R. Lakhani.
Contests are a historically important and increasingly popular mechanism for encouraging innovation. A central concern in designing innovation contests is how many competitors to admit. Using a unique data set of 9,661 software contests, we provide evidence of two coexisting and opposing forces that operate when the number of competitors increases. Greater rivalry reduces the incentives of all competitors in a contest to exert effort and make investments. At the same time, adding competitors increases the likelihood that at least one competitor will find an extreme-value solution.
Innovation Contests - An IT-Based Tool for Innovation Management
— Jörg B. A. Haller, Angelika C. Bullinger, Kathrin Moeslein.
This initiative aimed at identifying“new and innovative interior designs fortrains”. The numbers mentioned at thebeginning of this article hence spell outin the following manner: During a tenweeks period, 2,232 persons participatedin the innovation contest by submitting4,298 designs, immense 26,617 ratings,and 8,582 comments on competing sub-missions.
Community‐Based Innovation Contests: Where Competition Meets Cooperation
— Angelika C. Bullinger, Kathrin M. Moeslein, Anne‐Katrin Neyer, Matthias Rass.
While the principle of competition has long been found to be conducive to innovation, community‐based innovation contests additionally offer the possibilities of interaction and cooperation among participants. This duality makes innovation contests an interesting field for both academia and practice. However, a surge in practical implementations stands in contrast to a still restricted body of academic knowledge in the field. To close this gap, drawing on a boundary spanning perspective, we examine if and how cooperation in the competitive setting of innovation contests leads to innovativeness.
Does Collaboration among Participants Lead to Better Ideas in IT-Based Idea Competitions? An Empirical Investigation
— Ivo Blohm, Ulrich Bretschneider, Helmut Krcmar, Jan Marco Leimeister.
Research has shown that idea competitions are a promising approach for integrating customers into open innovation activities. Furthermore research on open innovation shows that most innovations are the result of intensive collaboration processes in which many individuals contribute according to their specific strengths. So, fostering collaboration among idea contributors in idea competitions might be a very fruitful approach for unleashing the customers' entire creative potential for "open R&D" and thus making idea competitions even more successful.
Innovation Contests – Where are we?
— Angelika C. Bullinger, Kathrin Moeslein.
Innovation contests in their basic structure have a long-standing tradition and can be attributed to continuously gain in importance as a corporate practice. A deep understanding of this online instrument, however, is still lacking. Contrary to other methods used to realize open innovation, research in the field of online innovation contests displays a growing, but only rudimentarily intertwined body of publications. This paper provides the essential systematization of the field, integrating both, academic knowledge and business deployment.
Community engineering for innovations: the ideas competition as a method to nurture a virtual community for innovations
— Winfried Ebner Jan Marco Leimeister Helmut Krcmar.
‘Crowdsourcing’ is currently one of the most discussed key words within the open innovation community. The major question for both research and business is how to find and lever the enormous potential of the ‘collective brain’ to broaden the scope of ‘open R&D’. Based on a literature review in the fields of Community Building and Innovation Management, this work develops an integrated framework called ‘Community Engineering for Innovations’. This framework is evaluated in an Action Research project – the case of an ideas competition for an ERP Software company. The case ‘SAPiens’ includes the design, implementation and evaluation of an IT‐supported ideas competition within the SAP University Competence Center (UCC) User Group. This group consists of approximately 60,000 people (lecturers and students) using SAP Software for educational purposes. The current challenges are twofold: on the one hand, there is not much activity yet in this community. On the other, SAP has not attempted to systematically address this highly educated group for idea generation or innovation development so far. Therefore, the objective of this research is to develop a framework for a community‐based innovation development that generates innovations, process and product ideas in general and for SAP Research, in particular, combining the concepts of idea competitions and virtual communities. Furthermore, the concept aims at providing an interface to SAP Human Resources processes in order to identify the most promising students in this virtual community.
In search of excellence - Innovation contests to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in Portugal
— Carvalho, A.
Numerous initiatives of different nature have taken place in Portugal over the recent years aiming at raising consciousness of the importance and advantages of innovation and entrepreneurship, persuading businesspeople to place innovation as strategic intent and encouraging would-be entrepreneurs to come forward with novel businesses ideas. Innovation contests are but one of such initiatives. From sporadic events before 2000, the phenomenon gained unprecedented dimension and growing sophistication at several levels, including the number of innovation contests launched annually, number and kind of organizations involved, volume and kind of prizes and support in business plan construction.
The Ideas Competition as Tool of Change Management - Participatory Behaviour and Cultural Perception
— Daniel Klein, Ulrike Lechner.
Our research is about applying Innovation Management as tool of Change Management in a corporate environment. We focus on an Ideas Competition as an instrument of Innovation Management and analyze whether the Ideas Competition and its presumably positive perception influence the organizational change. We investigate how these circumstances can be measured and examine the employees' perception of the Ideas Competition and their participatory behaviour. Our approach to explore these issues is that of action research, accomplished at the German automotive bank BMW Group Financial Services.
The importance of entrepreneurship competitions to spread entrepreneurship spirit and to support startup creation:a survey in Portugal
— Gaspar, Fernando; Pinho, Luis Fé de.
Increasing entrepreneurship has become an objective for many governments, local authorities, business associations and universities. One of the strategies adopted in many western countries, including Portugal, has been the creation of idea or project or idea competitions. These contests vary from a national to a regional scope. Many universities in Europe create competitions exclusively to their students. The aim of this research is to question the participants on these contests about the effects of their participation.
Accelerating innovation with prize rewards, History and typology of technology prizes and a new contest design for innovation in African agriculture
— Benoit Delbecq, Williams A. Masters.
"This paper describes how governments and philanthropic donors could drive innovation through a new kind of technology contest. We begin by reviewing the history of technology prizes, which operate alongside private intellectual property rights and public R&D to accelerate and guide productivity growth towards otherwise-neglected social goals. Proportional "prize rewards" would modify the traditional winner-take-all approach, by dividing available funds among multiple winners in proportion to measured achievement. This approach would provide a royalty-like payment for incremental success.
Business plan competitions in tertiary institutions: encouraging entrepreneurship education
— Mary Atchison, Robert Brooks, Roslyn Russell.
The development of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge is a priority for governments that want to encourage an innovative and enterprising society. Furthermore, education institutions are becoming increasingly required by employers to produce graduates that have practical, real‐world skills. Business plan competitions, although primarily aimed at producing start‐ups, have been found to provide a range of benefits to participants, the most important being the development of entrepreneurial skills, access to mentors, opportunity for networking and increased self‐confidence and risk‐taking propensity.
Innovation Contests, Open Innovation, and Multiagent Problem Solving
— Christian Terwiesch, Yi Xu.
In an innovation contest, a firm (the seeker) facing an innovation-related problem (e.g., a technical R&D problem) posts this problem to a population of independent agents (the solvers) and then provides an award to the agent that generated the best solution. In this paper, we analyze the interaction between a seeker and a set of solvers. Prior research in economics suggests that having many solvers work on an innovation problem will lead to a lower equilibrium effort for each solver, which is undesirable from the perspective of the seeker.
The 2006 NESCent Phyloinformatics Hackathon: A Field Report
— Lapp, H., Bala, S., Balhoff, J., Bouck, A., Goto, N., Holder, M.
In December, 2006, a group of 26 software developers from some of the most widely used life science programming toolkits and phylogenetic software projects converged on Durham, North Carolina, for a Phyloinformatics Hackathon, an intense five-day collaborative software coding event sponsored by the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent). The goal was to help researchers to integrate multiple phylogenetic software tools into automated workflows. Participants addressed deficiencies in interoperability between programs by implementing “glue code” and improving support for phylogenetic data exchange standards (particularly NEXUS) across the toolkits.