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HackEindhoven, a team of Eindhoven-based students, will oragnise their first hackathon in March. During Hackcon EU, at High Tech Campus, they spoke with other Hackathon-organizers to understand the task of organizing a hackathon better.

“Off course there’s the logistics we have to take in account”, says Bas Schleijpen. Together with Bert van Gestel and Corné van Son he is responsible for organizing HackEindhoven. “During the hackathon, a group of approximately 150 people will work through the night. There have to be emergency exits, there has to be food and drinks and we have to think about places to sleep. Also, there has to be some entertainment and room to relax.”

It’s funny how the different characters that always pop up at  a hackathon were also among the visitors of HackCon EU at the campus.

Bas Schleijpen

“But this is true for any event. The main thing we’ve learned from Hackcon EU is that we have to be on the look-out for the type of sponsors we attract.” Most hackathons are funded by a range of companies. “Some of those will then start recruiting aggressively at your event. That’s something we don’t want at ours.”

This is one of the main reasons why the Eindhoven-team has decided to create a hackathon designed by and built for students. “People are not as competitive at student-hackathons”, Schleijpen says. “There’s a tendency to be free and creative.”

Corné van Son
Corné van Son

Working together
“At our hackathon, we want to show that if you have an idea, you can realize that by working together with others. I think that is the core of the hackathon: collaborating.”

Bert van Gestel
Bert van Gestel

At HackCon EU at High Tech Campus, a lot of that collaborative spirit was already found by Schleijpen and his team. At the event, around 100 participants met and spoke about organizing hackathons.  “Mostly, they were creative people with a lot of endurance.”

“Some were a little bit silent, others felt more comfortable at the front of a group. It’s funny how the different characters that always pop up at  a hackathon were also among the visitors of HackCon EU at the campus.”

The hackathon, which finds it origin in the US Silicon Valley, is gaining popularity in the Netherlands. “Yet, Eindhoven seems to be a bit careful in picking up the phenomenon. But it’s gaining popularity here as well. We like to capitalize on that.”

HackEindhoven, the hackathon organized by Schleijpen and his team, will take place on the 31st of March and the 1st of April at the Designhuis in Eindhoven. The hackathon revolves around the theme ‘Connected’, which is divided in six sub-themes: Virtual reality, smart cities, future mobility, intelligent buildings, healthtech, and e-commerce.