Are There Any Internet-based Regular Startup Hackathons?


Like most of you, I have some good start-up ideas I feel are both good and easily realizable. Of course, I have plenty of 'real' work to do for more mature projects, so I have difficulty convincing myself starting work on a completely new idea just because it has potential and sounds exciting is a better use of my time.

However, if there were a competition, even just for the fun of it, where I contend with others to conceptualize, design, develop and launch a startup within 48 hours, that would be fantastic.

This way I know I can compartmentalize the work to be over a weekend, force myself to get feedback and exposure early on, and if it seems worthwhile, I can pursue the idea further. If the competition gives opportunity to meet and work with new people, even better. If there are small prizes to be won - motivation.

So, is there something like that already? I know of some for specific languages, like Django Dash, but that's just once a year, and I would like something at least within the next month, and not necessarily bound to a specific paradigm. Or would someone like to join me in starting something like that?

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asked Nov 3 '11 at 16:59
157 points
  • Note: I also asked this question on [Forrst]( – Hss 12 years ago
  • sounds like a great opportunity :) – Sunil 12 years ago
  • yeah :) but if I start it, I'll end up spending a lot more time than just 48 hours ;) – Hss 12 years ago
  • Lol... too many ideas... not enough time :) – Sunil 12 years ago
  • What a great idea. Maybe on Google+. I think I will post this suggestion there. – Rob Gordon 12 years ago

1 Answer


I haven't heard of many "come and build anything you want for a weekend" type hackathons.

I think the reason why is two-fold:

  1. Those are really generic, and don't target a niche group of hackers. There's nothing really to guide or inspire the projects, so they wouldn't be that cool. Plus, most people who have their own wacky idea that they really want to pursue will find time to do it on their own. Hackathons are usually great for bringing people together with similar interests.
  2. Hacakthons usually require sponsors to donate space and food, and pay for other costs. Also, sometimes sponsors like to give out prizes for hacks that use their products or tools. The sponsors are willing to do this when they know there'll be hackers ready and willing to use the sponsors' products or services. A hackathon with no theme would be very hard to attract sponsors to. Since no one knows what the hacks will be, sponsors will be less likely to jump on board, since there's a much higher chance that no one will want to use their products.

That being said, you might try TechCrunch Disrupt. It's pretty hard to get into because of how popular it is, but it's the one big "generic" hackathon that most people have heard of.

It overcomes problem 1 because of how competitive it is -- only the best get in so you know the projects will be cool. And it overcomes problem 2 by using the Tech Crunch brand name.

answered Nov 10 '11 at 03:51
Hartley Brody
1,317 points
  • Thanks for your answer - appreciated! I didn't say it mustn't have any specific theme or paradigm, as long as there are very regular Internet-based competitions (say, every week) - that way, you'll have to wait at most a month for something to come by that you can participate in from anywhere in the world. So I think it's feasible, and would still love to hear about something like that. TechCrunch Disrupt is cool though, thanks for that! – Hss 12 years ago
  • Ahh, I see what you're saying. Just something on a somewhat frequent basis, done online. You might check out [WeekendHacker]( They're a cool mailing list where people can post project ideas and find other people who might be interested in helping work on that project. Hope that helps! – Hartley Brody 12 years ago

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