How to Run a Social Venture Hackathon

Design Something Memorable and Worthwhile

Why It Matters

What is a hackathon? What are the logistics? How do you even get started and what are the common mistakes? Hackathons can reveal new insights, uncover blind spots, and lead to happy accidents. Get it right out of the gate, and you can benefit from the right momentum and set the tone for innovation in your organization.

We spend a lot of time in our digital worlds and online. When we do get together face to face, there are magical moments that can happen. However, since these opportunities can be hard to come by because of time, space, or funding constraints, we need to ensure they are designed well, and run effectively and efficiently.

From Shanghai, to Port of Spain, and from all corners of North America, I have facilitated design thinking, startup innovation, and hackathon events. After numerous experiences, I’ve had some interesting insights on how to get a hackathon started and how to provide the best experience for all participants.


Choose a process for your hackathon or design session. There’s no need to recreate the wheel as there are plenty of processes that are easily laid out and are open source, including


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