Okay, so you made an awesome hack over a weekend. And then it’s Monday, and you’re staggering through classes, kind of a zombie. You might finally get sleep this week and then…what. What happens to your hackathon project? Does it die? How can you make it into more than just a weekend project? Are there even options? What should you do? So many questions!!!
Some startups started out as hackathon hacks, like Groupme and Yammer. And if starting up isn’t the direction you’d like to go, there are still some basic things you can do to document the project and connect further with fellow hackathon hackers. So, without further ado,
10 Things To Do With Your Hackathon Project After A Hackathon
10. Put your project on github
Why? Github said it best:
Software is at the heart of GitHub—and code is the DNA of software. Chances are if you’re joining, you’ve got some code that you might want to push to GitHub. And that’s a fantastic idea!
Github is a great place to keep your code and show off to other developers. Bonus, when you apply for jobs companies usually look at your github. So post your best hacks that show what a great creative problem solver you are. Cool!
9. Submit to Challenge Post
Even if the hackathon you were at didn’t use Challenge Post (not all of them do) it’s still a great database of hacks. Challenge Post gives other hackers an idea of what hacks were made where. And the people you attended the hackathon with who saw your awesome hack will know who you are now once they search Challenge Post.
8. Submit to the appropriate app store
Some app stores are definitely worth submitting to right out the gate – you don’t have to have a fully formed business yet, (geez Apple!) Smartwatch apps, for instance, can go right into their appropriate app stores. Check out these instructions for submitting to these app stores:
7. Blog about your hack
Share your hack in a meaningful way by blogging about it. Blogs are a great way to tell the story behind your hack and save the memory of the experience. We recently attended the Mhacks hackathon and the winners of our challenge blogged about their experiences on Medium. Check out their blogs here as examples:
From Flo-rida to MHacks, but I’m not a rapper.
The Story Behind #PebblePickup
6. Share your hack with Hackathon Hackers.
What’s Hackathon Hackers? Only the baddest FB group for hackers. Join the group and share your project and your experience. Hackathon Hackers is also a great place to stay connected to the hackathon community throughout the season. Brag about your hack, meet other hackers, and just generally talk shop about hackathons.
5. Kick start it
Kick start your idea and get some funding behind it! Make it a real project. Hey, Pebble started on Kickstarter.
4. Or better yet, accelerate it.
Strap had it’s humble beginnings at an accelerator over the summer of 2014. An accelerator is a short three to four month program where a startup is ‘accelerated’ to the next stage so it is ready to be funded. This is accomplished through classes and coaching on different business aspects, as well as introductions to top advisors and investors in the city where your accelerator is based. Cincinnati is a great place to accelerate a startup. The Brandery, CincyTech and Cintrifuse provide support for startups, and the city itself is home to the most Fortune 500 company headquarters including P&G, Kroger and Macy’s. The Brandery is currently accepting applications for it’s summer class.
3. Start the project at your college
Colleges are an amazing place to test out a product. Yo and YikYak did it. And of course Facebook. Find a way to implement your hack using the resources at your college. If it takes off at your college it could get a lot of attention.
2. Join a local meetup and present your project, finished or unfinished (or do it for your CS class)
Meetups are a great place to share your projects, in whatever state they may be, and get valuable feedback, including plenty of congrats 🙂 and who doesn’t like those? Meetups are also great places to make contacts for future jobs or projects. And (I really love meetups, so one more) meetups are an awesome place to learn. Chances are the people who attend meetups are all over the place in experience so they’re not hugely intimidating either. And! you can make friends.
1. Keep working on it
“Great things are never finished” sounds like a quote so it probably is. Real development projects take a lot longer than two days to build, but it’s awesome that you got a start on one in such a cool, positive environment. There are still ways to make your hack into something bigger. If you continue working with your team, try working with Slack or Trello to make communication and project management easier. Both of these tools are free and (BONUS) a lot of startups use them, so the experience on your resume doesn’t go unnoticed.
And hey, pat yourself on the back. You made an awesome hack. Here’s to the next one!