March 24, 2023

Top Reasons to Participate in a Hackathon in 2023

Albert Kim


On June 4th, 1999, a group of 10 developers came together intending to develop a program to allow communication between devices. Soon after, this sort of impromptu dev gathering came to be known as a “hackathon” and became synonymous with tech innovation and as a sought-after career credential for professional developers. More than a decade later, the definition of a hackathon has changed quite a bit. Nowadays, large corporations, startups, government agencies, and other organizations regularly host and sponsor hackathons which makes it one of the top reasons why developers attend hackathons.

With blockchain and Web3 gaining a lot of attention due to crypto, Web3 hackathons have started to become more common. Web3 hackathons are different and more diverse than traditional hackathons, focusing on new decentralized solutions to transform or upgrade existing Web2 solutions. Whether you are a centralized Web2 business transitioning into Web3, a developer, or a blockchain startup, hackathons can be an essential way to find new talent, learn about blockchain technology, discover innovative ideas, and network.

In this article, we will discuss the top reasons why developers should attend a Web3 hackathon in 2023.

Who attends hackathons?

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Hackathons can be virtual and allow a global audience to easily participate or be in-person which offers better networking opportunities. Either way, diverse communities attend hackathons with different objectives in mind.

For a better understanding of who usually attends a hackathon, let’s look at some figures.

In 2018, 38% of hackathon participants were developers, 18% were engineers, 9% were data scientists and 6% were marketers. These numbers have since then doubled given the introduction of virtual hackathons that allow a greater number of attendees to join from any location.

Web3 hackathons undoubtedly attract many blockchain developers, computer scientists and programmers, and others interested in blockchain technology.

Advantages of joining a hackathon

Hackathons have helped various developers and startups find investment opportunities, prospective teammates, and companies to identify innovative business ideas. With a diverse crowd of participants, those attending hackathons have different reasons and goals.

As most participants are developers, here are some top reasons why developers should attend a hackathon:

Build a cool product

A 9-5 job leaves you little time to focus on your passion project. Hackathons are a good way to take time off to focus on your project. Developers at hackathons work in a fast-paced environment that helps them focus on building their product within a set time limit where the sole focus is on their project and converting their idea into a prototype. After the hackathon, you can continue building your product or service with the majority of the groundwork already completed.

Receive funding

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Hackathon hosts often have a generous prize pool and grants associated with participation. For example, the Cardano EMURGO BUILD 2023 Hackathon will offer developers up to $2m in investment, prizes, and grant money.

But that’s not all, hackathons often have VCs and investors looking for the next best thing in the Web3 industry.

If your team wins, you will not only win the grand prize money but also receive investment opportunities from VCs. This can help a good project scale and expedite its growth potential.

Read more: Web3 simply explained

Find teammates and develop teamwork skills

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To move ahead in your chosen career path, you will always need to work with a team. And the same applies to hackathons too!

While you can work as an individual, added manpower can help you scale your product much better as a team.

Finding a team, and communicating can help you build your product while also helping you build your team skill set in a short time and connect you to potential future teammates.

Ease migration from other blockchains

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The goal of hackathons is to provide a supportive environment for developers to think of new ideas and experiment with building new products and services. In a Web3 hackathon, you can test yourself by building APIs, DeFi products, and innovative new technologies within a given blockchain ecosystem by utilizing the host’s toolkits.

Builders who are seeking an ecosystem that offers scalability, interoperability, and sustainability options can use hackathons as an opportunity to migrate their build onto leading blockchain networks such as the Cardano ecosystem.

If successful, they will receive the guidance and funding necessary to migrate and scale their project, as well as exposure to the global Cardano community. This can help them add value to their product and create a strong user base.

Find innovative solutions

Innovation, Web3, and disruptive technology go hand-in-hand.

A growing number of tech and blockchain companies regularly host hackathons because it is essential to finding new solutions to consumer pain points with the help of blockchain technology.

For developers, it offers a quick and effective way to test out ideas and refine them into a working prototype.

With industry experts often judging such events, it is your chance to grab their attention and get genuine feedback that can help you polish your product and convert it into a successful business model.

Learn something new

86% of hackathon attendees said they regularly take part in such events to learn something new about emerging technologies like blockchain and Web3.

Many hackathon attendees are also product managers and marketing professionals with non-technical backgrounds who want to gain valuable insights into product development and marketing new disruptive technologies.

And if you are a developer, this is a great opportunity for you to test out a new skill or a framework in a setting that is engineered to keep you focused and motivated.

Networking opportunities

Networking in the social media age has its perks, but it is often at in-person events like a hackathon where you can find connections to help you explore new career and business opportunities.

This could help you take the next step towards entrepreneurship or find opportunities to meet people on a professional level who could help you explore career opportunities in your field of expertise.

Improve your CV

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If you aim to land your dream job, hackathons can be the place for you.

Recruiters often consider participation in such events a good benchmark to judge a potential candidate’s abilities, people skills, and technical skill set. It tells them how you work under pressure and with teammates.

Follow EMURGO to register for upcoming Cardano hackathons

Interested in joining future Cardano blockchain hackathons and getting your ideas in front of industry professionals?

Then, follow Cardano’s founding entity and commercial arm EMURGO on Twitter to stay up-to-date on news and announcements, including hackathon registration information.


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