How can we re-design hackathons?

(Sandra Sobanska ) #1

Hi all, I am from team Hack Horizon and I wanted to share with you how we are trying to change how we think about and organise hackathons to really bring about innovative solutions.

As students, serial entrepreneurs and frequent hackathon participants we were disappointed to observe that what was initially meant to be a collaborative marathon focused on out-of-the-box ideas started to become:

  • a way for one company to get new ideas from young minds but then close the APIs right after the event and not execute the winning ideas properly

  • just an excuse to carry out a cheaper hiring activity.

Ideas - which were meant to be at the core of it - wee getting sided.

Around a year ago we decided to do something different and start with, probably the least disrupted, but most exciting industry: travel. We aimed to create a unique hackathon, where multiple industry leaders will come together to start communicating across verticals while participants will be immersed in the customer journey to really empathise with the users whom they are building for and prototype with customers in real time.

We created Hack Horizon - the very first hackathon on a plane from Hong Kong to London - and after 12 months of meetings and community building, we are now open for applications at

We’re really excited to bring this idea to the wider community and start the discussion about how hackathons could be revived once again to focus on innovation and the creative process. You can join us on Twitter or on the plane itself :slight_smile: Also, if you work in travel and would like to get involved, feel free to get in touch with me at