How to form a winning team for hackathons

January 29, 2018
3 mins

Superhero movies and super successful companies have one thing in common. They both have a great team that strives to win, no matter what the challenge is. It is always the hero’s team that saves the day.

A challenge like a hackathon is no different. At hackathons, teams of developers, designers, and product managers work together to build prototypes and solve real-world problems within a specific time frame. The team that works the most efficiently and builds the best solution takes home the prize. Getting the right people on board gives your team a competitive advantage over others. Here are the top tips to form a winning team for your next hackathon:

1) Start your hunt early

Start looking for teammates from the time you decide to participate in a hackathon. Search for potential teammates on online platforms and communities like Stack Exchange, Stack Overflow, and Quora. Start with your own network of friends and like-minded acquaintances. You can also find other hackers on meetups and developer groups. Further, hackathons conducted on platforms like HackerEarth allow participants to form teams on the platform itself.

Start your hunt early

Start your hunt early

2) Work on your pitch

To attract talented people to your team, you need to sell your idea and your profile well. Update your Github profile and create a good pitch to share with potential teammates. Showcase your past projects. Highlight your skills and domain knowledge. Explain your idea and the problem that you plan to solve. Be proactive in pitching your idea and listen to feedback. Even if you arrive at the hackathon alone, with a good pitch, you still have a good chance of forming a great hackathon team.

Work on your pitch

Work on your pitch

3) Seek diversity

Diversity is what makes Avengers, the team of superheroes great as a team. Each member brings a unique strength to the table. While forming your hackathon team, hunt for talent from diverse domains like designing, frontend development, business management, etc. Having a team of people with diverse skill sets will help you in building a complete product.

Seek diversity

Seek diversity

4) Be aware of different working styles

Different people work differently and have different approaches to solving the same problem. Assign tasks and roles to team members based on their core strengths. Give everyone a fair chance to work on specific tasks which they are good at. Encourage mutual learning and problem-solving. Getting the chemistry right is the key to a successful team. If you have the time to prepare, do a mock run with your team to plan tasks and organize yourselves better as a team.

‘Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.’?—?Ed Catmull, previously CEO of Pixar, author of Creativity, Inc.

Be aware of different working styles

Be aware of different working styles

A good team adapts well to any situation. Your final prototype is a result of your team’s work. By forming a good team, you can build better products and improve your chances of winning a hackathon.

Got a tip for building stronger hackathon teams? Share it with us in the comments below.

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About the Author

Tharika Tellicherry
Marketing professional, blogger, movie buff, music fan, traveler, collector of memories, and tic-tac bottles.

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