How To Plan & Launch An Online Hackathon In Just One Week? | A Case Study with One Million Arab Coders Initiative.

During COVID-19 complete lockdown, the world was trying to figure out ways to survive, communicate, and create a healthy lifestyle while self-isolating. A fast response was needed, everyday the cost was high and tech-based solutions were they way to go. The world needed events like online hackathons to collaborate and create solutions to make our lives better.

Let's have a look on how Dubai Future Foundation's One Million Arab Coders managed to launch their regional online hackathon in just one week.


1. The problem

As the leading initiative in MENA for learning programming languages in Arabic, the One Million Arab Coders initiative - a Dubai Future Foundation project - needed to use their vast network of coders to act in a very short time frame and come up with tech-based solutions to lessen the challenges caused by COVID-19.


2. The solution

Untap proposed a completely online hackathon to be managed from start to finish by Untap team. Untap software to be used for launching the hackathon website, receiving and judging submissions as well as communicating with participants. Untap developed the concept, themes, application forms, evaluation forms, and evaluation criteria. We also carried out the sourcing and managing of mentorship and judges.


3. The Process


Day 1: Hackathon Concept & Problem Statement

- Come up with the hackathon concept, themes, and timeline.
- Create hackathon branding material and master visual.


Day 2: Hackathon Website

- Create the hackathon communication messages and website content.
- Customizing the hackathon website using Untap website customizer.


Day 3: Judges Communication

- Approaching potential judges.
- Preparing judges toolkits, to be used for judges briefing and onboarding.


Day 4: Application Form

- Putting together the application form from Untap template library.
- Building the application form to be ready for interested applicants to fill out.


Day 5: Judges Onboarding

- Setting judging criteria for the fist phase of the hackathon.
- Closing the agreements with judges, sharing judges toolkits including next steps and expected commitment.


Day 6: Participants

- Setting up slack workspace to receive participants for team formation and ideation.
- Building participants toolkits with instructions on submitting application, joining slack, and handling team formation and idea preparation.


Day 7: Launching

- Launch the hackathon website.
- Publish hackathon announcements and press release on social media.


4. The outcomes


Participants Testimonials

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Interesting, enjoyable, and stressful. We enjoyed working on the multiple challenges that just popped up every single hour. Our mentors were very helpful, and their valuable feedback and help allowed us to make remarkable progress.
We became part of a well-organized community, that tries to best serve the society and humanity by joining efforts and combining skills
We gained a good experience from our mentors, and from live webinars. We learned how to make a business model, how to build the right product, how to improve our prototype, how to improve our presentation, and much more.
Before starting this hackathon we only had an idea, now we are convinced that this project can come true, and we can spread a good message. You allowed us to be the change that we want to see in the world.
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Hackathons are really rewarding events; for the program organizer, for participants, and for the world that is in constant need of innovative solutions. A hackathon is the only way to develop prototypes with the lowest resources, in a short time frame, while discovering brilliant talent. The logistics of a hackathon shouldn't stop you!

Make sure to check out our comprehensive hackathon planning checklist for more help on organizing a hackathon. you can also book your demo to discuss the ways we can help you plan and launch your hackathon in not time!

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