Hackathons are dead, long live the hackathon!

The basic premise of hackathons has remained the same for a long time: introduce a challenge and get developers/teams to introduce solutions in head-to-head competition, rewarding the best solution(s).


While there has been an element of collaboration, it still is a winner-takes-all type of competition. These quickly become highly technical in nature and focus solely on current ecosystem participants, closing doors to the rest of the world.

What if we introduced a new type of hackathon based more on collaboration than on competition? How would it look like? How might we structure it to make sure that people can utilize their own strengths in best possible ways? How would it remain socially relevant? How could we engage the community to guide in decision making? How might we ensure financial sustainability of the winning teams, well into the future?

Rather than competing in a zero-sum game for a limited pot of prize money, could we measure the success of the participating teams’ success based on how they get funding, how they get their first paying customers, how their proposals fare in the OpenGov etc?

Could there be functional support teams offering help for multiple projects at once?
What would they be? One for technology and product development, offering help in building the solution? One for structure and governance, assisting in teamwork and decision making? One for ecosystem engagement to bring in partners and more hands on deck? One for reach out to boost marketing and sales? And one for managing the incentives, tokenomics and finances, perhaps?

If you feel like there could be a gem of an idea here, give it legs by sharing your nuggets of wisdom. Thank you in advance!