A couple of months ago I was approached by Enterprise Saint John to ask if I wanted to get involved with their True Growth 2.0 economic development initiatives, specifically a project called ‘Inspiring Innovation through Hackathons’. As one of the recommendations that came out of earlier community consultation phases, this is an initiative, as the name would suggest, where the community organizes a series of Hackathons. The objectives are many and include things like:
- Raising the profile of the programming and overall ICT community in Saint John and the value they bring to new start-ups and product development
- Providing professional development experience for developers, designers, architects, entrepreneurs and others who get involved
- Helping to create a stronger ICT community and improved linkages between ICT and industry
Hackathons, much like their Start-up weekend counterparts, work to bring creative people together to solve problems and build innovative products. This process can become early stage incubation for the identification of opportunities that will often live beyond the Hackathon event itself.
For this first event, we’ve decided to focus on the non-profit sector and we have been reaching out to organizations around the region asking for some ideas and challenges for our participants to explore. So far the response has been great and we’re working with a couple of organizations whose ideas looked like they would be interesting projects to drill into during the event. We’ve also encouraged participants to bring ideas of their own – non-profit related or otherwise.
The event will begin at T4G Saint John at 10am on Saturday, November 30th and will wrap up on Sunday, December 1st with the individuals or teams doing a little show and tell to demonstrate how what they’ve put together has addressed the idea/challenge that they chose to work on.
Check out this link to learn more about, or register for this weekend’s event: http://truegrowthhackathons.com/