From left to right: Alaina Leighland, Jaquie Hansen, Katahrina Goldfisch, Julia Mandil, Sabela García, Jenny Wiethölter (Hanse Ventures; Photo Credits: Hanse Ventures)

48 hours to make of Hamburg a great digital experience for tourists.

Hackathon? You are a freak.

The word hackathon scares many people. Many of my friends too, for example.  They believe it is all about coding and difficult algorithms. A hackathon is many times about developing a business idea as far as possible in a limited amount of time, from concept to business plan coming up ideally at the end with a working prototype.

 

Grow personally and professionally.

I have been involved in startup weekends and hackathons for a while now and I can only say that both taking part and helping organizing is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. Working the whole weekend on a new product with people you never met before is most of the times challenging but brings definitely lots of satisfaction, especially when you find the right team. This is also the time for you to make new business connections!

Hamburg Tourismus Hackathon.

Last weekend I joined another hackathon in Hamburg. The topic particularly got me: How to turn Hamburg into a more digital-friendly city for tourists? There were over fifteen ideas pitched during the first evening, from whom only six made it to the final presentation: from bots to alternative city guides and Amazon Echo concierges.

Women-only international team

My team was the women-only international one with ladies from Hawaii, San Francisco, Brazil, Spain and Germany. From students to world travellers from all ages.

 

From left to right: Alaina Leighland, Jaquie Hansen, Katahrina Goldfisch, Julia Mandil, Sabela García, Jenny Wiethölter (Hanse Ventures; Photo Credits: Hanse Ventures)

From left to right: Alaina Leighland, Jaquie Hansen, Katahrina Goldfisch, Julia Mandil, Sabela García, Jenny Wiethölter (Hanse Ventures; Photo Credits: Hanse Ventures)

 

HamburgForYou.com – Reinventing the souvenir.

Our business idea was a solution for sending a piece of Hamburg to our loved ones. Both business people and tourists might want to buy something from Hamburg to their friends and families, however they have most of the times either no time or no space in their luggage, not to mention the fact of not being able to find something nice. We enable these people to order online on the spot a selection of curated products from Hamburg manufacturers (with story about the products included) in a box, which will directly be sent home. This way people are not buying a souvenir, they are sharing a bit of Hamburg. And you know what? The most impressive is that we got our first customer over the weekend!

Best Pitch. Time to celebrate.

From all the different prize categories we won the “Best Pitch”. That made us incredibly happy and we will definitely invest the prize money in continuing with the business. We see there is a great potential market and a need. We want to make possible to send a piece of Hamburg all around Europe!

Now it’s your turn!

I definitely encourage you to take part at one hackathon. Even if you don’t speak German or believe you won’t understand anything, even if you have a not-that-innovative idea, or none of your friends wants to join you. You will rock it, have a great time and also the chance to wine a prize! Many successful companies came out of a hackathons, in Hamburg for example eatclever 🙂

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