n What a startup hackathon says about entrepreneurialism
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Could you devise a billion dollar business in 48 hours?

Jack Hershman

The sheer pace of a startup hackathon sets the tone for an ecosystem where conception and execution of ideas needs to occur in the same breath. The winner will be agile.

There’s an unmistakable buzz to a startup hackathon.

Droves of coders descend on a venue that becomes a hotbed for innovation with as much Red Bull as they can carry.

The hum of whirring laptop fans barely distinguishable from the furious, yet directed sounds of tapping keyboards, as talented individuals steer complex sets of code towards an end goal.

And as the sun goes down and the long night sets in, the only change is the more distinctive glow of rows of backlit Apple logos.

Because there’s little sleep to be had when trying to build a business in 48 hours.

Many emerge from the toil successful. Greeting sunlight for the first time in 2 days with the foundations laid for what they hope is a successful business.

This wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.

Hopeful founders are guided through the intense process by industry leaders like Hercules Fisherman. The founding CTO of of Fizzback and advisor to various incubators including Oxygen Accelerator, Seedcamp and Founder’s Institute.

Fisherman is a hefty supporter of the startup hackathon concept that has emerged in recent years.

Particularly when compared to the paltry startup culture of the past.

Better virtual infrastructure has meant that anyone armed with a laptop, good internet connection, some cloud based services and a sterling work ethic can, “over 48…produce some amazing things”.

“The technology is there now” explains Fisherman, and “It wasn’t like that a number of years ago. It was more cumbersome, the right frameworks weren’t in place and it would take a bigger team of people to achieve certain goals”.

No longer the case, “smaller numbers of people can produce striking results” and what’s more, Fisherman explains that startup hackathons set the tone for a modern startup culture unlike any business ecosystem before.

Agility.

“This agility is vital nowadays” particularly when you consider how quickly ideas are brought to market.

“You have to have this outlook that you can think of something and can then quickly build it”