Backend: The unseen Prep
“Technology is best when it brings people together”
CodeCell believes in bringing people together to develop great products in a 24Hrs coding marathon. To make the 4th edition of KJSCE Hack a great success the team started it’s preparations four months prior to the huge day.
Sponsorship is the backbone of all great events and hence we began our process by listing down all the possible companies that would be interested in being a part of our event. Finding out all the possible contact points, email ids, phone nos was quite a task. The list was endless and we were hopeful that at least a few of them would have a positive reply.
Next came the part where we had to make a great prospectus for our event that entices the companies enough to agree to great deals. Our creative team did a great job of making a logo that not only captured the essence and feel of technology but also portrayed how creative and vigilant we are at CodeCell. The theme of KJSCE Hack was well established with the designing of the logo which made it a bit tedious to design the website since it had to match that level. Nevertheless, our heads did an excellent job of creating the website by pulling an all-nighter.
Thus began the process of sponsor hunt. We sent emails along with our prospectus to all the possible companies we could reach and hoped for a response. The very first reply we got was from Devfolio who agreed to partner our Hackathon along with Matic as our Gold sponsor and hosted our events registrations on its Dashboard. The confirmation from Devfolio sealed the fact that our hackathon was going to be a national level Hackathon with participants applying from all over India. This had a sense of relief with the scale aspect that we had aimed for but the pressure increased exponentially since we didn’t have proper monetary and logistical support yet to back us up for such a large scale event.
And so with four tireless months of searching for contacts, with hundreds of emails and quite a few calls, we had received sponsorship confirmation from some of the biggest and the most esteemed companies in tech.
Onboard with us, we had Devfolio, Matic, Linode, Frappe, TvaritAI, Hasura, Coding Blocks, Bugsee, dev.to, Sublime, Repl.it, Doist, Sketch, Wolfram, Balsamiq, Jet Brains, Sticker Mule, Desmos, Sheroes, Zulip, and Product Hunt.
We rejoiced at each and every confirmation we received and we are immensely grateful to all our sponsors for they were the reason all the things we had planned for were going to come true.
We were hoping for some more support and as our knight in shining armor, our college K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering assured us with all the extra and remaining help we would require to make this event a true success.
We opened our registration for the hackathon on 4th September 2019. We had a whopping 300 applications in the first 24 hours itself. Our registrations were open till the 25th of September. Although they were open till 25th, we did have two screening processes during the registration period as well. We took in 100 applications in the first review that took place the following Sunday itself. We were quite blown away with the standard of the applications to our event. The reviewing process was quite a tussle as choosing between people with so much caliber is quite a task. By the last date of registration, we had over 1300+ applications for our Hackathon. It took the entire team a total of 25 hours to review all the participants and accept the 230 best of the best to make the level of the products made during the Hackathon a stand out for everyone who had come to learn.
We were good to go with the two main aspects of any Hackathon, participation, and sponsorship. The next major thing is the prizes for which all the 230 participants would be competing for. Our first prize was Rs.25,000 cash + A chance to get a direct entry in an MLH Hackathon organized in Europe. Our second prize was for Rs.15,000 and the third was for Rs.10,000. Along with the cash prize, we had some special goodies for all our top three winners that included T-shirts, stickers, notebooks, etc from our patrons.
We had some special prizes as well for the best all-girls team, the team with the best UI and a Matic API prize for the best blockchain product. The best all-girls team received a cash prize of Rs.5,000 and an internship opportunity at Sheroes. The best UI received Sketch Licenses and the best blockchain product developed on Ethereum received a Matic API prize worth Rs.25,000. Also, one of our sponsors Tvarit GmbH selected a few teams giving them an internship opportunity.
Finally, it dawned on us that the prizes alone wouldn’t make this a Hackathon, the one to be remembered by every participant and thought of some ways to make this an experience that would be enjoyed and commemorated by each and everyone attending it. We prepared goodie bags for each participant that included a notepad, pen, stickers from our patrons and a small snack in the form of GoodDay biscuits and Frooti. The night before the Hackathon, the entire team was up all night lined up like a human assembly line preparing goodie bags and getting ready for the main day of Action.