First Experience with HackerX
So Last night I received an invite from HackerX asking me if I would like to meet other freelancers and companies. I googled a bit and started to create an account and do the regular profile adjustments.
Today was the day I arrived on time and found some parking space nearby without paying, which normally is an issue in Antwerp.
I entered the venue of NovemberFive where the event was hosted. After registration and receiving a big sticker with my name I strolled around a bit to get an idea of the people there. So far nobody familiar so went on the usual search for coffee, unfortunately there was no coffee :-( but there was were some nice sandwiches and some cold dishes which were surprisingly tasty.
Then I saw a familiar face, a father of who’s kids are member of my Meetup(Minecraft-Family). So we had a little talk discussing Minecraft and that he wanted to start freelancing.
Then there was an announcement that the event would start in a few minutes. After some short presentations of the sponsors and host the explained the concept and I have to admit that I was very sceptical about the speed dating wit possible clients. But anyway all bias aside and the dating started.
I have to admit that it was a nice experience, I am not sure if I made some impression because you only have 5 minutes and then you have to move to the next seat. I was lucky that I was able to speak with all the companies present. I also linked up with some freelancers when we were waiting in the lane to get to the tables.
Turn it around
After a few talks I saw a pattern, the company introduces itself and then it’s your turn. But keep in mind about the 5 minutes. So with the first taks I barely had 1 or 2 minutes to speak. So with the 3the talk I switched it around, I sat down and started to introduce myself and give some highlights of projects I did in the past that had any relation to the company I was taking to. This was a big change because now in most cases I was still talking when the bell rang.
In most cases they did write my name and said they would reach out, we will see about that. (I let you know if it happened). After all the speed dating it was time to go back to the first room and continue networking and have some more time to talk with te companies of your choice.
The search went on for coffee but still nowhere to find. So I dragged myself to the juice corner of Gingerwald. the corner looked very nice and had a tablet on top of it where you could find an overview of all the ingredients per juice. Seems that the owner and creator of Gingerwald Jan was standing aside it together with woman of marketing. So they started to explain what it was and why. Still sceptic they convinced me to try out the green thing which contained spinace.
I like spinace that ‘s not the issue but those things are not my cup of tea. But I have to admit Jan created some great stuff the juice was very nice. And the whole concept was well thought, you can subscribe and have the juices delivered weekly and for companies they deliver a booth with fridge and the tablet which will act as a juice corner replacing the water fountain at work ;-). Anyway I was pleasant surprised by the juices and the subscription concept and worth to write something about it.
I met some nice people, they even have me convinced to create an Instagram account, which you can find at https://www.instagram.com/w3bwizart/.
I heard that the invite system is not really that personal, you can just forward the mail to somebody else. I also think 5 minutes is very short and so did the companies when I spoke to them later, 5 min each would be a beter setting.
Don’t bring your resume, I gathered cards from everybody or mails and sent them my resume later on or asked to connect via Linkedin, this prevents spam in your mailbox but not in theres.
Anyway It was a nice experience and I hope that I hear something in the near future from Imec, Napoleon Games or THEO Technologies.