Hackathons: The Golden Value Prop

Why are students willing to forego a weekend of college partying to build things instead?

The primary goal of most students in college is to simultaneously have a good time and prepare for the job market. Hackathons help you do both.

At a hackathon, you accelerate your education, get in front of the top companies in the world, meet peers who are also building things, and, best of all, it’s fun!

Most CS students can’t build anything. They’ve implemented data structures and algorithms, but in reality they are taught more about gaming coding interviews than anything they’ll do in their actual jobs. At a hackathon, you can learn more useful/employable skills than semesters worth of college courses, in a weekend.

If you want to know what companies sponsor hackathons, just take a look at Forbes list of best companies to work for. You’ll commonly find at least 5 of the top 10 recruiting at hackathons. Hackathons are quickly replacing traditional career fairs and the top companies are already ahead of the trend. Because of this, hackathons give students a completely unfair competitive advantage in finding the best jobs. In a recent informal poll we ran, over 40% of hackathon hackers found their job/internship through a hackathon.

Hackathons are also the best place to meet potential cofounders. The selection bias of people who attend hackathons is unparalleled right now.

You won’t meet the next 10 Mark Zuckerbergs in their dorm rooms; you’ll meet them at a hackathon.