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👨🏼‍💻Top 5 Hackathons That Changed The World


A hackathon is an event, usually hosted by a tech company or organization, where programmers and innovators get together for a short period of time to collaborate on a project. The participants work rapidly and often work without sleep to achieve their task, as the events generally only last 24 hours or take place over a weekend.

Hackathons are organized for many purposes like promoting companies’ brands, finding new talents, having an out-view from innovators, and even creating new B2B relations. However, besides these all, some hackathons are a real game-changer for the world and contributed to billions of people’s life.

In this article, we have listed the startups that were born from hackathons that changed the world with their outcomes.

Well Known Startups/Companies

1. Carousell

Carousell started in Singapore as a marketplace for selling different stuff as easy as taking a picture and buying as easy as chatting and because of how well it worked, now it is more complex.

The hackathon was born: Startup Weekend in Singapore in 2012

Company valuation: $1.1 Billion

2. Twitter

Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read those that are publicly available. Users interact with Twitter through browser or mobile frontend software, or programmatically via its APIs. Prior to April 2020, services were accessible via SMS. The service is provided by Twitter, Inc., a corporation based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world. Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but the limit was doubled to 280 for non-CJK languages in November 2017. Audio and video tweets remain limited to 140 seconds for most accounts.

The hackathon was born: An Odeo Hackathon

Company valuation: $44 Billions

3. Zapier

Zapier is a tool that helps you automate repetitive tasks between two or more apps — no code necessary. When an event happens in one app, Zapier can tell another app to perform (or do) a particular action.

The hackathon it was born: Startup Weekend

Company valuation: $5 Billion

4. Facebook’s (Meta) Apps

Many Facebook products started at one of the Facebook hackathons. Used by billions of people, I’d say it’s pretty famous and successful.

The hackathon was born: Internal Facebook Hackathon

Company valuation: Part of Facebook

5. EasyTaxi

EasyTaxi bought by Cabify is a Spanish ridesharing company that provides vehicles for hire via its smartphone mobile app. Vehicles are driven by self-employed service providers. Operating in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America (Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Panama, Ecuador, Argentina, Dominican Republic, and Uruguay), the company offers two services, one for businesses and another for individuals. Cabify was founded in May 2011 by Juan de Antonio and raised a total of $304 million from investment funds.

The hackathon it was born: TechCrunch Disrupt in 2010

Company valuation: $1.4 Billion

Summary — Significance of Hackathon

Let us conclude with an interesting interview here with the CEO of Shutterstock (June 2013 from NY Times’ Office Corner column), where he elaborates on the significance of internal hackathons for his company:

“We have hackathons, which are pretty fun. A lot of people get really excited about them, and they can build whatever they want for the company — it could be crazy, practical, whatever. We actually wind up implementing a lot of those things throughout the year. It pushes a lot of thinking. It’s pretty amazing what people can get done in 24 hours. Sometimes we talk about a new product feature and it can take three months to build. Then someone will prototype it overnight.”

Please do not hesitate to contact me to share your opinions.

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