“Be a fish out of water”

#hackathons #media #tech #pitch

Photo: Johannes Leistner

Next media accelerator organizes hackathons together with partners from media and publishing industry in Germany.

What happens exactly during a hackathon?💡

The main idea behind it: organizers challenge participants to come up with digital solutions for different topics (which can be as varied as food, tourism, voice devices…). Participants have two and a half days to develop a product, present it to the jury and (luckly) win cool prizes.

A little extra challenge…It may come as no surprise that the official language of the event is: German. If you are also part of the group of expats living in Germany, you probably know the #struggle: cool event, scary language.

But language should not stop you from joining a hackathon. Here are a few reasons why you should join and testimonies from participants from past hackathons:

#1 — Chances that you find other English speakers are HIGH.

Chris Taylor and Miroslav Jelaska: International team won Amazon Alexa prize at FUNKE hack in Berlin.
“Being in Berlin, I found that a lot of people speak English anyways, so at least I would be able to have conversations or would find someone who can translate.” Chris Taylor, participant at FUNKE hackathon.

#2 — Organizers and jury work in both languages: pitch training, mentoring sessions…It can happen in English, so it won’t prevent you from getting help and developing your product in the best possible way.

#3- Pitches in both languages are OK: in previous hackathons, it was the case that final pitches were done in English and German, the team is free to chose. This is NOT an impediment or a disadvantage

At #HHErleben hackathon: Best pitch goes to the only English speaking team 🎉

#4- NMA hackathons are a GREAT networking opportunity to meet people from media indutry, startups cofounders, designers and developers.

Did we mention food and drinks?

#5 - If you only hear German pitches, dare to be the first one in English!

“Have no fear. Try it. Worst case scenario you don’t understand anything, best case scenario you find a great team. Be a fish out of water at once.” Chris Taylor, participant at FUNKE hackathon.

And a few tips (from former participants) to organizers:

  • Have at least one email/event description in English
  • At the first day, make a short intro in English as well
“Looking for Developer”. Fabrizio Ciacchi, at FUNKE hack. Photo: Christian Kielmann
“Send an email to organizers and ask which will be the official language and to know exactly which are the rules.” Fabrizio Ciacchi, participant at FUNKE hackathon.

Feeling encouraged? Developers and designers tickets still available for our upcoming hackathons. (Registration is free!) 🏃

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