5 Reasons Why More Women Should Go to Hackathons

April 22, 2015

9:00 am

Hackathons are great opportunities for entrepreneurs and developers to come together and work on a a project outside work. It’s also a gateway for people wanting to enter a new tech ecosystem, while finding solutions to issues they may be passionate about. But if you haven’t noticed, there aren’t many women participating in hackathons.

If we want to create inclusive tech communities, more women need to become active participants in their growth. This should be true in all levels of business, including hackathons. Research shows that gender diverse teams create better results. If we see more women, hackathons will get better results and be more successful.

If that reason alone doesn’t convince you to join a hackathon and bring along your female friend, here are five additional reasons:

1. It’s the Best Way to Learn

Hackathons provide the perfect opportunity to dive into a new project and learn about a new technology.  It doesn’t matter how basic or advanced your skills are, hackathon will be a great place to learn something new.

2. You Get to Try Awesome New Technologies

You get work on a new platform or get access to new APIs that you haven’t used before. Experimenting in new technology is fun, especially without your boss nagging you to hurry up.

3. You Can Become Part of the Community

There’s no better place to get to meet people who are part of the local tech community than at hackathons. Whether you are an experienced hacker or just have a great idea you want to develop, hackathons can lead to great relationships.

4. One Can Lead to Others Coming 

It’s time to create a ripple effect: After someone goes to their first good hackathon, that person immediately begins asking when the next hackathon is, and the next thing you know, they bring friends. More women should go out and sign up to hackathons. They should also be encouraged and welcomed by their male counterparts.

5. You Will Have Fun

Technology, challenge, friends, pizza and the chance to win money…what’s there not to like?!

Here are a few upcoming hackathons happening soon across the country that may inspire you to sign up:

eMerge Americas Hackathon, Miami

The hackathon will be hosted at Miami Dade College’s Idea Center on May 2nd, and will last 24 hours. Come with a team or come by yourself and join one. With up to $50,000 in cash and prizes ($10,000 in cash guaranteed for the first team). eMerge Americas has partnered with Ironhack to create a hackathon focused on developing innovative applications using Facebook’s newest technologies.

Code for Cuba, San Francisco

This hackathon will be hosted at Facebook’s headquarters April 25th. The goal is to develop ideas and applications that can be launched into the Cuban reality and inform and empower a broader community around the topics of technology and innovation in Cuba. This year’s theme, Connectivity, Digital Activism & Entrepreneurial Empowerment, encourages greater dialogue, free speech, and knowledge-sharing.

Cigna-MATTER Healthathon, Chicago

MATTER is hosting this hackathon with the goal to create a products that can help Cigna’s patients better utilize their insurance plans. Winning teams will win the opportunity to further explore their products with Cigna and receive guidance that may lead to a pilot! We’ve got cash prizes too! The grand prize winner gets $3,000 and two first place winners get $1,000 each. Hackathon Kickoff is April 3oth.

The Broadway Hackathon– New York City

New York Public Library and Masie Productions invite hackers, creative thinkers and Broadway fans to join us for the first New York City Broadway Hackathon at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Starts on May 11th and it goes on until the 12th.

These are a few examples of hackathons that are happening soon. Please share any events in your community in Tech.CO City pages.


Image Credit: Flickr/Corinnepw


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Camila has been heavily active in South Florida’s tech startup community, where she is a co-host of a local radio show called pFunkcast. Camila previously worked at Greenpeace International and the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in various communication roles. A proud Brazilian who spent most of he life in Peru, she is passionate about traveling and documentaries.

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