Hackathons through innovation, team building, prizes, competition, and product validation can immensely help startups reach the market and make their ideas a reality.Mukund joshi
According to NASSCOM, 3–4 startups are born in India every day and come 2020, India is expected to be home to 10,500 startups. To survive in this blistering scenario, it is crucial for a startup to keep innovating.
Although right now India has the third largest number of startups in the world, it seriously lacks new and innovative ideas surfacing in the market. “Since 2015, as many as 1,503 startups have closed down in India. And the major reason is due to the replication of Western business models, and not lack of subsequent funding from the investors,” says Rishabh Lawania, founder of Xeler8. A recent study, “Entrepreneurial India” found that 90% of startups in India fail within the first five years while 77% of the Venture Capitalists surveyed believe Indian startups lack new technologies or unique business models.
With thousands of companies coming up all over the world every day, startups cannot afford the luxury to rest and not experiment. Considering the pace at which technologies in the modern days go obsolete, it is extremely important to keep innovating and not get wiped out.
Customer needs are continuously changing and evolving. Predicting these changes and improving the products plays a great role in forming strong customer relations. A loyal and strong customer base can also prove to be a huge market entry barrier for competitors and help a startup remain market-leader. With more and more innovators working in the company, the company becomes more innovative, meeting customer needs in a better way, in-turn leading to a higher growth.
Great talent also prefers innovative companies as these workplaces are more likely to have efficient systems and work culture. They are regularly encouraged to do better with open-minded colleagues, better support system and challenges at every step of the way. With every single person in the company constantly coming up with new ideas, sharing these ideas and improving the product, coming up with better solutions becomes much easier.
Hackathons are known to be events where innovative people come together to work on a solution and build a product. There’s the thrill of competition, the lust for prizes, fear of deadlines, and the overall excitement for pizza. The most innovative people are commonly found at a hackathon and their final products have the potential to be a successful startup.
Reasons why a startup MUST participate in hackathons:
The environment at a hackathon pushes all the team members to brainstorm, create new ideas and improve the product via new features and customizations to best suit the customer needs.
You work as a team at a hackathon. Individuals don’t matter as much as your team does. All the members work together cohesively towards one common goal — to improve the product.
Having a common theme, there are other startups competing to create a solution better than the other. You have to continuously upgrade your product and make others believe why you are better than the rest.
While developing, you continuously show your product to potential users, fellow entrepreneurs, and mentors, who suggest ideas, give feedback and ask questions. These can help you get a deeper understanding of your product, audience and future scopes.
Rather than the usual huge monetary prizes that are awarded to the winners, most hackathons consist of rewards in the forms of mentorship, incubation, and funding that can immensely help a startup get their idea to market.
While working for a hackathon, your ideas and work can get noticed by leading names in the startup ecosystem and give your brand much-needed visibility through PR and media coverages.
Platforms like HackerEarth’s Startup Connect help a startup get notified of various startup-dedicated hackathons happening all over India. You can look at their main theme and dates and decide if it fits your vision and schedules. The platform and all of its features and events are available free of cost to everyone and can benefit a startup irrespective of which stage it is in.
In the fast-paced current-world scenario, innovation takes the lead in a startup’s growth. An innovative startup attracts better talent and investors and eventually builds stronger customer relationships. With a strong team of innovators, you can find new ideas and focus on innovation rather than acceleration. After all, the greatest inventions always come out of experiments.