Hackathon Planning

Why It’s Time to Host an Internal AI Hackathon

Learn how to use hackathons as a tool in your AI transformation strategy.

AI isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a transformative force that’s revolutionizing the way businesses operate. The question isn’t whether AI (artificial intelligence) is affecting your business, but instead how you’re harnessing its potential to drive growth, innovate, and ensure your business doesn’t get left behind.

So, what does that have to do with hackathons? Hackathons are a powerful tool your company can use to embrace a culture of innovation and stay at the forefront of AI-driven advancement. As the stakes continue to rise, hackathons are a way to fast-track your organization’s ability to leverage AI.

Hackathons Fuel Innovation with Focus (and Fun!)

Imagine an environment where your teams are invigorated, focused, and driven by the excitement of creating transformative solutions. This is the essence of hackathons. They serve as an invitation to solve problems and unleash creativity in a time-constrained, collaborative setting. 

In the context of AI, hackathons are key to reaching company goals and overcoming business challenges. They not only channel your team's efforts towards solving real-world AI challenges, but also provide a platform to experiment, prototype, and learn.

Why Host an Internal AI Hackathon?

#1 Inspire Innovation

Realistically, the success of your AI strategy depends on what your developers can build. Their ability to ideate and build solutions is one of the most limiting factors to whether or not your business will be equipped to leverage the growth of AI technology.

So, how can you make sure they’ve got the right tools to build? Allow developers to problem-solve and tinker with different solutions—outside of their day-to-day work. Fostering a culture of innovation is necessary for survival in light of AI.

AI hackathons encourage teams to think outside the box, experiment boldly, and bring forward ideas that could shape your company’s future. With an internal hackathon platform, like Devpost for Teams (DFT), it’s easy to make hackathons a part of your company’s culture. DFT helps non-dev team members to get involved, too. The platform makes it easy for users to find and join teams—greatly increasing the overall output from the event.

#2 Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

AI is changing the business landscape at lightning speed. If you’re an AI company, the race is to get your AI products out before anyone else. If you aren’t an AI company, your goal is to figure out how to work AI into your business before your competitors. 

No matter what your business goals are around AI, hackathons can help you meet them. The benefit of an internal hackathon is that it’s possible to deep-dive into a specific product or solution, without worrying about the possibility of releasing sensitive data. As an organizer, you can identify what features need to be enhanced and put rails around those tests.

These internal hackathons allow organizers to get actionable feedback from key teams. This is crucial for deciding how to evolve your product and developing AI solutions that outpace competitors.

#3 Enhance Your Team’s AI Skills

AI expertise is already a valuable asset today and will only become more important in the future. Hosting internal hackathons provides your teams with an opportunity to enhance their technical skills and nurtures AI talent within your organization. Engaging your teams in AI-focused activities like hackathons ensures uniform AI literacy across your organization.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone on your team spoke the same AI language? The learning to get there doesn't have to be tedious—it can be gamified and accelerated through hackathons. Participants will be motivated to explore AI concepts, experiment with algorithms, and develop practical AI applications. This not only enhances their skill set but also empowers them to contribute meaningfully to your AI-driven initiatives.

Using the Right Tool to Improve Hackathon Results

Wouldn’t you host more hackathons if you could? Making internal hackathons part of your corporate culture is easier than you might think. It comes down to using the right tools and platform to save time on planning, get more project submissions, and streamline reporting. 

Save Time on Planning and Reporting

An internal hackathon platform like DFT simplifies planning, managing the event, and post-hackathon reporting by bringing all these functions together in one place. It stores all the resources you need to share with participants and makes them easily accessible. It also streamlines communication between organizers and participants—which can otherwise take a lot of time and effort for organizers to manage. Reporting on hackathon performance is also simple for organizers since they easily track key metrics in the platform like the number of participants and projects submitted.

However, the biggest time-saver for organizers is the templates that are built into the DFT platform. Organizers don’t need to start from scratch every time they want to plan an event, which is key to making hackathons scalable as part of a company’s culture. Instead, organizers can use a pre-built template, or easily create another iteration of a hackathon they’ve already hosted.

Read how Okta saved time on organizing its internal hackathons and engaged more employees in its hackathons with Devpost for Teams.

Get More Project Submissions

Project submissions are one of the key metrics hackathon organizers use to assess the overall success of their event. It’s no surprise organizers are interested in maximizing the number of projects submitted during their internal hackathons. Projects are a tangible outcome—allowing organizers and business leaders to review the ideas and prototypes long after the event has ended.

Using an intuitive, easy-to-use internal hackathon platform is critical to encouraging more project submissions. Several friction points could prevent a participant from submitting their project, including being unable to find a team, the platform being too complicated to use, or simply running out of time. DFT alleviates these challenges.

The platform is easy to navigate and has team building features built in. Projects are also automatically formatted to match the hackathon category, so it’s really simple for team members to present their ideas and submit final projects.

Transform Your Business With AI Hackathons

In the age of AI-driven transformation, hackathons provide a way to take action now and equip your organization with the tools and knowledge to stay competitive. As AI reshapes industries, hosting AI hackathons inspires innovation to ensure your business thrives in the era of AI.

Talk to the experts at Devpost today about how to transform your business with AI hackathons.