Ideas To Execution in 48 Hours – AngelHack 2012 Seattle

Hey MBB family, Bernard here.  I wanted to share with you one of my methods of staying on top of internet trends.  Surprisingly, it did not include sitting behind my dual monitors at the home office.  It was by attending a different kind of networking event, a hack-a-thon.

I spent last weekend at AngelHack 2012, a 48 hour hack-a-thon where marketers, entrepreneurs, programmers and hackers get together and create viable businesses in less than 48 hours.  The goal of AngelHack is to unite the startup communities by bringing individuals together working on amazing projects.

Here’s How It Went Down:

Individuals lined up to pitch an idea. Teams were then formed. The 48-hour hack-a-thon had officially started, and teams then went off into their corners and started creating.

The room was filled with around 200 of like-minded people.  Pizza, coffee and Mountain Dew were seen on every table, the preferred meal of programmers and developers, although the thoughtful and generous sponsors did try to sneak in a salad bar. White boards were dominated by mock-ups & flowcharts, and post it notes filled every inch of the walls.

During the sessions often times someone will grab the microphone and ask for someone who specializes in “android” or “iOS designers” to join their team. As you can tell by the ubiquity of smartphones, Mobile is a hot trend.

48 hours later, the hack-a-thon came to an end. The teams then pitched and demonstrated the completed work to a panel of angel investors.

The pitch is exactly two minutes.  You have to capture the audience’s attention, show off your project and essentially wow the judges.  At the end of all the pitches the four winning teams get to compete in the nationals where a 200K investment goes to the winner.

Things I Learned:

“Ideas matter… but only if acted upon.” Every single great creation started out as an idea, but having an idea isn’t good enough, you must execute!

Hack-a-thon’s are great business coaches. To pitch and sell your idea/business in two minutes isn’t an easy task. Many teams were too busy talking about their competitors when they should have been focusing on showing the judges what their products can offer.

Last but not least, all four winning ideas were mobile-related products. Mobile is steaming hot trend! As marketers and entrepreneurs it is part of our job to stay current with trends, learn how to sell your idea and find people that can help you with them.

List Of Resources:

Find A Hack-A-Thon Or Similar Events:

Books To Help You Get Your Ideas Across:

  • Pitch Anything – by Oren Klaff
  • Made to Stick – by Chip Health and Dan Heath

Business model books:

  • Business Model Generation – by Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur
  • Running Lean – by Ash Maurya

Keep being awesome!


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