From hackathon to student enterprise: an evaluation of creating successful and sustainable student entrepreneurial activity initiated by a university hackathon

Cobham, David and Hargrave, Bruce and Jacques, Kevin and Gowan, Carl and Laurel, Jack and Ringham, Scott (2017) From hackathon to student enterprise: an evaluation of creating successful and sustainable student entrepreneurial activity initiated by a university hackathon. In: 9th annual International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, 3-5 July 2017, Barcelona.

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Abstract

Hackathons are a worldwide phenomenon, with both industry and educators considering the opportunities and benefits that they generate. They can provide a forum for innovation, networking, and product design and development, thereby offering multiple outcomes. This paper develops the authors’ previous work on the effectiveness of utilising a hackathon as the spark for initiating student entrepreneurial activity by considering the success of the student enterprise that was created as a result and the extent to which that success was attributable to the hackathon event. Using a case study approach, the paper seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of using hackathon-type events to initiate a successful University student enterprise project and to identify the key elements in the future organisation of such a hackathon event that might lead to a sustainable and effective student enterprise. The paper outlines the findings from this project, which focus on the team building and bonding that take place in such an event, and concludes with a series of recommendations from the authors on how one should market and structure a hackathon to best ensure the success of a subsequently formed student enterprise, based on the evaluation of the project one year after it was founded.
The evaluation of the project was undertaken as part of the institution’s “Student as Producer” initiative where students and staff work side-by-side on research projects. An independent team of undergraduate students was fully involved in all aspects of the project evaluation, including the authoring of this paper.

Keywords:Hackathon, Entrepreneurial learning, Student enterprise, University-led business
Subjects:X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
ID Code:25872
Deposited On:14 Aug 2017 09:29

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