I love hackathons.

I’ve been to four so far and I plan to go to more.

There’s always been something good that comes out of them, whether I win or not.

My first hackathon was HackIDC back in 2015. I had no idea how to code, but me and a classmate signed up and found two other students to join us. It was a 48-hour hackathon, so definitely on the longer side. But it was a blast. My classmate and I ended building an app called WhatsDue that turned into our first startup.

The second was the Olim in Tech hackathon which I entered with a few good friends. We built an app that lets people share products they find from their country of origin with other expatriates to help them feel more at home. We loved what we built but ultimately didn’t pursue it further (though we’ve considered it!). As a cherry on top, we ended up winning 1st place and took home gigantic TVs.

My third and fourth hackathons were run by Nevo Network.

The third one put me on the radar of Nevo which may have helped me get accepted (I like to think).

The fourth one, which took place just a few days ago, led to a product that we were extremely proud of. And while it didn’t make it far in the competition (we knowingly ignored some criteria), the looks on people’s faces when we showed them what we built was worth it. We built a website that gives olim parents a tool to tell their kids the story of their aliyah. Just answer a few questions and a minute later you get a digital, animated storybook about your aliyah with Dall-E pictures accompanying the story.

Go do a hackathon

If you’ve never been to a hackathon, I highly recommend going (even if you don’t code). It’s hard to describe, but the energy is addictive. Ideas are flowing. There’s usually great food. You always meet interesting people.

It’s not about winning. It’s about the friends (and products) you make along the way.

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