By @SimonCocking

When is it on?

This event will take place on Saturday, 29th April at 112 Donegall Street Belfast.

How many years has #HacktheHub been running?

This will be the 2nd year that HacktheHub will be taking place.

What was the inspiration to start it?

With Belfast being announced a designated Smart City, we thought it would be the perfect way for the community to contribute to the pipeline of projects that are being put in place to achieve this. Creating this platform of open innovation will allow us to showcase some of the home-grown talent within the tech community here in Belfast (and there’s plenty of it). With the hope that some of the projects built at the hackathon can potentially be actualised and tackle some of the real world problems that Northern Ireland faces.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

The event has looked at a change in location, this year it will be hosted by Xcell Partners at Belfast’s first start-up co-working space, home to NI’s startup programme ‘Propel’, and tech accelerator StartPlanetNI.
This year we wanted to go bigger and better. We wanted to seed innovation at the cutting edge of technology. To make a greater real-world impact by actualising ideas. To reach a wider audience through our network and in turn encourage greater diversity.

Building on last year’s success, this year #HacktheHub will be working with the likes of Deloitte Digital, Amazon, Aepona, Microsoft, BDNA, ShopKeep, TotalMobile, Anakeo, First Derivatives and many others to bring over £5,000 worth of prizes to contestants, who will be battling it out be demoing their prototypes to a panel of judges comprised of leading figures from Northern Ireland’s digital sector for a first place cash prize of £1,000.

What opportunities are on offer for people / startups / investors and companies attending?

So many opportunities will stem from being involved in #HacktheHub, from last year’s attendees we had 3 teams that went onto further develop their ideas. This is a great opportunity for attendees and startups, as all it takes is one brilliant idea.

It allows for brand awareness for companies, engaging with the student developer community enhancing the reputation and awareness of leading tech firms with a passion for nurturing the next generation of developers.

There’s plenty of recruitment opportunities, hackthehub allows access to a pool of higher quality candidates who are passionate about their craft, who demonstrate a willingness to learn and who are pro-active in participating in coding events outside of their studies while also gaining invaluable networking skills.

What tips would you give to people attending #HacktheHub?

With our hackathon being a 12-hour event, teams need to set realistic expectations for themselves. With limited time you need to ensure you can produce something that you can demo to the judges. Don’t set your goal to something unachievable in the timeframe, you need to consider you only have 12 hours to make this happen.

Do a little research before attending the event; if you already have an idea that you and your team are set on, it means you can go in and start the production process right away. On the day we’ll have Raspberry pi’s, echo dots and Beacons which you and your team could incorporate into your project, having knowledge about the devices might be a big advantage for your team.

Use Github. Setting up a repository on GitHub allows your team to commit changes to the code, it’s a brilliant way to work on a project as a team. Any teams that aren’t sure how to set up a repository on GitHub or how to utilise its resources, don’t worry. This is an event open to anyone with any interest in code and we take into account you may have never used resources like this, we’ll have mentors at the event who’ll be able to give a helping hand if you aren’t sure about anything.

Take breaks, we’ll be providing plenty of food and drinks including Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and snacks in-between. It’s important to take breaks so you can refuel and just take time to enjoy the atmosphere at #HacktheHub 2017.

Most importantly, have fun!

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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