A short list of frequently asked, and answered, questions
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is an event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development and hardware development, including graphic designers, interface designers and project managers, collaborate intensively on software projects. Occasionally, there is a hardware component as well (source: Wikipedia). In our opinion, some of the most impressive examples are Disrupt San Francisco (a video is worth thousand words) and Pennapps (more college-student oriented) (1). By doing a search on Google you’ll find many more examples. Or you can watch our HTC Highlights!
Instead, what it means attending a hackathon, has only one answer: try and find it out by yourself!
(1) We have no involvement in any of these events
Eveyone can attend a hackathon?
Yes and yes, but only if those who attend fully respect the rules and the terms and conditions. At last, ideas and projects presented and pitched during the 48 hours are what count the most. It has to be intense, but attended in a relaxed, informal and joyful environment. We have strict rules for minors.
Usually, who are the attendees of a hackathon?
Usually we expect young adults, skilled and experienced in computer sciences and a tech background. However many attendees are also designers, makers, entrepreneurs and other individuals involved in marketing and sales. We also like to think about teams made by women. Sometimes there are minors, skilled and talented, who attend and also win the first prize.
Why do I have to pay?
We have organisation costs and costs due to valuable prizes. At this time we do not have resources to organise cheaper or free events, but we hope we will be able to do it in the future (sponsors?).
Am I free to develop/make anything?
In general, yes. The limit is your common sense, and in case you "lost it", the common sense of the jury. In any case, please read and understand the rules and the terms and conditions: sometimes they might reveal the kind of project or prototype expected, thus helping you to develop something that has more chances to meet sponsors’ and jury’s expectations.
What happens if I register and do not attend?
We are not a corporation, nor a structured association. In general, and how usually happens for concert tickets, once you have bought a ticket we are not going to refund its price. Currently, if you cannot attend, you might give your ticket to someone else, but this individual has to inform the organisation immediately and provide the necessary information to proceed with a new registration, if applicable, or ticket assignment.
You state the event is 48 hours long, but I count 24. Why?
Between 12AM and 8AM you are not expected to be present. You might also attend from home and show up before the award ceremony, or show up shortly at the beginning, leave for as long as you want, and come back at your best convenience, always remembering that you’re required to be there during the ceremony.
There are many sponsors, partnes and third parties involved. Do I have a chance to find a job?
A hackathon is an event dedicated to people who have talent and have the desire to show it. Everyone, especially organisers, sponsors and partners expect to meet highly motivated and skilled people, maybe with the aim to hire or to give them the opportunity to further develop a valuable idea and project. In addition, during these events, you’ll meet many people that easily will join you to build a potentially successful startup or company!
Will there be a (decent) internet connection?
Of course! We will try to give you the best internet connection available to ease your journey and your work during the event. For free (thanks to our sponsors)! Also, we will be generous with the power supply: we will have enough power to turn on the lights of a small village. Again for free (and again, thanks to our sponsors)!
We won’t provide you chargers, routers, switches, etc. or any kind of equipment.
I’m a maker. Can I bring pre-built stuff and hardware components?
Sure you can! We are eagerly looking for how creative you are using existing hardware components. However, pre-assembled working prototypes are inadmissible and do not respect the spirit of a hackathon. You’ll have to work on your idea/build your prototype during the competition.
If I’m tired, where shall I go to sleep?
Usually there are affordable hotel rooms available and you shall book them individually. We encourage you to check our partner hotels for the best deals and offers.
We’re a team, do we all have to pay?
Yes! Each attendee has to register and buy a ticket individually. However, we have shared several promo codes with 20, 25 and 50% discount per ticket. Using the promo codes will give you enough discount to let one or two members attend the event (almost) for free.
I’m coming from abroad. What shall I bring with me?
For sure you need your passport, or your ID card if you’re a EU citizen! Chiasso is the first Swiss town when you cross the border (coming from Italy) and is 30 minutes from Milan and 45 minutes from Varese and Milano Malpensa's airport. Coming from North, Chiasso is the southest place of Switzerland and is 3 hours from Zuerich. We recommend you to travel by train: parking is not cheap and, especially on Saturday, there are no free parking lots available. Switzerland has its own power plugs and sockets standard and you’ll need an adaptor (or many, if you bring more devices with you)! Do not forget the adaptor(s), because we do not have any to provide you!
For other questions you’d like an answer, feel free to contact us!