Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, chances are its answered below. You can also download the FAQ guide here. If your questions isn't answered here, visit the #ask_the_organisers channel in the Slack space!

For quicker access, use the search bar (magnifying glass icon) on the right hand side.

What can we help you with?

For Participants

I'm a participant! What resources can I access?


Thank you for volunteering your time and expertise to build innovative solutions! There are few resources you can access.

  1. In Resources, the Participant Guide is a helpful resource for competitors to understand how a hackathon works, the main stages of the development process and a rundown of all the major channels. If you are already in a team, check out the Team Charter Guide.
  2. In Resources, the Primer Pack is a folder of the best open source templates teams can use to map our their hackathon journey: Ideation tips, assumption mappers, Agile project management and presentation tips)
  3. There is also a dedicated playlist of onboarding video resources “Hackathon 101” available on our Youtube channel.




How do I build or find a team to join?


Team formation is going to be happening in a number of different potential ways. You will be able to work out who is in your team before the competition starts however you won’t be able to officially register your team on the Hackerspace until the competition launches.

  1. The first way is to come in with an existing team of people that you already know and work with them. This is the best way to enter the competition.
  2. The second way is to use the Participants tab to find team members and mentors through filters (Timezone and skillset) on the participant spreadsheet.
  3. The third way is via Slack using the #find-team channel to post a quick description about yourself and your skills, while reading others participant’s blurbs.
If you are still looking for a team at the last minute, Hackmakers will be organising Speed Meet and Greet sessions through Zoom. This option will become available to participants to drop in/ drop out on the first day of the hackathon, from 14:00 – 16:00 AET. Sync your calendar for the session link.




What is the size of teams?


The recommended team size is 2-6, up to a maximum of 8 members per team. No individual submissions will be counted




What if I don't have an idea?


That’s normal. Most people don’t have an idea before they get to the event. But once you start talking to other people, you might come up with something. You can also work with somebody else on their idea if you like it. Check out the #challenge channels to ask questions or find inspiration!




The competition is in progress and I still can't find a team! What should I do?


No need to worry! We will be holding last minute speed meet and greet sessions for participants to meet other team members and mentors to accelerate through at the last minute.




How do I find a mentor?


Once you have formed a team, you can reach out to mentors via slack or the Find A Mentor Page to ask them to mentor you through the hackathon

  1. Make sure to scope out mentors that have the expertise to help with the challenge you’ve picked, and the skill sets you may need help with.
  2. The ideal amount of mentors to have in a team is three: One in Business, one with technical expertise and one subject matter expert.




How should a team be structured? Who should be the team representative?


We have a paid version from our friends Slack, you are able to utilise their space and video calls to touch in with your private channels and teams.

  1. Look at the team charter guide to best set up your team.
  2. Check out the primer pack during the hackathon for ideation, presentation, software, assumption mapping and project management guides.




What if our team members or mentor is not responding?


First of all don’t panic, this is not an uncommon occurrence! There are a number of next steps to tick off before you jump ship and restart or exit the competition:

  1. Talk to your mentor and lead mentor. In many situations, a mentor will be helping other teams ideate and execute solutions. They have visibility on other teams and members who may want to join your team.
  2. Make posts on the find_a_team channel, and meet other people who are looking to join, or even if you want to join an existing team.
Given the online nature and time zone differences, it is also possible to lose touch or not get an immediate response from a mentor.
  1. In this scenario, you can and should reach out to other mentors available on slack in the #ask_a_mentor channel
  1. A way to prevent this is to pick out more than one mentor and try to ensure that your time zones are compatible





Chalenges, Judging & Prizes

What is the judging criteria?


There are two types of solutions we will assess.

  1. Option 1: Build a production-ready solution for immediate impact (e.g. workable dashboard, NFC social isolation tool, IOT enhanced thermometer software)
  2. Option 2: Ship an awesome proof-of-concept with lots of potential (e.g. pitch deck with commercial viability and partnership support)
All hackathon entries will be judged by the HackMakers Competition with the following criteria out of 30 points:
  1. Consistency with the challenge statements: Score out of 10
    • How relevant is the solution to the problem statement? - (This is the most important criteria)
    Originality: Score out of 5
    • How different is this solution from others in the market you have seen?
    Social Value/ Impact: Score out of 5
    • How valuable is this solution to society at large?
    Quality and Design: Score out of 5
    • Is the quality of the code or design good?
    Commercialisation: Score out of 5
    • What do you think is the commercial opportunity for this solution?
Pro Tip: Using Oracle Cloud and / or Kandi (OpenWeaver) to build your solution guarantees you 2 extra points (up to a maximum of 3 points per team) for the Hackathon! For more detailed criteria, visit the judge’s guide. This guide may be shared with your teams to better understand the metrics of selection. There is also a dedicated playlist of onboarding video resources “Hackathon 101” available on our Youtube channel. If you are a judge, you are welcome to contact the organisers directly in a private channel in the Slack space.




When will the challenge statements be released?


The exact Challenge statements, details and supplementary information (datasets etc.) will be released at the opening ceremony at 19:00AEST, 29 October! Until then, challenge themes have already been released for participants to hone in on a specific skill or technical challenge they want to tackle:

  • Challenge 1 is about Predictive Analytics
    • Predictive analytics is the use of data, statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to identify the likelihood of future outcomes based on historical data. The goal is to go beyond knowing what has happened to providing a best assessment of what will happen in the future.
  • Challenge 2 is about Audio/Visual Analysis
    • Computer vision is a field of artificial intelligence (AI) that enables computers and systems to derive meaningful information from digital images, videos and other visual inputs — and take actions or make recommendations based on that information.
  • Challenge 3 is about Prescriptive Analytics
    • Prescriptive analytics is a type of data analytics to help organisations make better decisions through the analysis of raw data. Specifically, it factors information about possible situations or scenarios, available resources, past performance, and current performance, and suggests a course of action or strategy




Where can I find the supplementary documentation and datasets for the challenges?


The exact Challenge statements, details and supplementary information (datasets etc.) will be released at the opening ceremony at 19:00AEST, 29 October! They will be uploaded on the "Resources" tab on the Hackerspace, and will also be linked directly in our Slack channel for easy access.




What are the prizes for this hackathon event?


We are still cataloguing the full list of prizes for this event from our very generous sponsors. We will have further details of the prize pool and in-kind prizes distributed to our winners and finalists closer to the event date!




Apart from the hackathon, what other competitions are happening?


We will be holding a number of other fun challenges, including best-dressed team, silly poses and trivia sessions. All of our challenges will include both monetary and in-kind prizes, so check out the "Schedule" tab leading closer to the event to see our full lineup!




Can I watch any of the previous winners for reference on how to make my submission video?


Absolutely! You can visit our "Resources" channel for a dedicated playlist of our most successful submissions from the previous hackathon we ran #WorldInnovationDay 2021, or you can watch any of the other winning submissions from other events at our Youtube channel playlists: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9FhYWj0R7LtXLlTE1gZ0Jw/playlists




What are the submission requirements?


  • Video (required)
    • Upload a video solution to YouTube or other video hosting platform (2 - 4 minutes length)
    • Videos must be made public or through a private link for judges to assess and HackMakers to own license for potential distribution
  • Document (optional)
    • The document should be up to 8 pages in Microsoft Word, public link to Google docs, or PDF to describe your ideas
    • Competitors will be able to use charts, diagrams, and tables to explain their ideas with any appendix attached
  • Codebase (required)
    • Provide a publically available GitHub/Gitlab or other code repository




What should I do to research and prepare?


  • Set-up your software and Hardware
    • A GitHub repository will be extremely useful and is also optional to upload as part of your project submission. Github allows teams to ‘branch’ out on different parts of the project as well as work with awesome code. Please refer to this guide if you are unsure how to setup your GitHub repository.
  • Research the topic and theme
    • The Slack channel will have valuable resources and learning tools for operating in the hackathon, as well as material for the challenge(s) background itself. You’re also welcome to do your own research if you know what you want to get out of this experience or what you have in mind to work on
  • Read up on the challenge(s).
    • Know what challenge(s) are available and familiarize yourself with the details and nuances of each. See if there’s one you’d prefer over the others.




How can I get bonus points?


We will have two products that will provide bonus points to participating teams. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (2 additional points)

  • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a set of complementary cloud services that enable you to build and run a wide range of applications and services in a highly available hosted environment.
  • Please visit the #help_with_oracle channel on our Slack space to get direct assistance on how to use and set this up!
OpenWeaver Kandi (2 additional points)
  • Kandi from Open Weaver helps developers find reusable libraries for specific requirements in their application development.
  • Please visit the #help_with_kandi channel on our Slack space to get direct assistance on how to use and set this up!
If any teams use both Oracle and Kandi, they will get a total of 3 bonus points for their submission.





Post-event activities

When will the winners and finalists be announced?


We will have more information about this closer to the start of the event!




What support can winners and finalists expect to receive after the event?


We will have more information about this closer to the start of the event!




Can I find recordings of any of the ceremonies, inductions or panel discussions I've missed?


We will have more information about this closer to the start of the event!




How long will it take for prizes (cash and in-kind) to be distributed to winners and finalists?


We will have more information about this closer to the start of the event!




How will be the winners and finalists submissions be marketed?


We will have more information about this closer to the start of the event!





Overview & Rules

What is this hackathon about?


This hackathon will be aimed at utilising data science and AI to solve some of humanity's greatest challenges in social and development aspects, as the world emerges from the lockdown as a result of the pandemic.
More broadly, a hackathon (hack = solving a complex problem) (athon = marathon) is an intense sprint-style experience in which software developers, interface designers, technologists and product experts come together to rapidly develop software or hardware projects.




What are the times and dates of this event?


The #BuildwithAI Hackathon Competition 2021 will run from 17:00 IST/ 19:30 SGT / 21:30 AEST on Friday, October 29. Submissions will be due at until 12:30 IST/ 15:00 SGT / 18:00 AEST Tuesday November 2. From November 3 to November 5, Hackmakers will continue to run panel discussions and proejct showcases through our LinkedIn and Slack channels. Prior to and during the hackathon, we have an action packed schedule of awesome workshops, inductions and meet and greet session! Use the calendar sync function to keep yourself updated on all the updates. Leading up to this hackathon, if you want to showcase a project you have been working on earlier we will be accepting applications for the Project Showcase competition up until 17:00 IST/ 19:30 SGT / 21:30 AEST on Thursday, October 28.




What are the rules and guidelines of this hackathon?


Please find the rules and guidelines downloadable document here for both the hackathon and the showcase competition. There is also a quick access FAQ guide that summarises answers for the major questions of the competition.




I've never used Slack before! Is there a guide?


If it’s your first time using Slack or hackathon software, check out the Slack and Software Guide for a rundown of the space, important channels and recommended tools.




What is the schedule for the workshops, panel discussions and inductions?


The full list of events and their registration links will be available to view on the "Schedule" tab leading up to the event!




What criteria will solutions be judged on?


The solutions will be judged based on the criteria laid out in the judge's guide. This is available under the "Resources". Projects will be scored out of a total of 30 points:

  • Consistency with the challenge statements: Score out of 10
    • How relevant is the solution to the problem statement? - (This is the most important criteria)
  • Originality: Score out of 5
    • How different is this solution from others in the market you have seen?
  • Social Value/ Impact: Score out of 5
    • How valuable is this solution to society at large?
  • Quality and Design: Score out of 5
    • Is the quality of the code or design good?
  • Commercialisation: Score out of 5
    • What do you think is the commercial opportunity for this solution?




Who should join this hackathon? What is the eligibility?


Anyone! There is no minimum experience or expertise required to enter a hackathon. The other competitors and mentors are friendly and happy to help you learn Participants below the age of 18 need a consent form from a guardian




Does this cost money? How much time should I spend on this competition?


No! There is no fee for joining. The event is financed entirely by Hackmakers & its partners. In terms of time commitment, the more you put in, the more you get out! Some of the top submissions have been done quite speedily, while other teams have taken the time to perfect their craft. In general, we advise participants to spend at least 3-4 hours a day on their solution, and mentors to spend around 1-2 hours a day to guide teams.





For Mentors

What resources and support can I access as a mentor?


Thank you for volunteering your time and expertise to mentor innovative teams for this cause! There are few resources you can access.

  1. The Mentoring Guide is a helpful resource for mentors to understand how a hackathon works, the main stages of the development process and a rundown of all the major channels.
  2. During the competition, the Primer Pack is a folder of the best open source templates teams can use to map our their hackathon journey: Ideation tips, assumption mappers, Agile project management and presentation tips)
  3. There is also a dedicated playlist of onboarding video resources “Hackathon 101” available on our Youtube channel.
  4. If it’s your first time using Slack or hackathon software, check out the Slack and Software Guide for a rundown of the space, important channels and recommended tools.
Mentors and lead mentors will also be invited to dedicated mentor induction sessions, and be invited to the #mentors_private channel on our Slack space.




How do I find a team(s) to mentor? Can I refuse to mentor a team?


Participants will approach you, and other mentors directly, to ask for your mentorship or guidance through the Hackathon. Each team will be made up of 2-6 participants.

  1. They will likely approach you on or before 1st day of the hackathon.
  2. Consider your time zones and the team’s choice of challenge, in relation to your expertise
  3. You are allowed and encouraged to mentor more than one team.
Hackmakers can assist in matching team(s) to you, if teams have specifically asked for certain skills in their mentors.
  1. Please fill out the team request form which will be available in the #mentor_private Slack channel. Matching will be done with a focus on team requirements.
  2. The results of the mentor to team matching will be released on the mentors_private Slack channel within 1 hour after the team registration deadline finishes.
You can refuse to mentor a team, it is up to you to select who you want to mentor and ignore. Possible reasons are:
  1. If you are already mentoring 3+ teams (lack of capacity)
  2. If you are unable to help them due to time zone (difference in waking hours)




What are lead mentors/ how do I become a lead mentor?


Lead mentors are highly experienced senior managers or people with a long history of success in previous hackathons.

  1. In larger hackathons with over 2,000 participants, we will be creating a new category of mentors called Lead Mentors.
  2. These Lead mentors will be contacting you directly on the first day of the hackathon in groups of 8 - 10, and provide direct support and catch-ups during the event.
  3. You can ask them anything from team formations, team politics and submission/ deadline questions
To apply to become a lead mentor, simply check "Yes" in the mentor registration form when it asks if you would like to take on that title. Check out the Lead Mentor Guide for more details




How can I help participants form teams?


Teams are formed either prior to the hackathon, Speed Teaming, Team Formation sheet or through Slack channels.

  1. If users are looking to make a team, encourage them to post in the #find_a_team channel, or go through the options above and match up with other users or teams you are mentoring.
  2. Also look out for speed teaming zoom sessions, and the Slack mini-groups which will be generated after the opening ceremony.
  3. The recommended team size is 2-6, up to a maximum of 8 members per team




What does a mentor do? How do I become a mentor?


A mentor is a very generous person who is looking to give back to the community by helping participants and teams innovate new solution to real world solutions! In a nutshell, the help teams answer the following questions throughout a hackathon:

  • Provide domain or industry insights and expertise
    • What problems exist? Where should you look for more information? How can you solve them?
  • Guide them to the correct track in their solution journey
    • What solutions already exist? Is this idea plausible?
  • Be a sounding board for their ideation and brainstorm
    • How do I fine-tune this idea? Can I merge my idea with my team members?
  • Validate their ideas with your technical and real world know-how
    • What is a good starting point? What tools can I use for this?
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, make sure you fill out the mentor registration form in the "Register and Submit" tab of this hackerspace! Mentors will be selected based on their industry experience, availability and relevance to help with this event. If you have been selected to become a mentor, you will receive an exclusive mentor badge and a dedicated mentor induction to maximise your experience assisting teams.




What is the rough time commitment of a mentor?


Before the Hackathon [est. 0-2 hrs total]

  1. Sharing your personal tips and resources to participants in the #resources channel [1hr]
  2. Introductions and networking in the #introductions and #mentors_private channel [1hr]
During the Hackathon [est. 2-4 hrs per day]
  1. OPTIONAL: Catching up with your assigned Lead Mentor (they will contact you) [30m/ day]
  2. Assisting teams in the ideation and team building process [1hr/day]
  3. Assisting teams in the prototyping and presentation process [1hr/day]
  4. Providing ad-hoc project/ people management and soft skills advice [30m/day]
After the Hackathon [est. 1hr total]
  1. Team retrospective, sharing of professional details and other comments [30m - 1hr]




What should I keep in mind about virtual mentoring?


Check in with the teams regularly, give them a chance to ask any questions they may have. Ask questions about what they’re doing, what challenges they might have, and most importantly: how you can help them. Many teams don’t even know what they don’t know, and that’s okay, too.




How do I network with other mentors?


We have a whole group of other awesome mentors ready to help in the mentors_private channel! If you have a question you want answered, chances are that another mentor has the same! The mentors_private channel is a safe place to network and ask mentor-specific questions about the event with other qualified and like-minded professionals. Be sure to attend the mentor check-in open mic which happen at 20:00 AEST during every single day of the hackathon!




Can I speak on behalf of the organizers and / or sponsors?


In the best scenario, your teams have clear guidelines for the hackathon, and the mentors, organisers, and judges are all aligned. However in any instances of confusion:

  1. All questions regarding the logistics of the competition should be redirected to the organizers (#ask_the_organizers slack channel)
  2. All questions regarding the sponsors of the challenge should be redirected to those dedicated slack channels.
There’s nothing quite as challenging as getting mixed signals from different people in the same organization. The teams are leaning on your knowledge and expertise to understand the problem and domain better, so it’s a difficult task to figure out whose opinion weighs more, in case there’s variation.




What if I cannot contact one of my teams, or if they've dropped out?


If you cannot reach them through slack or the other pre-decided method of communication, it’s likely that the team may either have either dropped out, regrouping, or be working offline and not require your assistance.

  1. This is not uncommon and not a cause of worry!
  2. If you wish to mentor another team, please reach out to your Lead Mentor, or contact us directly in the #mentors private channel on slack and we will assign other team(s) to you.





For sponsors

What are the benefits of sponsoring?


There are a lot of benefits for sponsoring a global innovation event like this.

  • Winner and prize title ownership
    • We will name one of our prizes after your organisation
  • Sponsored mentors and teams
    • Sponsors will be able to send their mentors and teams with highlighted thanks during the hackathon
  • Website and badging presence
    • Your brand will be displayed on our website and all badges for participants, mentors and lead mentors
  • Social Media and PR
    • Able to speak directly with winning teams for potential recruitment or contracting opportunities
  • VIP Slack channel
    • You will have direct access to HackMakers staff through a private channel throughout the event
  • Promotion post-hack
    • Able to speak directly with winning teams for potential recruitment or contracting opportunities




How much does sponsorship cost?





I am recruiting for top talent! How can I get involved?


Lead Sponsors will have the ability to create job postings within the Slack space, and receive early access to reach out and recruit shortlisted finalists for their own recruitment purposes. General Sponsors can also nominate their representatives to speak in the opening ceremony, create requirements to use their products for extra points, and receive direct marketing coverage through our channels. There is normally a huge amount of interest from our participants to apply for jobs posted by our sponsors, so a high quality pipeline of talent is one of the greatest benefits to an innovation challenge like this!




What is the difference between a sponsor and a community partner?


Lead Sponsors will get access to the following benefits:

  • Full size logo on website, all the banner graphics
  • One challenge vertical ownership (Participants must use at least one of the sponsor’s products/services to deliver the solution )
  • 4x workshops (3 pre, 1 during hackathon)
  • 6x exclusive posts on socials (3 Linkedin, 3 Facebook)
  • 1x Lead judge, 2x Keynote speaker, 2x Panelist
  • Full thanks in all major announcements and ceremonies
  • VIP Slack channel and hackathon involvement
  • Access to the solutions’ Github repo
General Sponsors will get access to the following benefits:
  • Full size logo on website, most of the banner graphics
  • 2x workshops (1 pre, 1 during hackathon)
  • 4x exclusive posts on socials (2 Linkedin, 2 Facebook)
  • 1x judges, 1x Panelist/Keynote speaker
  • Full thanks in all major announcements and ceremonies
  • Private Slack channel for community queries
Community Partners will get access to the following benefits:
  • Mini-logo on HackMakers microsite and some banners
  • 2x posts on socials (1 Linkedin, 1 Facebook)
  • Partial mention in inductions, opening & closing ceremonies and the slack channels
  • Private Slack channel for community queries




I am an education institution/ government agency/ Not for Profit organisation. Is there are special tier for me to get involved?


Absolutely! Please contact a member of our team (community@hackmakers.com) or regional ambassador to get access to our Not For Profit arm of the community partnership.




What events have Hackmakers organised in the past?


We have organised many successful hackathon events in the past. Here is a list of our most recent events:

  • SmartCities Hack (June 2021)
    • Oracle led Hackathon in the APAC in collaboration with NSW Government
    • 2,700+ people involved, 100+ mentors, 60+ countries
  • World Innovation Day Hack (May, 2021)
    • Organised in collaboration with UNEP and UNESCO for the World Innovation & Creativity Week by the UN
    • 4000+ people involved, 280+ mentors and industry professionals, 100+ countries
  • Build with AI Global Hack (July 2020)
    • Global hackathon centred on AI and Data Science based challenges
    • 4,000+ participants, 300+ mentors, 70 countries
  • Digital Defence APAC Hack (Nov 2020)
    • Largest ever APAC based Cybersecurity themed Hackathon
    • 2,400+ participants, 300+ mentors




What speakers have Hackmakers had in the past?


We have had C-suite and Director level speakers and judges from tech giants, United Nations bodies, governments and Non-Government organisations. Here is a sample of our previous speakers:

  • The Hon. Victor Dominello MP
    • Minister for Customer Service, NSW Government
  • Cassie Kozyrkov
    • Chief Decision Scientist, Google Inc.
  • Srini Srinivasan
    • Regional Managing Director, Project Management Institute
  • David Thodey
    • Chairperson, CSIRO, Xero, Tyro
  • The Hon. Tim Watts MP
    • Shadow A/ Minister for Communications, Australian Labor Party
  • Cherie Ryan
    • Vice President & Regional Managing Director, Oracle ANZ
  • Rama Vedashree
    • CEO, Data Science Council of India (NASSCOM)
  • Keith Strier
    • VP Worldwide AI initiatives, NVIDIA
  • Chris Hockings
    • Chief Technology Officer, IBM
  • David Jensen
    • Coordinator, UNEP Digital Transformation Task Force




How many participants typically join a Hackmakers hackathon event?


We typically receive an audience of 4,000 participants and 280 mentors and industry profesionals. On average we have over 750 universities represented by participants, with over 200 teams formed to make up the final top 6 submissions. In terms of social media reach, there are over 1,000+ social media posts shared by Hackmakers and our affiliates over the course of the event, amounting to 900,000+ total views and engagements across all our Youtube, Facebook and Linkedin channels.