Hacking a hackathon

  • Anna Klapwijk
  • 09 februari 2017

Only a few days left before the largest blockchain hackathon of Europe will take place! As one of the sponsors of the event, Deloitte hosted a pre-event last month. Over 150 people and speakers, from developers to politicians, were all eager to collaborate and find out what the hackathon would bring us. This all in preparation for Europe’s largest blockchain hackathon, which will be held in ‘The Big Building’ in Groningen this weekend. As a sponsor Deloitte will be there to coach, but also participate with teams, building, creating and programming the best solutions to make an impact on society using blockchain. And this in just 54 hours!

Hackathon pre-event 

The excitement for the hackathon was palpable. More than 150 people came together to prepare for the hackathon, exchange views and make new connections. The afternoon session started with a number of different speakers before the tracks were presented by the track sponsors (identity, reinventing government, energy, future of pensions and international trade and entrepreneurship). 

Speakers represented a variety of commercial and socially focused organizations, all calling for collaboration and progress, emphasizing the need for good ideas, the value of technology, and the possibilities to take your ideas a step further after the hackathon. The message, and one of the hackathon criteria, is to make an impact on society, something reflected by the selection of speakers. 

Speakers were Kees Verhoeven (D66 politician), Leonard Franken (AFM Innovation Hub), Valerie Frissen (CEO SIDN Funds), Roel van Rijsewijk (Deloitte), Nick Stevens (hackathon-expert Clogisch), Rutger van Zuidam from Dutchchain, the organizer of the hackathon, and Joost Visser (BetterCodeHub) explaining us the importance of neat code.

The day ended, all charged up to get cracking on ideas and new codelines, with drinks and the opportunity to find team mates, new ideas and inspiration for the presented tracks and of course a lot of laughter! 

My journey

By now most people have heard about blockchain and all the promises of disruption it brings with it. What most people might not know is how active Deloitte has been in the space. With 20+ projects and proof-of-concepts made, we are an active player in the market. When I started my graduation at Deloitte I didn’t know that yet. I won a challenge at university about ‘how to disrupt Deloitte using blockchain in 5 years’. This eventually led to doing my graduation here.

From the beginning I was very impressed with the innovative things people are working on here. And while my background is in strategic product design, I find the freedom to further develop my knowledge and skills in the direction I want. Blockchain is not something you get educated on, at least not in my master program, so being able to learn from the people in the team has been a fantastic chance to develop a more technical understanding of the technology.

When I got the opportunity to help with the hackathon I jumped on it. It's a great way to really feel and dig into the blockchain community, while learning hands-on about the different blockchain, programming and business value. At the same time it is a great way to spend more time with colleagues and get to know each other better.

It's a great way to really feel and dig into the blockchain community, while learning hands-on about the different blockchain, programming and business values. At the same time it's a great way to spend more time with colleagues and get to know each other better. 

The hackathon

The largest blockchain hackathon of Europe: 50 teams, 5 tracks, 50.000 euros. And a world full opportunities. Being part of the organization of the hackathon I can see the drive of the people behind it. One of the things that make it so great, but also very much in line with Deloitte’s strategy for 2020, is that the solutions should make an impact. There is a lot of support from the different partners to support innovative ideas and bring the ideas further than only a fun weekend at a hackathon. Rather than doing a pitch by the end of the weekend, teams are being judged throughout the weekend, using a hackathon canvas every day and a final interview, allowing for a more humane approach to a weekend of hard work. The track sponsors have presented several use-cases per track, but of course there is ‘free zone’ to work on ideas of your own. Just as excited as we are to participate, are we to see what comes out of a weekend where so much knowledge and energy is directed to creating new things and building the best solutions! 

Want to know more?

The outcomes from the hackathon will be shared afterwards. If you’re interested to participate as a coach (no developer knowledge necessary) and see for yourself what a hackathon entails, please contact me at aklapwijk@deloitte.nl

Anna Klapwijk

Graduate intern blockchain team

Last september I started at Deloitte as a graduate intern. I study Strategic Product Desgin and am focused on facilitating change through technology and design. I am fascinated by how we interact with the world and how can steer behavior and organization by new innovations. Above all am I an adventurer and eager to gain new experiences and explore the world around me. I thrive in an environment of positive, smart and forward thinking people, both in my professional and personal life. 

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