ToiLetMeKnow, or how Hackathons can create opportunities

Tuesday, 29 November 2016, 11:55 | Category : Masters
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The great thing about Vlerick is that it encourages you to participate in business games, case studies, and hackathons. Hacka-what, I hear you saying? A hackathon, in the traditional sense, is a rat-race, sprint-like competition in which software developers along with subject-matter-experts work on a disruptive project during a limited amount of time ranging from a day to a week. The teams are challenged to design new software or web-applications that tackle topics relevant for society and that could be readily developed into a start-up idea. Amazone and CIBG (Centrum voor Informatica voor het Brussels Gewest) premiered with the first gender hackathon ever in Brussels, Belgium, and a small group of five Vlerick students participated in “veni, vidi, vici”-style.

Because that is another great thing about Vlerick: by challenging your co-students into participating in such intriguing business games, you get to know each other from an entirely new perspective. In fact, my team and I quite accidentally decided to participate. It began as all typical love stories do: one student in class asked her neighbor whether he would like to participate, who in his turn asked his neighbor etc. By the end of class, a small group of five students were subscribed for the first “Brussels Goes Gender Smart” Hackathon ever.

The Hackathon itself was in no way related to Vlerick, yet we immediately and almost unconsciously felt we could apply all the taught frameworks and business development methods from the past three months at Vlerick. Starting with a speedy and outside-of-the-box brainstorm session, followed up by research and more down-to-earth product development, we soon and very smoothly divided the tasks among the five of us. In no less than eight hours did we develop a start-up application that would solve the gender inequality problem of peeing in Brussels. We thought it unfair that Manneke Pis and his male equivalents can always, anywhere and at any time, pee in public, whereas Jeanneke Pis is not granted that freedom. ToiLetMeKnow was our solution to this gender inequality problem, and just as much thought the jury as we won the second price.


By means of this blog, my team and I wish to thank Vlerick for the taught knowledge, given opportunity, and new classmate friends who helped us win the second price at this hackathon. Our price? A bootcamp at the Microsoft Organization Foundation to develop our idea into an actual start-up. We’ll ToiLetYouKnow on further notice.



Elien & Delia



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