I’m Jim, Head of Swag here at Realex Payments.  We’re gearing up for the Realex FinAppsParty in London that takes place on 11th and 12th March 2016. To celebrate, I’m going to give you inside tips on how to win a hackathon.  I’m busy creating cool stuff myself, so let’s get straight down to business on how to win a hackathon!

Tip #1 – Select your hacking team carefully

Realex FinApps Party

A hackathon is about building great ideas through teamwork.  Make sure you’ve got a wide skill-set in your hackathon team.

You’ll obviously need at least one developer on your team, but don’t forget the other skills you may need to launch something cool. Maybe you’ll need a marketer, an entrepreneur or even a promotional swag genius, like me.

A hackathon is about teamwork. Make sure you’ve got a wide skill-set in your hackathon team.

Tip #2 – Listen to your hackathon colleagues

Realex Finapps Party

It’s natural to be passionate about your creative idea. However, often the amazing creator might miss that important observation that a team-mate sees clearly.  Last year, I presented a great swag idea to my team: a USB-back scratcher.

One member told me it was difficult to plug the USB into a PC. I’m not going to lie, I was hurt and there was ‘something in my eye’.  But, in the end, I listened, I kept the back scratcher and removed the USB. Genius, aren’t I?!

Listen to team feedback when building your app. There’s no ‘I’ in Hackathon!

Tip #3 – Simplify your hackathon idea


Making your idea as simple as possible means bringing it back to the starting point. Think about the target audience: what do they value?  It’s so easy to get caught up in cool design, but will the audience use it?

Like a recent idea I had for uni-brow mugs, which as it turned out, didn’t work for every hair colour. An easy mistake to make, though.

Simplify your hackathon idea. Think about the target audience: what do they value?

Tip #4 – Make sure you’ve enough time 


You don’t have to present a perfectly visually beautiful app from the get-go.  Innovate, integrate, test and test again!

If you’re going to the Realex FinAppsParty in March 2016, we will be making available our forthcoming mobile libraries which will take as little as 5 minutes to integrate.

Make sure you’ve enough time to complete the hackathon. Innovate, integrate, test & test again!

Tip #5 – Practice your hackathon presentation

Realex FinApps Party

You’ve innovated, you’ve integrated, you’re almost there.  Now you will need to be able to articulate your amazing creation to the judges.

Don’t worry, I’ll help you on that front too.  I’ve a pending Facebook request with one of the Realex FinAppsParty judges.

I’m going to give you insights on what they’re looking for in a winner.  Coming soon in the next Realex blog…

Practice your hackathon pitch. You will need to articulate your amazing creation to the judges!

Want to join us at Realex FinAppsParty?

After all, you’ve just increased your chances to win a team prize of £15,000!