HawkHacks Ideathon Process Info

More info on what you'll be doing at the HawkHacks Ideathon


Before you move forward, make sure you read our FAQ page! It has super important info on which problems you’ll be solving and what you need to prepare before you take on the following process.

More details on this process will be provided once you register. Also, feel free to email us at [email protected] with any questions you have!

Without Further Ado, The Big Question:

We have a problem. Now what?

TL;DR: The ideathon process entails brainstorming, interviewing, researching, a bit of writing, and a 1-2 minute “elevator pitch” at the end.

Don’t worry if it seems like a lot– we’ll have tips and workshops on how to navigate it on competition day!

Initial Brainstorm

Since you’ve already prepared your topic and background research, you will start by brainstorming further into individual people’s pain points, and how technology can help solve those. One approach is to think of questions beginning with “How might we…”, which could help you identify an even more specific problem to address.

Along with thinking of a few possible solution ideas, in this phase you’ll also consider some of the ethical considerations and where each solution might go wrong. You’ll expand on this thinking in later phases and incorporate it into your pitch materials.

Interview / Human-Centered Design

After the initial brainstorm, you will get information from a real person through an interview! You’ll prepare questions to ask them based on the problem you want to address and potential solutions you are thinking of building.

  1. At our Ideathon, we will have people available to answer your interview questions in various age ranges and with varying knowledge of your topic area. You’ll be booking interviews with them!
  2. You will also take notes on your interviewee or interviewees’ answers and clearly indicate how your solution will incorporate their feedback. You’ll submit a document with this information along with your solution.

This phase will also require you to create two personas: realistic potential users of your solution in your target audience, and why they would be drawn to your idea.

Research: Build a Tech Stack

You will then outline your tech stack (what technology you’re going to use) in detail, which would require you to do some research on what’s out there and what’s possible. Be sure to revisit the ethical considerations and think about potential technological issues.

Research: Form a Business Plan

In this phase, you’ll do some more research on your competitors and make sure you can describe how your solution is different. You’ll also outline how your solution can reach your target audience successfully, and concretely lay out some steps that you and your team can immediately take to move forward. Again, be sure to revisit the ethical considerations and think about potential issues with expansion.

Write: Prepare to Pitch

Afterwards, you’ll construct a slide deck which will guide your pitch and have all the information the judges need to know about your solution.


Lastly, you’ll record a 1-2 minute elevator pitch to submit to the judges! We’ll provide guidance on how to approach this.

Judging and Prizes

Judging results and comments will be released on Saturday, May 8th after the judging period.

Each member of the winning team will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a HawkHacks 2021 Champion’s Certificate!

Congrats on making it all the way through!

Join us for the ride at our 2021 Ideathon. You can be sure to meet some phenomenal people and have fun along the way!