FHACKTORY was the first hackathon taking place in Lyon and Mailjet was sponsoring this awesome event. During this weekend 5 teams had 36 hours to code a project. Let’s try to understand the goal of fHACKtory. Who else than the co-founder, Adrien Joly could explain this?
Mailjet - What is fHACKtory ?
Adrien - fHACKtory is a new kind of hackathon we recently launched in Lyon. As you may know, hackathons are events during which developers, designers and business developers gather for 1 or 2 days to collaborate on a web/software project. Our goal is to attract the best hackers, and support them to create great hacks. Our ambition is to make it global so that hackers from all around the world can gather behind the same motto: 100% HACK, 0% BULLSHIT!
Mailjet - How is it different from traditional hackathons?
Adrien - Our experience made us realize a major problem in more and more hackathons : Usually, projects are ranked by a few judges (including developers, entrepreneurs, journalists and investors), based on a very short presentation (or pitch) of each project. The best team(s) win prizes (and visibility too). In order to increase their chances to win according to this criteria, participants were wasting too much time not hacking! Instead, they were thinking about business models, building beautiful (but fake) screens of their app, and building shiny powerpoint presentations… Powerpoint slides… what’s the point!?
So we decided to ban powerpoint presentations and judges! ^^ But don’t get me wrong, we are not saying that biz guys are useless when building a product, we are just saying that hackers should be judged on the quality of their hack, and that’s it. At fHACKtory, we evaluate teams as follow: (i) 60%: Continuous evaluation (creativity, design thinking, risk taking, boldness…) throughout the week-end by “Advocates” (tech people who are willing to help teams create great apps); (ii) 30%: Beta test of the resulting hacks, after the 24 hours of coding; and (iii) 10%: Demo, evaluated by the audience (incl. the other participants).
Mailjet - Why did you organize fHACKtory?
Adrien - We attended many hackathons with the dream of creating awesome hacks, until the day we decided to organize our own. As AngelHack ambassadors for the Spring 2013 edition in Paris, we learnt a lot from this awesome experience, but we decided to go even further in the process by launching our own independent Hackathon. Being independent is the only way for us to apply our own vision (HACK, HACK, HACK!), without compromises and explanations to give to anyone.
We are convinced that both competences (biz and tech) are mandatory for a business to succeed (Seb, one of the guy behind fHACKtory is a biz guy!), we just think that hackathons should not be about building startups… Startup Weekend already does a pretty good job at this! At fHACKtory, it’s all about hack!
Mailjet - When is the next one ?
Adrien - We are thinking of throwing two events: one in Paris and one in Lyon. The dates are not chosen yet but it’s probably going to happen during Spring. Stay tuned!
As a sponsor, Mailjet offered a silver plan for one year to the first three teams and a bronze plan during six months to all the participants. I was also an “advocate” and spend the weekend helping hackers, and assess their skills. It was also a great opportunity for Mailjet to spend time “one to one” with hackers.
In conclusion, fHACKtory is not only a hackathon, it is a weekend during which you meet awesome people, have a lot of fun (#NerfGuns), learn a lot of things and Mailjet is just waiting for the next one.
Photos par Camille Betinyani.