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The-Best-Online-Hackathon-Platform-Providers

Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

The Best Online Hackathon Platform Providers

Introduction

Events such as hackathons, ideathons and case study competitions, earlier seen as onsite events, are shifting to the online mode for enhanced visibility and global reach. Hackathons infuse innovation by providing a platform to tech enthusiasts. Hackathons have been especially useful in innovating through new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science and Machine Learning (ML). 

Hackathons can help you establish a brand presence, recruit professionals, engage existing employees and accelerate product innovation. However, you first need an online hackathon platform that supports all your objectives. Due to its wide applications, there is a tremendous increase in the number of hackathons being conducted worldwide. Organizations require an online hackathon platform to support such engaging and meaningful virtual events. 

While hackathon platforms are one aspect of a mega event, marketing and operational support are also important considerations when choosing a hackathon vendor. Hackathons are about fulfilling the desired organizational objectives by employing marketing strategies and seamless operational support.

Features to Consider in a Hackathon Platform

Here’s a list of features that the hackathon toolkit of your chosen partner should consist of:

Marketing Support

One of the many reasons to conduct hackathons is its ability to garner substantial attention with a single event, be it for recruitment or innovation. Marketing support is the first checkbox to tick when choosing a hackathon vendor to ensure its success.  

If the hackathon is intended to engage with campus students, your hackathon partner should have years of experience in conducting campus drives and offer inroads into already engaged campuses. Campus connect is an important aspect of hosting a hackathon for campus recruitment.

For hackathons aimed at lateral hiring, brand building and innovation, your hackathon vendor needs to market you to the right communities. Getting mass registrations is always challenging for organizations. Hence your hackathon partner must have a demonstrated ability to garner mass registrations.

A successful hackathon partner can create a strong brand out of your hackathon event, garner significant interest, set word of mouth in motion, and make it go viral through its marketing prowess, compelling campaigns, and maximal out-reach to drive massive registration and participation.

Platform Features

Personalized Event Page

The event page is a one-stop shop for all event-related information. You need to have a customized and self-serviced white-labeled microsite that enables easy configuration of various rounds and stages, also allowing you to integrate it with your website to drive maximum registrations.

Quick Scheduling

The best online hackathon platforms enable you to conduct a successful hackathon, with a single and streamlined dashboard for admin and judges. The hackathon software needs to be robust and dynamic to allow quick scheduling and manage large-scale participation.

Seamless Collaboration

While an onsite hackathon allows you to collaborate with other participants in person, online hackathons are highly dependent on platform-supported seamless collaborative experience. Hackathons are all about collaborative innovation, and your chosen hackathon platform should embody it.

Leaderboard

Hackathons are about the excitement and thrill that accompanies innovation. Thus, a leaderboard is a great feature to have in your hackathon toolkit to allow participants to keep up with the adrenaline rush of the competition.

Automated Shortlisting Process

Hackathons often see participation in large volumes. Therefore, it is impossible to assess every entry manually. You need to look for a hackathon platform that uses smart technology to automate the shortlisting process and enable easy review of submissions for judges and panelists.

Operational Support

A large-scale hackathon has operational and execution challenges. Right from registration queries to technical difficulties, your hackathon partner should be able to manage them and much more. Technical challenges are intrinsic to expansive events. A high number of participants means greater touchpoints and engagement instances. Ensure that your hackathon partner is ready and able to provide 24*7 on-ground support.

Choose a partner with ample experience of conducting large-scale hackathons to ensure seamless events, and, in fact, prepare for them in advance.

A hackathon consists of three principal stakeholders – participants, organizers and judges. Your hackathon platform and partner should ensure a seamless flow of information and effortless integration between them to make the event enjoyable and effective for everyone involved.

Top Hackathon Platform Providers

The right online hackathon platform, with the right features, is half the battle won. We have curated a list of the best online hackathon platforms to help you conduct a successful event.

Top Hackathon Platform Providers

Mercer | Mettl

Founded in 2010 and acquired by Mercer in 2018, Mercer | Mettl helps organizations make better people decisions in two key areas of human resource management – talent acquisition and training and development. Mercer | Mettl’s subject matter expertise across psychometric and technological domains, robust platform and analytical rigor, set it apart. 

Mercer | Mettl’s hackathon platform, Xathon, lets you conduct large-scale online hackathons, ideathons, and case study competitions with expert guidance on themes, objectives and problem statements, 24×7 logistical and virtual support and a hackathon software. These offerings enable implementing hackathons employing a simple and efficient process.

  • Key features – Customized landing page, a multi-functional dashboard for organizers, participants, judges, quick and easy scheduling and task management, automated workflows, proctoring, marketing and operational support, etc.
  • Client base – Amazon.com, Inc., Microsoft, J.P. Morgan Chase, Cognizant, HCL, etc.

TechGig

A part of The Times of India Group, TechGig is an exclusive platform for IT professionals to showcase their work, upskill themselves, stay updated, and network with techies across industries. TechGig often hosts sponsored hackathons on their online hackathon platform 

  • Key features – Gamification of the hackathon workflow, multiple language and technologies support, single platform management, etc.
  • Client base – Invesco, Times Internet, etc.

Dare2Compete

D2C provides on-campus and online gamified solutions for recruitment, engagement, and branding. Its platform supports online quizzes, hackathons, business strategy simulation games, etc. It can customize your engagement medium as per your business needs. 

  • Key features- Leaderboard, proctoring, landing page creation, etc.
  • Client Base – CNBC TV18, Aditya Birla Group, Reliance, etc.

HackerEarth

Started with a single goal of making technical recruitment simple and efficient in 2012, HackerEarth is a tech enthusiast community of developers and businesses, aimed at leveling up their coding skills and hiring the best tech talent, respectively. HackerEarth has a virtual hackathon platform that enables businesses to host hackathons that drive innovation. 

  • Key features – Customized landing page, a dashboard for organizers, participants, judges, ideathon platform, access to a huge tech community, etc. 
  • Client base – Kone, Airbus, Hewlett Packard, etc.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Hackathon Platform

Some crucial points to keep in mind when choosing a hackathon software are – Scale, Complexity, Support, & Customization.

Scale

Every virtual hackathon platform is not scalable. Ensure that your chosen hackathon platform is scalable to hold a large number of participants and allow them to brainstorm and collaborate on an interactive platform. Managing copious amounts of registrations and judging a large pool of participants can outwear hackathon software. A reliable hackathon platform efficiently manages all communications and entries in a single dashboard with the utmost ease.

Infrastructure & Network Support

Online hackathons have a far-reaching impact, but you need a robust hackathon platform ideal for prototype submissions. A file upload portal that supports multiple file formats empowers participants to explore creativity without limitations. Considering that hundreds and thousands of participants attempt to upload and download files simultaneously, a robust infrastructure support system needs to be in place to support increased traffic and bandwidth usage.

Not Just Hackathons

Hackathons are one of the many modes of engagement. But with innovation being extended to all domains of business, your hackathon toolkit needs to be able to support ideathons, case study competitions, quizzes, contests and other brainstorming sessions. The right hackathon software can easily be configured for different engagement events by assigning multiple evaluators, defining the evaluation parameters and considering every idea with an optional feedback function.

Conclusion

Online hackathons are fast replacing onsite hackathons because of the availability of stellar online hackathon platforms. They make hackathon organization and management effortless. All you need to do is to choose a hackathon software that:

  • provides a single dashboard with exceptional features to set up an event landing page 
  • configures multiple rounds with clear instructions about the challenge and rules in a single click 
  • markets your event to increase traction and attract participants 
  • lets participants create teams and collaborate 
  • lets the software easily cull results and the judges to easily review participant submissions
  • Enables easy tracking and announcing winners. 

The best online hackathon platform is not the one with the most features but meets your requirements of cost, complexity and scale. In the end, the biggest USP of a hackathon platform is to allow you to create a custom hackathon flow so that you can customize it as per your needs. The right online hackathon platform contributes to scaling your efforts and streamlining the process while ensuring the simplicity of tasks, scalability, cross-functional collaboration, efficient idea management, constancy and ease of access.

How Mercer | Mettl Can Help?

With Mercer | Mettl’s hackathon platform, Xathon, you can leverage our team of subject-matter experts for ideation and problem statement creation. Our rich library of questions banks and MCQs spanning every domain of business is our strong suit. Our range of simulators complement our hackathon toolkit and can be easily integrated. Our powerful utilization of automation, our ability to scale and deep analytical rigor set us apart.

Here’s how Mercer | Mettl helps you organize a hackathon in 4 effortless steps:

  • Create an impressionable webpage for your event by logging onto Mettl’s hackathon platform and entering all relevant details about your event. Define the stages by providing all important information about challenges, participation, prizes, rules, and guidelines in one single dashboard. Your event is ready to be rolled out!
  • Mercer | Mettl’s hackathon toolkit consists of marketing support, social media campaigns, community reach outs and email campaigns to increase engagement and drive registrations. Market your hackathon using our dedicated marketing SPOC.
  • Let the event begin. Allow participants to easily create teams, strategize, collaborate and manage their submissions on a single platform. Inform teams of their progress through automated approvals and rejections after round completions. Let teams track live updates and score through the dynamic leadership board.
  • Once the contest closes, it is time for judges to log in, grade submissions, or vet the automated results. Announce and reward the winners and get ready to deep dive into post-event analytics to derive ROI.

The Ultimate Guide to Hackathons

Online hackathons are an excellent tool for branding, innovation and recruitment. Learn how you can conduct a successful virtual hackathon with Mercer | Mettl.

Originally published August 31 2020, Updated August 31 2020

Bhuvi Kathpalia

Written by

Bhuvi is a content marketer at Mercer | Mettl. She's helped various brands find their voice through insightful thought pieces and engaging content. When not scandalizing people with her stories, you’ll find her challenging gender norms, dancing to her own tune, and crusading through life, laughing.

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