I Survived Protohack

Pitching to the JudgesMy team and I doing our 90-second pitch!

I’m not going to lie: I’ve always felt intimidated to participate in a Hackathon.

All those smart, savvy, competitive minds battling it out in a cut-throat environment to quickly code up and release a product in 12-hours? I stepped away from being a code-monkey years ago and I certainly don’t fit into a visual designer role – who had time to work with UX person in such a stressful environment? That being said, I felt a sense of admiration of my friends who had pulled of a hackathon, so when I got an heads up about Protohack from @LadiesThatUXNYC, I finally felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to bring out the inner entrepreneur and do a hackathon without the intimidation.

What is a Protohack? The only code-free hackathon for non-technical entrepreneurs. A jam​-​packe​d 12-hour​ ​hackathon … to pitch your idea in front of investors, developers, product people, and more. Walk away with a prototype, pitch, and awesome prizes to take your product to the next level all without writing a single line of code.

Getting the party started! Sort of…

I arrived at 9:30 AM, and was expecting to walk into some sort of ice-breaking event, or at least some sort of way for people to meet each other and share their ideas, but instead everyone was sitting at a table and appeared to have already made teams. Not entirely sure what to do, I grabbed an empty seat. I scanned the room and recognized one girl from a previous LadiesThatUX Meetup, and quickly made my move (I wanted to work with a team, after all!). I was able to join her team, and the day just got better from then on.

Keynote Speaker: 

Bradford on stage

As founder & CEO of  founder of  Brad definitely has an impressive portfolio along with plenty of experiences to talk about.

As a keynote speaker, apart making people who asked him a question yell out their “spirit animal”, he shed light on the deep struggles but also joyous moments of living the start-up life. A few of my favorite quotes include:

  1. I’m going to fucking fail today and I’m going to fail fabulously.
  2. If you do it and fail, it’s better than not doing it at all.
  3. You are not going to be successful unless you really believe that what you will do will change the world and it means something to you.

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