“Great things come from Hack…” It’s 9.45am on a Friday morning, and Mark Evans, Director of Marketing at Direct Line Group, has the unenviable task of keeping a room full of bleary-eyed, coffee-hungry students enthused.
“The idea of a Hackathon is to encourage rapid idea generation and intense and innovative thinking in a competitive environment”. Ears start to prick up, eyes start open, and Mark quickly has the full attention of every student in the room.
This Friday students took part in Pearson College’s first ever Hackathon. With around 30 students’ invited, the event included exclusive keynote speeches from Direct Line Senior Staff and a closing Speech from Senior Analytical lead at Google, Rob Leworthy.
Originally developed in 1999, Hackathons are typically events in which computer programmers and software developers come together in groups to collaborate and cultivate software projects, the end goal of hackathons, result in each group presenting their version of complete and usable software. Pizza, energy drinks and power naps are key to getting through these hackathons, which can last days. The biggest hackathon prize to date was awarded by another of our Industry partners, Salesforce, who awarded $1 million to two developers in 2013.
Although the prize for our own hackathon is not quite as outlandish, Direct Line are presenting the winning team with tickets to the infamous ‘Most Contagious’ conference, with speakers from all over the world discussing the most innovative and dynamic advancements of the marketing world. With tickets costing £800 each- this is definitely one event outside of the average student budget!
With exclusive insights into the Direct Line Group franchise and the world of insurance, our students were split into teams of six and, armed with Churchill stress-balls and bags of chocolate, given a task which will aid ‘revolutionise’ the insurance market. Each team then has to present their proposal to a panel of industry judges – Alex Dunson, Co-Founder of The Bakery, John Garnett- Director of Brand Portfolio at Direct Line Group, Emma Gray- Head of Marketing at Pearson College and George Mills.
“Don’t think what is currently possible - think what could be possible… Fail fast and fail often.”
Interested in finding out more?
Find out who wins Pearson College’s first ever Hackathon and hear from the winners themselves - follow all the excitement on our social media with #pchackdlg. Watch this space!