02.05.2019

Race your Hackathon team to victory with our S&D race plan

As you already may know, a hackathon is a very intense race against time to go from idea towards a business model and maybe even a proof of concept. This race can often be overwhelming, stressful & chaotic.

We as Seth & Dunn coaches want to help you to finish this race successfully by offering a structured race plan. Are you eager to finish first? Use the Seth & Dunn race plan to be fully prepared for this years AE hackathon.

The race plan

The race plan consists of 5 stages. 3 of which are helpful for the preparation of and during the hackathon. The other 2 stages focus on the post hackathon track: what about life after the hackathon. In each stage we focus on a specific innovation technique which will help you to structure your hackathon race. We will explain why you should use the technique, how you should use it and give you the necessary tips & tricks.

1. Start your engines – Empathize with the customer 

Everything starts with a good understanding of your customer. For whom are you building a solution? What are their jobs to be done? What are their needs? A good understanding of your customer will guide you in finding the right solution which is solving their problems. It’s the key to success to create value for your customers.

In this stage we will explain how to get really inside the head of your customer by using an empathy map.

2. Pitstop finetuning – Get a crisp value proposition

All too often we see ideas for services or products that don’t really seem to solve a real problem. The pitfall for many hackathon participants and generally innovators is falling in love with the solution and not the problem. Use this pitstop to define a crisp value proposition and reflect on your idea. It will not only help you later on to create your pitch, it will challenge you to create a solution which solves the real pains of your customer or responds to the gains your customer is looking for while executing their jobs to be done.

We will give you tips & tricks on how to use the Value Proposition Canvas and help you to leverage the power of this canvas to prevent you falling in love with your solution.

3. Test if you are still on the right track Towards a validated business model

Validate, validate and … validate. A hackathon and in general innovation is all about making assumptions and taking risks. But what if we tell you that we can help you to de-risk your solution and to create real evidence to convince the audience of the fact you are almost 100% sure your idea is what the customer has been waiting for.

In this final hackathon race stage, we will give you insights on how to validate the first version of your business model and how your proof of concept can be used to validate your assumptions. It is the final stretch towards the finish line. We will be your test pilot and help you to stay on track.

4. Qualify if you are ready for the big race – Build a Minimal Viable Product

The hackathon came to an end. Now what? It is time for the big race. At this point you should have validated your most riskiest assumptions. It is time to go to the market with your idea and build your Minimal Viable Product (MVP) to compete in the big race.

  • But how should it look like?
  • Which features should it include?
  • How can we use the lessons learned of previous stages to develop the right MVP?


In this stage we
will demonstrate you how to use a story map to structure the development of your MVP.

5. Keep yourself in the competition – Know when to pivot your idea

Now you are ready to participate in the big race it is important to keep yourself in the competition. We also call this stage the continuous improvement stage. Use customer insights to bring your MVP to the next level by improving your solution. Data is king. Learn how to use specific innovation metrics to keep track of your idea and pivot when necessary.

The coaches

The race plan is not the only support you can count on. During the hackathon itself, our coaches will be present to help you with all your questions.

  • Still not clear how to get a validated business model?
  • Want to have your value proposition challenged?


Ask our coaches at the Seth & Dunn doctors practice
during the AE hackathon to help you.

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