HackATL starts now. And while we’ve been teasing you with all the details, the biggest business hackathon in the Southeast is ready to pull out all the stops. EEVM (Emory Entrepreneurship Venture Management), the group hosting the event, are prepped to welcome 350 participants and 200 additional attendees for workshops. We recently caught up with founding member, Sarah Choi, and director, Kali Allen to hear what’s making their hearts skip a beat at this year’s HackATL.
“Every year it’s good to see how the event grows, the different ideas people come up with, and the energy behind each project,” gushes Allen. “The growing movement across the nation is to have hackathons which tend to be very tech focused. We pulled inspiration from the people making really cool products, but not necessarily knowing how to turn it into a real business.”
HackATL will be providing resources, mentors, food, and everything students could possibly need, so they can focus solely on their projects. Participants will split into three groups: hackers, technical & coding gurus; hustlers, the business minds who know how to do the talking & selling; and hipsters, creatives who are great with marketing & branding. A unique feature from this year’s hackathon is an accelerator planned for the spring. “The accelerator is going hand-in-hand with the hackathon. Whoever wins is invited to attend. We will connect the winners with mentors and together they will work on creating a solid business plan,” states Allen.
Another surprise in store is from an HackATL sponsor – and angel investor – who will be at the event judging projects. At the end of the weekend, the investor will be choosing their top three choices and providing investments to students who want to pursue their project.
“College students have all these great ideas but they feel like they can put them off until later in life. HackATL is hoping to encourage these kids to start thinking about entrepreneurship now, instead of in the future,” states Choi.
If you’re hoping to get in on the action, you’re in luck. Not only are workshops open and free to the public, but there will also be a career fair running throughout the weekend. Make sure you also check out who makes the finals at the closing ceremony on Sunday.