Attending a Weekend Prototype Event? Your Pre-Event Checklist.

It looks like there is a very healthy product building ecosystem emerging, with plenty of avenues for entrepreneurs, designers and developers to come together and experiment with new ideas. As well intended as all events are, the one thing that is against you is time. Can you get a Prototype out in a Weekend? Absolutely. But you also have to do some groundwork BEFORE you land up in the event.
Here’s a small list that we started putting together for the In50hrs ( Participants. It more or less would apply for any hackathon.
To-Dos Before the Event:
Entrepreneur / Idea (Wo)Man
  1. Identify the Domain that is your strength
  2. Identify Pain Points based on Your Insights of the Industry/ Domain
  3. Brainstorm various ideas / Solutions around that Pain Point
  4. Jot them all down
  5. Start Your Market Research :
  6. How do Potential customers currently navigate that pain point
  7. What could they use as Alternatives (mark as competitors)
  8. Clearly Identify what would set you apart in terms of the solution to solve that pain paint more elegantly.
  9. Form the Pitch.
  10. Define one or two key features that would be required to demonstrate how the solution works (and its differentiation).
  11. Test if you are right - If you take out that one key feature, nothing should make sense.
  12. Define it as your MVP.
  13. Put yourself in the shoes of the user and think about the user flows - what all data needs to be taken from the user before giving desired result and how those data sources will be retrieved. If you have design sensibility, make a few wireframes for the same.
  14. You are all set.
  1. Brush up on your technology skillsets.
  2. Track the Twitter Stream under the hashtag #in50hrs to locate potential entrepreneurs looking for developers
  3. If you spot an interesting idea, ping, connect, understand the problem being solved. Think about it. Take sometime.
  4. Connect back with the Entrepreneur. Research and identify the right tools / framework to implement the solution.
  5. Download the appropriate IDEs / Tools and have it installed on your development machine. (Go with the familiar, this is NOT the time to upgrade to the newest release of a dev environment to realize it breaks everything you know)
  6. Have an open mind to work with the team
  7. Get a good night’s rest and come for the event.
  1. Brush up on your design skillsets.
  2. Track the Twitter Stream under the hashtag #in50hrs to locate entrepreneurs and developers looking for team mates
  3. If you spot an interesting idea, ping, connect and understand the problem the entrepreneur is trying to solve and the take of the developer.
  4. Grasp the user flow as per the thought process of the entrepreneur and developer. Think of the User and optimize the UX and UI elements.
  5. Connect back with team, and propose the plan. 
  6. Download the Appropriate Tools and have it installed on your machine.
  7. You are all Set and ready to go.
Collectively: Think of a name that best matches the product. Have it as the “Working Title” of the Product.


Credit: Siddharta Govindaraj, Kausikram Krishnasayee, Vijay Anand

22 thoughts on “Attending a Weekend Prototype Event? Your Pre-Event Checklist.

  1. Wow…a fantastic check list, which has been chiseled down to the basics of business. A must read for all those who are serious of breaking in to entrepreneurship.
    Kudos to Anand and team…pls keep up the good work…We all need it..

  2. Nicely put. You meant 'Identify the Domain that is your strength', I would guess. Has been misspelt as "Domain Name", kindly rectify.

  3. Does this mean. I as an entrepreneur will have to pitch and try persuade a developer/designer to get onboard ?
    If yes, what if nobody comes along because i have been in a similar event before and there as always was a crunch of developers and designers were rare.

  4. Ashish, thats partly the reason we have the super active facebook group for. Try to form a team much earlier and before the event. You might even find a developer there whose ticket you can sponsor and drag along for the event. Plan ahead. From experience and what ive seen, almost all teams came pre-formed in the last few events.

    Hope that helps.

  5. I am a drop out. No ID card , No nothing.
    I have registered myself as a student for the event. Would there be any difficulty attending ?

  6. I see that there is difference in registration price for an IdeaSmith v/s developer or designer - why is this so? Does the person with the IdeaSmith ticket get to present his/her ideas? I have an idea I would like to work on, but I'm a developer as well. So, I'm not quite sure which ticket to buy.

  7. The teams that build the idea out owns it.

    As for copying, try building another facebook :) replicating someone else's ideas arent that simple. Everyone at the event has an idea, soon you realize its not the idea but the implementation that matters.

  8. I already have an MVP in the market and I want to pitch for it, because I want to improve it with a good developer and a designer, then would they be owning the product after 3 days of work? (like would they be business partner?)

  9. Jodhbir,

    This wouldnt be the right platform for talent hires. You might already past the prototype stage, im presuming. Is the site / product / service live?

  10. @ Vijay,
    <p> I came to know about this platform for start up very late. I do not have a team but I do have an idea to work on. As per mentioned in earlier post most of the teams come prepared with team, do you think it still makes sense for me to come and pitch my idea and do not have any team? </p>
    <p>Also wanted to reiterate question from Jodhbir in different way, if I work with some team in event on my idea, do they become partner in idea/product/company? How do I prevent that? </p>
    <p>Appreciate your help and prompt response </p>

  11. Vivek,

    Friday evening is for the folks with ideas (register as an ideasmith and submit your idea) to make the pitch, and for teammates to be formed.

    Now in regards to IP, we let the teams decide what they want to do with the prototype (code etc). You can have a word with your team (upfront) that you intend to start a business around this idea, and as such will be taking this forward. Who knows, maybe you will find your cofounder there.

    Hope that helps.

  12. Is it possible for me, at this late stage, to still attend the In50Hrs session that is taking place in Pune on June14? (Registrations are open at time of posting, so I'm guessing yes :)
    Also, is it a must that the idea should be one that should generate money? Or is it completely OK to build something like a free app/product/service?
    Another question is, if I'm both developer and the one with an idea, then whom should I register as? I have fellow contributors to the idea, so should all register as Ideasmiths or maybe one as the Ideasmith and rest as developers as they'll be involved in development?

  13. Yes you can go ahead and register. You can identify yourself as an ideasmith. And its okay if its free, for charity or so - as long as it solves a problem and is not a fun hack.

  14. Hi Jodhbir,

    Could we get in touch.? I am in process of getting an MVP up. Wondering if you could bounce some ideas.


  15. Dear IN50HRS Team,

    I have an idea of developing a new mechatronics project. It involves designing, procurement of components(some parts are custom made), assembly of both electronics and mechanical parts. It is definitely not possible to prototype it within a weekend, but you need to submit it on sunday evening. There is also no information about what happen if not possible to complete it within time.

    My next question is, Is there any assurance for me that my idea will not be copied by someone else.

  16. Why there is no interaction (or comments) in 2014. Is the forum or relevance dead?
    Healthcare and Education are the two areas wherein a large number of start ups have explored and burned their fingers. But it seems if you combine the two Healthcare Education, then it seems you will find the periphery of a big industry. We are trying to work out on day-to-day problems of consumers, hospitals, etc. related to healthcare. I would be interested in this opportunity and will be visiting Chennai. If anyone has suggestions or comments please get in touch with me at brijesh.cp.singh at the rate gmail dot com.

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