Building Your Product
Gavin Bains Instructor
Developer | Spring'17

There are many paths to founding a company. An often unorthodox method that has proven particularly effective for college students is the hackathon. While these events are normally thought to be exclusive to engineers, they can also provide great value to designers and product managers alike. Knowing how to code is by no means a must for finding success at a hackathon.

Hackathons often come with themes or verticals. My piece of advice here is that if you have an idea, choose a hackathon that aligns with it; if you don’t, then find verticals that interest you and start innovating. 

Hackathons are also a great way to quickly develop and get feedback on your ideas. Your goal here is to understand the problems that sponsors are trying to solve and utilize the resources the hackathon provides in order to iterate on your MVP and business plan. 

Usually after a hackathon, the projects hit a wall. Where do you go next?

Pitching your proof of concept to investors is a great way to get feedback, build meaningful connections, and potentially secure funding to grow your product. 

From this lesson you will gain a better idea on how to present and promote your product, grow your team, and hopefully find inspiration to seek out great hackathons and start innovating!

If you're interested in seeing more or connecting with me, check out the links below:


Slide Deckhttps://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1fAuBwyJt5IUq1i-Tnbq6u37-ms-8qgYxHZrGC2xman0/edit#slide=id.ga74c7ff1b5_0_1658
Gavin was a developer in LavaLab's S17 cohort and served as Director of Operations S19 and F19 semesters. He graduated in May 2020 with a major in Computer Engineering & Computer Science. In addition to playing music and surfing, he has taken up long walks to the fridge as a result of the quarantine. Gavin has performed a Super Bowl Half Time Show alongside Beyonce, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay.