Sometimes the best ideas come about when you are presented with strict limits. Those who participated in the Hackathon Powered by Lindström, hosted by Patteri, were pushed to their limits over a 24 hour period with specific guidelines. Teams of two to four persons competed for a chance at the grand prize – €1000 to spend at Veturi, a Lindström rug, and a white rose. Restricted to the field of healthcare, the teams needed to devise a product or service to pitch to Lindström. Lindström is a company which specializes in hygiene and textiles, mainly renting out uniforms, doormats and cleaning equipment.
The participants were provided with many perks. They were given ample supply of food and drink including sandwiches, juice, soda, energy drinks, candy, and coffee. Pajaravintola prepared meals for dinner and breakfast, and at the end of the first night, the tables were filled with freshly delivered pizza. Each contributor received a personalized travel coffee cup and 15 euros to spend at the S-Market grocery stores. After the pizza we were given the option to take sauna and I most certainly took that offer.
Even though the event was over 24 hours, most teams went home for the night. One team however, persisted and slept on bean bag chairs for an hour or two. This team comprised of two participants in the end: Sonja Turunen and Leif Heflin. Initially a team of three, this changed twice. One teammate could not make it and the other attended for a few hours before falling under the weather. As Sonja was a Finn, and I an American, we permeated through the night using Google Translate to communicate our ideas.
To keep us motivated and spur inspiration, we were told to lie down on the floor around 11:00 PM, with no explanation. The television displayed a virtual fireplace, and the speakers played some calm music. After a few minutes the music escalated to a calm voice telling us to breathe slowly. Moving our mind away from our body and towards an island. We were on a boat, rocking back and forth with the waves. A seagull spread its wings before landing upon the edge. It was about this time a very distracting sound of someone twisting a plastic bottle stole my attention. A different man starts speaking. A quiet yelling tone, telling us that we were winners. We will prevail. We will destroy the competition. Maybe it worked because there was definitely a winner in the end, though we all came very close and had some amazing ideas.
Around 3:00 PM on the second day, everyone gathered into the presentation room. The judges from Lindström introduced themselves one at a time, and thankfully, at least two of them used English as well as Finnish. We were told the presentations would be in Finnish so I had prepared to be a bit lost, but it was considerate of the judges to give some context for the two or three of us who were not fluent in Finnish. Each group was given 3 minutes to pitch their innovative products or services, and the judges and other participants had 7 minutes to ask questions. After some truly groundbreaking pitches the judges went to confab about the results. They came back to provide positive feedback for all groups and eventually one team was announced as the winners.
Insider interviewed a few of the participants after the event and this is what they had to say:
“Free food, good networking.” -Salli
“All coffee and no sleep makes a great event.” -Roope
“It was a lot of fun. I hope there will be another one soon!” -Anonymous
“The whole event was perfectly organized. Whoever was in charge and responsible for the event, can be very proud of him/herself. Everything worked simply perfect.” -Anonymous
“I couldn’t be more proud of all the participants. After the final presentations, the Lindström representatives were fascinated about all of the ideas! As the main coordinator of the Lindström hackathon, I must give credit to the ones that made this event possible. I must admit being nervous before the main hour. This competition was a part of my final thesis, and would have a major impact on the first career steps outside these hallways. In the end I was more that relieved. The event was a success on every scale! Again, I want to thank everyone who was a part of this. Special thanks to Lindström Oy for supporting my ideas and financing the event. I also want to thank Patteri for providing the facilities and the amazing and hardworking crew. And most of all, I want to thank every great participant and all the brave innovative ideas! You made this event great. Again.” -Aletta