Our hackathon attendees are on a serious roll. This year’s AngelHack winners have all surprised and delighted our judges. We’re asking our winners what they did to win the hackathon, and we’re passing on their knowledge to you, so you can win the hackathon some day!
Last time, we walked you through how Peppermint, our San Francisco winners, won the competition. This time, we sat down with Priya Dandawate, part of our AngelHack Seattle winning team. Priya’s hack is Vera, which will offer personalized hair and beauty styles at different price levels.
So how did Vera stand out amongst the 140 attendees and 30 teams in Seattle? Check out Priya’s key takeaways from winning the competition.
1) Don’t Wait – Seize the Moment
At first, Priya wasn’t going to pitch Vera. But after hearing the keynote speech from Jane Park (CEO of Julep), she was inspired, and pitched Vera as an idea. Clearly, it resonated, as Priya soon had a team, ready to go.
“Two pieces from that speech stood up to me: first, there is no sign from God, you shouldn’t wait for it, seize the moment,” said Priya. “The other one is that there’s no real concept of luck. It’s just preparation, and then you’re at the right place at the right time.”
In other words, you have to go out there and throw your idea against the world.
Ultimately, your product is a reflection of your team. If you have a cohesive, dynamic and invested team, you will create a far more superior product than your competitors. And when it comes down to crunch time, everybody may be sweating, but they’ll keep their cool, keep their calm, and continue to build.
Ultimately, any of the Seattle teams could’ve won first place. But Vera’s entire team was so clearly enthusiastic and invested, with incredibly strong leadership, that they were able to break through the “noise” of all the other teams and blow the judges away.
“I think that’s what made it such a shared victory,” Priya said. “Part of our success was that people felt they were part of a team. With other teams, I realized they weren’t coming together. It didn’t seem like everybody had a voice.”