Hackathon Look-back: 2017

A Year in Review

It’s always bittersweet when one year goes by and all of a sudden its a completely new one ahead of you.
But it’s good to look back at how far we’ve come and what transpired in the last 365 days.

At Hackathons.lk we looked back at an awesome year of hackathons and the great things that happened throughout.
We thought of taking all of those things we learnt and highlight the most important ones for all to see.


Most Popular Venue in 2017:

Dialog HQ

HacKLN 2017

While certain university hackathons take place in the universities themselves, often they are organized elsewhere to accommodate the large crowds.
In 2017, we noticed that Dialog Axiata HQ was the most popular venue when it came to hosting hackathons.

Hackathons usually need large, welcoming venues to be held in. Located in Union place the Dialog Axiata building houses one of the most sought-after locations for hosting Hackathons. The large auditorium is equipped with state of the art equipment and is the perfect size to accommodate a medium-to-large crowd.
In most instances, Dialog also offers to partially or entirely sponsor events when organizers approach them with proposals.

In any case, if you are planning to hold a Hackathon in and around Colombo, we recommend that you do give Dialog a visit.


Most Active Partnering organization for hackathons in 2017:


Organizing and Hosting a hackathon is no easy feat.
It is the singular effort of many that ultimately achieves a successful competition. Of many hackathons that were held last year, Hackathons.lk singled out one partnering organization among other organizers who lent a helping hand. That organization was which was the most active hackathon partner was Ideamart.


As we mentioned earlier, Dialog Ideamart is extremely generous when it comes to supporting the Hackathon culture on the island. As this graph depicts they were the almost a singular entity that takes a great effort to prop up the new innovations of undergraduates.
We at Hackathons.lk hope to see more such organizations volunteering to help out the innovative undergrads in the coming years.


Most popular month for hackathons in 2017:


Usually, hackathons are held all year round. However, certain months have a large number of hackathons held all at once. These are the months that we at Hackathons.lk eagerly look forward to.
In 2017 we noticed that October was a very popular month for holding Hackathons.

Most Viewed hackathon of 2017:


HackX 2k17 – Image Credits Sudeera Chamupathi

Social media is a very powerful tool when it comes to marketing hackathons. As such, the more reach a hackathon has the more people who know about it and the more publicity it gets.
In 2017 Hackathons.lk noticed that HackX organized by the Undergraduates at the University of Kelaniya was the most viewed Hackathon 2017.

Presented by the Department of Industrial Management, University of Kelaniya; HackX was a 12 hour hackathon that revolved around Information Technology & Innovation. Out of 96 teams that initially registered, only 15 were selected for the final showdown. This was held at the Dialog Axiata HQ on the 15th of September and ran through to the 16th.
Some of the top rated solutions that came of the Hack are as follows:

  1. Winner – TurnHere is a digital intelligent driving assistant (Team EchonLabs – University of Sri Jayawardenapura)
  2. 1st Runner-up – Yamang an IOT based bus tracking solution (Team Apocalypse – University of Colombo School of Computing)
  3. 2nd Runner-up – Evolta 1.0 a drone with an NCHV Indicator to reach electrical cables that are hard to reach (Team HeliumX – NSBM)


Most Active University who organized hackathons in 2017:


Naturally, Universities are the main organizer of a majority of hackathons.
However, a certain set of undergrads from one specific University stood from all others due to the number of hackathons they have organized.
Hackathons.lk noted that the undergrads from UCSC have organized the most number of Hackathons in 2017.

CloudHack ’17 was organized by the IEEE Student Branch of University of Colombo School of Computing with the collaboration of Google Developer Group Sri Lanka.
As the name might suggest the primary intention of the event is to implant the potential of cloud computing as a powerful tool in developing solutions having real world implications and demanding computational requirements.

It was held on 12th August and ran through the 13th.


A very special Hackathon that we simply cannot ignore, Hackaholics 2.0 was a Girls Only hackathon organized by IEEE WIE Student Branch Affinity Group of University of Colombo School of Computing (UCSC). The event was intended at uplifting the problem-solving skills with creativity among female undergraduates of UCSC, so as to combat issues prevailing in today’s society in Sri Lanka.

Hackaholics was held on the 28th of October.


Organized by the UCSC – ISACA Student Group for the third consecutive year, is a 24 hour software development competition, intended to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate and improve their software development and problem solving skill to apply for the real world problems and find effective solutions.
Going under the motto “Think. Code. Build” the hackathon has 15 teams coding till the very end to come up with an innovative solution in one of their chosen venues.

Checkout out the post-hack article we did on iHack 3.0; What We saw: iHack 3.0 for more info.

Notable hackathons of 2017:

Hackadev 3.0

Organized by the UNDPs’ Youth Social Innovation Camp; Hackadev was organized with the aim of facilitating uplifting youth to find innovative solutions to current development problems.

Now in its 3rd consecutive year this hackathon was structured around 3 core challenges; Water, Disaster Rist Reduction and Peacebuilding.

With over 70 initial submissions, 15 teams were shortlisted to develop their solutions within the span of 2 days.

Organizer or Highest number of Internal Hacks for 2017:

Informatics Institute of Technology(IIT)

Sometime hackathons are organized by Universities which are exclusive only to Internal Students.
While sometimes lacking in the variety of ideas found in Inter-University hacks, they are no less competitive by any means.

In 2017 IIT organized a plethora of Hacks including “IIT hack”, a well-known hackathon which consisted of 2nd-year students of the institute hacking it out overnight to come up with a solution related to a project of their choosing.

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Total Hackathons for 2017:

20 Hackathons

Each year we see more and more hackathons being organized.
2017 saw a large number of new Hackathons coming up and we at Hackathons.lk came across a total of 20 hackathons.

Hackathon Hall of Fame:

Sri Lanka’s first Inter-University Hackathon

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In 2015 the IEEE Student Branch of IIT held Sri Lanka’s first ever inter-University coding competition. Up until that point, hackathons were mostly open to anyone.
CodeSprint 1.0 marked a turning point in the hackathon trend in the island.

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With the new focus on Undergrads, more innovative ideas could now be brought into the limelight. It also allowed University Students to show their colours to future employers and add some variety to their CVs in the process.
Some even went as far as creating spinoffs of their ideas to form new startups.

Due to this reason, CodeSprint 1.0 takes a place in our Hackathon wall of fame.

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Closing thoughts:

2017 was a great year for hackathons.
With each new year Hackathons.lk has noticed a steady increase in the number of competitions and their quality.

This is quite refreshing and it gives us more hope to see as to what kind of new hackathons we will encounter in 2018.

A special shout-out to VEVRA and README for providing us with all the pictures included here.

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Upcoming Hackathons

hackX 2019 | Inter-University Startup Challenge
Dialog Axiata PLC - Industrial Management Science Students’ Association , Department of Industrial Management, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka +94 71 972 5562 – Chiran, +94 70 211 0313 - Ishara 09/29/2019 08:30 AM