The Entrepreneurship Cell at the Indian Institute of Information Technology Pune victoriously aligned another successful event Hackathon 2k21 with its motto “Think. Innovate. Sell. Prosper.” The event started on 8 June 2021 and marked its end with a prize distribution ceremony on 27 June 2021. A mega-event of such grand stature has never been conducted by any of the newly established IIITs to date. E-Cell IIIT Pune has always been at the forefront of providing a platform for rising entrepreneurs to showcase their skills and test their entrepreneurial acumen. Hackathon 2k21, powered by Juspay in association with AlgoUniversity, was one of these platforms.
More than 1600 ingenious minds from more than 300 colleges across 11 nations registered to be a part of the Hackathon 2k21 drive that said, ‘Let’s Hack the Future’. Super-fun side events were also organised to enliven the atmosphere of Hackathon 2k21. Events like Online Treasure Hunt and Area 51 bemused the participants with enigmatic riddles, and Googol flex allowed them to flex their skills of surfing through an immense network of hyperlinks on web servers.
While the first round of Hackathon 2k21 saw the enthusiasts come up with their solution approach, E-Cell IIIT Pune didn’t restrict Hackathon 2k21 to coding. Whether it be side-events to increase their engagement, workshops to let the participants broaden their horizons, or intuitive speaker sessions with stalwarts of Entrepreneurship at ‘Breaking Conventions’ – a brand new YouTube series produced by E-Cell IIIT Pune, it spared no effort to make the event magnificent. Accomplished entrepreneurs like Mamta Kumari, Manas Kumar Verma, and Ankush Singla furnished the participants with their valuable learnings and insights. IIIT Pune’s very own alumnus Rohan Lekhwani talked on “How to really win a Hackathon?” and rationalised the perspective with which an individual must participate in hackathons. Words of wisdom on always being a learner and guidance for ‘process-based progress’ by entrepreneur and students’ favourite Aman Dhattarwal put a groundbreaking end to the first season of Breaking Conventions.
Followed by this, the final coding sprint of 50 hours started on 25th June 2021. 31 teams made it to this round with their portrayal of exceptional ideas and innovation. Round 2 witnessed the finalists tussling to code their ideas and provide a workable solution. With such brilliant minds, the eminent and experienced jury from big players in the industry like Robert Bosch Engineering and Dell Technologies had a hard time selecting the winners.
Finally, a month-long, grandiose event came to an end with the knock of the closing ceremony. Winners of each theme as well as side events were declared and awarded with cash prizes. Hackathon 2k21 was a fulfilling experience for everyone involved in it at any level – be it the organizing committee, the participants, or even the jury. It was due to all these people that the event of such a scale in an online mode ran hassle-free and became an experience of a lifetime.
E-Cell IIIT Pune gives its word of honour to cultivate entrepreneurial spirit among the youth with more such events in the future.