Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (Print ISSN: 1098-8394; Online ISSN: 1528-2651)


Can Hackathons Contribute to the Development of Entrepreneurship among Students at all? Case Study of an Educational Healthcare Hackathon

Author(s): Anastasiia Grigoreva

Hackathons started as software events nowadays are applied in many different branches and industries. Educational hackathons are held in schools, Higher Education Institutions, nonprofit organizations as an innovative problem- and action-based pedagogical method that prepare students for future carrier in innovative sphere. Focusing on learning outcomes, most educational hackathons are isolated from innovation process: developing the entrepreneurship among students is not the primary considered goal of educational hackathons. Despite several researches highlight that hackathons offer the possibility to faster development of new ideas or to transfer ideas from product development into a prototype, they also agree that transfer hackathon outcomes into marketable products cannot be done by hackathons. Other researches investigate connections between participation in hackathon and start-ups founding. The goal of our research is to evaluate the potential of educational hackathons in terms of developing entrepreneurship among students and to find factors that will improve entrepreneurial outcomes of educational hackathons. The paper reports a case study of educational healthcare hackathon hold by a non-profit organization for HEIs students in April 2023 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. As organizers, we present hackathon process description, target audience and lessons learned based on participant observation and their feedback. Case study results confirm that the outcomes of educational hackathons lie beyond learning outcomes and under certain conditions can become a driver for the development of technological entrepreneurship among students. We propose a set of recommendations based on which hackathons can be integrated in innovation hub activities or university startup studios as a continuous process of innovation creation. Applying this set of recommendations will improve the effectiveness of the educational hackathons results in the context of the development of student entrepreneurship, which will favorably affect the increase in the number of high-tech startups.

Get the App