Some hackathons also bring in mentors who walk around observing various teams throughout the weekend. Many teams re-align several times throughout the course of a hackathon, so mentors can help steer teams in the right direction and, hopefully, increase the quality of ideas that come out of the hackathon.
Mentors typically come from a variety of backgrounds, mirroring the many different issues a team could potentially face. “In a medical hackathon, you usually need a clinician (and preferably a patient) to validate the need and vet the solution,” says Joe. “If you’re looking at a technological solution, which current hackathons usually are, then you need the engineer to tell you how to implement the solution. If you’re building your own start-up, you need a business person to explain what a business model is.”
Brendan Pease was MedTech Boston's first ever editorial and events intern. He is now a junior at Harvard University where he studies Molecular and Cellular Biology. He’s also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Harvard Science Review. Previously, he worked as a Market Intelligence intern at athenahealth and as a research assistant in the Goldberg Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital.
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