Online hackathons are a great way of generating ideas and fostering innovation.
There’s one particular type of hackathon that’s often overlooked, but that can obtain incredible results: we’re talking about online company hackathons.
These types of challenges provide incredible opportunities for businesses because they are brewed in-company.
While it’s great to generate solutions from an outsider’s perspective, the truth is, employees have a better understanding of the immediate challenges the business faces: after all, they are the core of the company.
Paired with colleagues from different departments (and sometimes different regions, countries, and settings), your workforce is able to come together, craft solutions & generate ideas, services and products, that most of the time can be quickly applied into the business.
Today we want to share with you the case study of Taboola - a major technology company that used and benefited from an internal hackathon using TAIKAI’s platform.
By the end of this case study, we hope you can understand the value of hosting an online internal hackathon and how it can help your own company.
First, a little background about Taboola.
Taboola is a digital ad company based in New York City. They run a content recommendation platform that enables companies to advertise through Taboola.
Taboola then shares the content through their network of publishers, which includes MSN, Business Insider, Bloomberg, and many other media platforms and blogs.
It was founded in 2007 by Adam Singolda, and it’s currently home to more than 1400 employees.
In 2020, they reported a whopping $1.2 billion in revenue, with a gross profit of over $300 million. Just recently, at the end of June 2021, they began publicly trading in Nasdaq -so it’s pretty safe to say we’re talking about a giant in the tech world.
Their goal was crystal clear - bring diverse groups of Taboolars together to create and present innovative ideas on how to grow and improve the company.
Taboola knew and wanted to take advantage of one of their biggest strengths: the breadth and diversity of their employee’s experience.
Taboola understood the power of a company hackathon to generate ideas in such a short period of time, to bring employees together, and to manage everything efficiently.
With that in mind, they designed the Innovation Sprint hackathon.
Taboola gave the participants the opportunity to choose from a set of challenges, according to their preferences and ideas.
They also made it very clear that teams had to be made up of 3 to 6 Taboolars from any part of the company (e.g. Sales Org, R&D, Marketing, PS, TI, etc.), and recommend forming teams that included a wide range of skill sets.
This was very clever from Taboola because it forced employees to co-op with colleagues from different departments.
There were two main deliverables:
A one-page business plan, highlighting the problem, the scope, the solution, and the evidence supporting it.
And a 90-second pitch, showcasing the opportunity addressed, the solution, how it would work and what would be required to pursue the project further if it were to be implemented.
While this simplistic approach might not be feasible in every online hackathon, it’s a great way to compel beginners and make them feel less intimidated by the challenge.
Last but not least, they provided clear judging criteria based on innovation, practicality, pitch quality, link to company goals, and going beyond expectations.
Were nothing short of a-ma-zing! 🤯
Taboola was able to gather 799 participants from different areas of the company in just 20 days!
Those employees formed teams that would eventually lead to 147 delivered projects by the end of the Innovation Sprint hackathon.
While the numbers speak for themselves, we’d like to highlight something even greater - the ease of mobilizing a large number of participants, in such a short amount of time, using our platform.
We provide an all-in-one solution for companies - even as big as Taboola - to quickly manage an event that would otherwise take a lot more effort, planning, and money to implement.
If you’ve never considered hosting an internal hackathon, this is your chance to do so.
By managing everything under one platform you simplify the process of generating ideas, services and products, and fostering innovation in your business.
By doing a quick search on Taboola’s social media, you’ll find out they have employees in Israel, United States, India, Brazil, Thailand, and all over Europe, just to name a few.
With a team of this magnitude and so spread out around the world, aligning teams can be a serious challenge - however - that’s easily fixed with our platform.
By hosting an online internal hackathon and laying out the foundational structure and goals, Taboola was able to connect teams with the company’s vision for the future with ease.
Still not sure if we’re the best platform for you to manage your hackathon or open innovation challenge? Our team is here for you!