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35 digital Egmont people walk into a small room…

Forget about sleep. Your mission is to generate a complete digital business concept in 24 hours and convince a critical jury of experts of its viability. Welcome to the third Egmont Hackathon in Copenhagen.

  • The winning team

    The winning team

For the last 24 hours, the Egmont building in Copenhagen has been buzzing with creative activity, as 35 Egmont Hackathon participants have brainstormed, argued, and prototyped like there was no tomorrow.

Some were veterans of previous years but many were first-time contestants in Egmont's annual innovation showdown. Starting in Sweden in 2012, the event has since been hosted in Copenhagen with 30-40 digital Egmont employees getting together for 24 hours of "hacking": Building prototypes of products that "could feasibly be fully realised in 90 days".

Explains John Severinson, digital director in Egmont Publishing Sweden:

"The purpose of Hackathon is to - in a limited timeframe - create a concept that is both aligned with Egmont strategy and is also simple enough that we can actually complete it after the Hackathon."

Sleep-deprived participants, who could only spare a few minutes for comments, stressed the advantages of disrupting the normal work routine.

"Normally you're in one position, in one department of Egmont but here you get to meet a lot of interesting colleagues you wouldn't normally interact with" said Casper Leise Andersson of Nordisk Film Interactive.

Casper's team-mate Tine Bjørneboe, digital product manager in Egmont Publishing, smilingly added:

"It's actually amazing how far you can get it 24 hours, when you have to. You really have to make some hard decisions in a short time-span and that's probably very educational."

After hours of acute concentration the five groups pitched their concepts to a jury consisting of John Severinson (digital director, Egmont Publishing), Maz Spork (head of project office & innovation, Egmont Publishing), Mikkel Weider (commercial director, Nordisk Film), Erik Kongsvik-Ibsen (vice president, Corporate Strategy).

Their ideas ranged from a social network for grandparents to a service for placing user-generated commentary tracks on top of live broadcasts. Oh, and the latter one took this year's price, winning considerable praise for originality (and the completeness of the team's entertaining prototype).

And while the winning team were understandably thrilled, John Severinson summed up the day by stressing that getting new colleagues, and starting the flow of innovative ideas was the real prize. Hopefully, there'll be even more of that at next year's Hackathon.