The term “hackathon” is a bit misleading. While you would think that this is about “hacking”, i.e., illegally collecting data and information, a hackathon is actually a multi-day developer event during which people work hard on finding solutions to problems. “Hack,” in this context, means extremely result-oriented programming (or more generally: extremely result-oriented working), whereby the second part of the word alludes to the term “marathon.” 



The Hackathon in Detail

In a hackathon, start-ups or innovative SMEs that are experts in their respective field form interdisciplinary teams together with specialists. These approximately 5-member teams work for 48 hours on a pre-defined problem. Specifically, at the hackathon in April, five different topics will be handled by five teams. After the 48 hours are up, a functional hardware or software prototype or business model will usually be presented to an expert jury in a 3-minute presentation.


How did this come about, and why multi-corporate?

In the context of the “Connected Mobility” initiative, which is run by the Upper Austrian business agency “Business Upper Austria GmbH,” the idea is to accelerate and promote innovation at Upper Austrian companies. As a concrete expression of this initiative, the Multi-Corporate Hackathon project was launched. Multi-corporate because – in addition to Rosenbauer International – KTM and Raiffeisenlandesbank OÖ are also organizing the hackathon. This does not, however, affect the format itself. But a multi-corporate hackathon brings with it additional benefits. That is because there is an additional exchange of knowledge regarding current projects, current problems, and potentials for cooperation.


And what’s the result?

Due to the time pressure and the resulting extremely goal-oriented way of working, in three days the foundations will be laid for various project cooperations with external experts. Under normal circumstances, such a process can take several months to develop feasibility concepts of such complexity. In addition to the rapid development of concepts, there are other advantages, such as, for example, insights into efficient start-up working methods, new perspectives and ways of thinking, and also gaining new technical know-how.



April 24 – 26, 2019


At KTM Motohall in Mattighofen, which will be open by then.

As the foundation for new innovations is laid at the Hackathon 2019, the 3-day event will take place behind closed doors. But don’t worry, we will share the highlights of the event in a follow-up report.


Further information on



[1] Cf. Schroll, Willi. Collaborative Innovation Processes – Hackathons in Theory and Practice. In: Knoll, Thorsten (publisher). Events 4.0. 1st Ed. Wiesbaden: Springer Fachverlag Wiesbaden GmbH. 2017 p. 135-154.


This blog post was created in cooperation with Sebastian Kaiser-Mühlecker (Innovation Management trainee).