What Is HKD (HacKeD)?

HKD (HacKeD) is a series of one-day hackathons taking place across Northern Ireland.

The series will consist of 3 hackathons and a meet-up, running between December 2022 and March 2023. HKD will see hackathons taking place across Northern Ireland with events in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry.

HKD is a place to challenge your current knowledge and gain more, share experiences and skillsets and most of all, have fun with like minded people. HKD promises to be a welcoming environment for all people who love the challenge of creating digital solutions and tools that can make a real impact, no matter their background or their extended knowledge in tech.

Who should attend?

  • Undergrad students and interns
  • Postgrad students
  • AI and ML researchers
  • Data scientists
  • Software engineers
  • Developers
  • Problem solvers

So if you like the challenge of creating a solution that can be developed into the next big thing, or you simply like to hack, practice coding and share your knowledge amongst other people with various levels of experience, then we would love to hear from you.

These events will also be great opportunities for students to meet professionals from the tech industry in order to get some hacking tips, but also to exchange and network.

We want to make sure that these hackathons are open to everyone, from tech curious to tech genius. Anyone with a problem solving attitude is welcome to sign up!


Why Attend?

#1 Learn more in 12 hours than in 12 weeks

  • Step out of your comfort zone
  • Upskill in technologies that are currently in demand
  • Fine tune your collaboration skills and work under pressure
  • Create something over a day!

 #2 No one comes away empty handed… or hungry

  • There’ll be prizes for the winning teams but also spot prizes
  • We’ll be feeding you lunch and dinner. And snacks. And drinks.
  • More surprises to come…

 #3 Enjoy a welcoming and collaborative environment

  • Learn together and from each other
  • Make friends – and who knows, maybe find your startup business partner
  • Absolute craic.

#4 Use your skills and start your career

  • Get a chance to practice with some like-minded teammates
  • Great for networking with influential people about your career
  • Chat with experienced professionals and potential employers.

 #5 Space for everyone

  • HKD will be a welcoming environment for all
  • We will have quiet workspaces available.
  • Let us know how to make your day more comfortable.

#6 Create something with a beneficial impact and make a difference!

Last but not least!

  • Each team has the potential to build the ‘next big thing’ that may affect our lives!

Water Industry in Northern Ireland

Given the relevancy of the Ormeau Baths location, provide insights into the major trends and changes in water usage and consumption in Northern Ireland. You should support your findings/insights using visualisations and relevant datasets, and your project should explore and attempt to explain both positive and negative views.

Suggested points to visit may be (but certainly not limited to):

  • Has there been an increase in water consumption in NI?
  • What water companies in the utilities sector are responsible for our water services and what are they doing to ensure everyone in NI has access to clean water?
  • Is the current water infrastructure supporting / meeting consumer needs?
  • What trends can be seen that indicate that there is a need to update the NI water infrastructure?
  • How does water usage and consumption in NI compare with the Republic of Ireland, mainland UK and/or other countries?
  • Are there any significant events that impacts water usage and consumption rates in NI?
  • Are there any areas of Northern Ireland which have seen growth / decline in water consumption?
  • How can data/AI/ML be used to make the delivery of clean water to NI households more efficient? Leakage detection etc.?
  • How can we save water and use it more resourcefully? What will be the impact(s) of this?

Business Formation in Northern Ireland

In the second half of 2022, there were approximately 2,255 new businesses established in Northern Ireland. This marks a slowdown from previous years; by comparison, there were 2,725 businesses established in Northern Ireland in the last six months of 2019. Levels of new business formation per capita in Northern Ireland were already among the lowest of any region in the OECD group of developed economies.

For the hackathon, identify data driven insights and explore potential answers to the following questions.

  • What trends can you identify for the number of new businesses being established in Northern Ireland over the last few years?
  • How do these trends compare with other areas in the UK and Ireland, and with other regions internationally?
  • Can you identify what factors might be driving these trends?
  • Can you identify what industrial and business sectors have seen higher and lower levels of business formation?
  • Can you identify any industrial and business sectors that may exhibit high growth of new business formation in the future, and can you identify what might facilitate this growth?
  • HacKeD 2.2

    The  HKD 2.2 will take place at the Ormeau Baths, Belfast.

    Delivered in association with Queen’s University Belfast and supported by headline sponsor EY


    Do I need to be there the whole time?

    It is ideal if you can stay the whole day. However, if you cannot stay, just inform the members of your team at the start of the day.

    What if I don’t have a team, can I still sign up?

    Yes, you can sign up individually and find other solo hackers on the day to team up. Our advice is to ask around what challenges people want to tackle and if that’s one you would like to try, then why not make a team together?

    I am not an “AI expert”, can I still sign up?

    Yes! It is about upskilling and we’ll have mentors and resources on the day. Even though we are rewarding a team for their best hack, we also want this hackathon to be an opportunity for everyone to take something from it and to develop their skill within a friendly environment.

    How will judging work?

    Teams will have the opportunity to pitch their projects to the judges. They will be given a limited amount of time to do so. Once the judges have seen every team, they will deliberate and choose a winner according to the criteria for each challenge. 

    What is the size limit for teams?

    Optimal size for a team is 4-6 people, but if it’s 7 or so we’re not going to mind. We don’t want anyone feeling excluded or uncomfortable.

    What is the minimum age to sign up?

    Under 18s are welcome to come and hack (high school students for example). However, there will be wine and beers offered at the end of the day, so make sure that your parents are fine with you being there.


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    Give us a call on 07496 367 841 or email us richard@aboutblankcreative.com

    Arthur House, 41 Arthur Street, Belfast, BT1 4GB | E: richard@aboutblankcreative.com | T: 07496367841