Hack Horizon is a huge hackathon and undoubtedly you will have some questions about how everything is going to come togheter! We created this page to as the go to repository of all the key questions you might have.

Remember [Command-F] is your friend


  • What are the dates for Hack Horizon?

    Hack Horizon will take place between Friday 5th - Monday 8th May 2017, then we will spend a day in London and fly back to Hong Kong on Wednesday 10th May.

    If selected to participate you will need to be avaliable for these dates.

  • What are the participation costs?

    The main costs of the hackathon are covered by us (your flights, accommodation and main meals during the hackathon). The only cost for the 32 finalists will be the participation fee of HKD1,000 and any costs associated with visas if you do not have them.

  • Is my flight back to Hong Kong after the hackahon covered?

    Yes we fly back to Hong Kong on 10th, and it is all covered by us.

  • What if I can no longer attend?

    If you are unable to attend once your have made it to the final 32, your application fee will become non-refundable after Friday 21st April.

  • How much time will we spend in London after the hackathon?

    After the Pitch Finals on the 8th of May, you will also get an extra day in London to engage with local media around the event, explore London, and get some much needed rest before heading back to Hong Kong on the 10th.

  • Am I expected to work throughout the whole hackathon?

    Although the hackathon will last 80 hours, we certainly do not expect you to work non-stop for the entire time. There will be time for sleep, food, hackathon talks and activities to make your experience full and exciting.


  • What is the Code of Conduct?

    • No discrimination, sexism, racism.
    • Abide by the rules of the plane i.e. no smoking, seat-belts when the sign comes on etc.
    • User research only at the airport - no disturbances to the passengers on the flight unless they voluntarily want to see what we are doing ask to give real-time feedback.
  • What are the rules?

    • No coding before the hackathon
    • No team formation before the hackathon


  • Do I need a travel visa?

    If you are not based in Hong Kong and will be travelling here for the start of the event, you need to make sure that you have a valid visa for Hong Kong. You can find more information on Hong Kong’s Immigration Department here.

    If you require a visa to travel to the UK for the London part of the hackathon, you will have to arrange for it yourself, and you can find out more information here.

  • Do you sponsor/reimburse my visa?

    Unfortuantely we cannot sponsor any visas for Hack Horizon.

  • Do I need travel insurance?

    We recommend you to get your own travel insurance for the duration of the hackathon and any travel to and from the hackathon. We are not be liable for any injuries or losses incurred during the hackathon.

  • Where will I sleep?

    During the flight, a seat in the premium economy section of the plane will have to make do for a shut-eye! And we have made arrangements for suitable accomodation in Hong Kong and London for the rest of the hackathon.

  • What do I need to bring?

    Just like any other hackathon you will need to bring your own computer to hack on, but as we will be traveling out of Hong Kong, you will also need a valid passport and a visa. Once we select the final 32, we will send out a more detailed itinerary with items to bring.

  • Is catering provided?

    We will be providing you with food to keep your energy up throughout the hackathon. You will only be required to cover the cost of the dinner at Hong Kong International Airport (6th May), breakfast at Heathrow when we land (7th May).

    Also you will have to find your own food in London after the Hackathon on the 9th and 10th before you fly back to the Hong Kong - but don't worry London has plenty to offer!


  • How will my application be judged?

    We will judge applications on five key criteria: Talent, Experience, Passion, Cultural Fit & Travel Industry Knowledge.

  • Who can apply?

    Applications are open to everyone over 18 years old, whether you’re a passionate student looking to build a new technology startup, an industry veteran seeing an opportunity for improvement in your field of expertise, or someone looking to enter the travel industry and build something new in this booming market.

    Within these groups we are looking for applicants with the following backgrounds: coding/engineering, business and design. Though you do not need to be an expert in all three, we will certainly like applicants who have an appreciation or level of knowledge in areas other than their key skill.

  • When do applications open?

    Applications open on Tuesday 28 February.

  • When do applications close?

    Applications close on Friday 24th March 23:59 HKT. We will select applicants on a rolling basis so be sure you don’t miss out by waiting until the last moment to apply!

  • When will I know if I have been selected?

    We will announce the final 32 participants by 17 April 2017.

  • How will you select the final 32?

    We will be selecting our final 32 participants through a 3 stage application process starting with an application on F6S, then a video elevator pitch and finally an interview.

  • Can I still apply if this is my first hackathon?

    You don't need to be a hackathon veteran in order to apply! If you are selected and you haven't had previous hackathon experience, there are many resources available online for you to help you familiarise yourself with the hackathon format, and there will be plenty of support provided throughout the hackathon as well.

  • Can I apply if I am not based in Hong Kong?

    Yes, you can apply, but you will have to be able to cover your travel expenses to get here for the start of the hackathon, as well as your way back home.

  • Are Hong Kong applicants prefered for Hack Horizon?

    No, we do however take preference on applicants from across APAC more broadly.

  • Can I apply as part of a team?

    We will be selecting participants on an individual basis and teams will be formed around the ideas pitched on the first day of the hackathon. You can, however, encourage your friends and teammates to apply as well, but we cannot guarantee that you will all get in.


  • Can I participate remotely/have remote participants in my team?

    Unfortunately, we will not accept remote participation, because we want to create a vibrant, collaborative and exciting in-person experience for the groups of finalists.

  • How will teams be formed?

    During the first day of the hackathon in Hong Kong, all participants will present 60 second pitches of the ideas they would like to work on. We will vote on the 10 best pitches and form the final teams around the those ideas. We recommend a well balanced team which in our experience consists of around 3-4 individuals: a front end developer, a back end developer, a designer, and a business guru.

  • Is there a limit on the team size?

    We will not allow teams larger than 5, as it will be very difficult to manage operationally, due to the space limitations on the plane.

  • Can I form my team before the hackathon?

    Although you will get to meet your fellow participants before the hackathon officially starts, we do not recommend forming a team at that stage. We will have the official team formation at the Launch on the 5th of May.

  • Can I work on my own?

    Hackathons are a collaborative experience and the best way to learn and build great prototypes is by working with people who complement your skills, are able to challenge your thinking and support the development your initial idea. We strongly encourage you to form a team and interact with other participants during the hackathon. No man is an island, entire of himself.

Ideas & Projects

  • What can I build during the hackathon?

    The challenge is to build any new digital product or service that can improve the end to end customer experience in travel. You are free to build whatever you can conceive within that brief!

  • Can I work on a pre-existing idea?

    No, you will have to work on a new idea during the hackathon. We want to keep things fair and have everyone start from the same point.

  • Can I participate if I don’t have an idea?

    We encourage everyone to apply even if they don’t yet have an idea. You can start thinking about your idea during the application process and use our pre-hackathon workshops as inspiration!

  • When can I start developing my idea?

    You cannot start coding until the start of the hackathon but you can definitely start your research beforehand. Having a look at our Runway Rundown reports might be a good place to start!

  • Can I pitch more than one idea?

    You can only pitch one idea at the start of the hackathon during the 60 second pitches so pick your best one! You will only be able to work on one idea during the hackathon itself, although we expect teams to pivot and change that idea along the way.

Intellectual Property

  • How do teams address the issue of intellectual property/ownership?

    As with any startup, it is up to the teams themselves to decide how to tackle this. Hack Horizon will not own or take part in the signing of any legal documents during the hackathon. While it doesn’t hurt to be clear about your individual expectations from the start, teams who don’t spend time addressing this issue until it actually matters (i.e. when there is a tangible product to have ownership of) are much more productive and successful during the hackathon.

  • How do I protect against people stealing my idea?

    The short answer is that you can’t - but this doesn’t mean you should hoard it away. It is worth remembering that what truly matters is how well you and your team execute the idea and the passion with which you pitch, rather than the idea itself. Great ideas are cheap, great execution takes time and skill.


  • How do I prepare for the hackathon?

    There is not much you can do to prepare for the hackathon other than being well rested and being well read on what is happening in the travel industry so that you have good grasp of what are the leading trends in travel before you begin the hackathon (this will help you in the application process as well!)

  • What resources will I have during the hackathon?

    It’s a hackathon, so you are free to use any tools, resources, boilerplates, gems or hacks you know to build your prototype as quickly and effectively as possible. Our mentors and organisers will be at hand to help and support you as much as possible and our sponsors will be opening up some special APIs just for this hackathon as well.

  • Do I have to use sponsor APIs?

    We are working closely with our sponsors to open up brand new APIs especially for Hack Horizon. Of course you are not obliged to use those APIs (but if you would like to collaborate on your idea with the given sponsor after the hack, this could be a good way to start the conversation!)

  • Will there be WiFi on the plane?

    No. Unfortunately there will be no connectivity on the plane meaning you have to prepare as best as you can and download everything you will need before the flight. We will brief the finalists in more depth before the flight to help you to prepare!

  • Who will be mentoring?

    We will be announcing all the mentors for the hackathon around mid April.


  • What is the format of the pitches?

    The pitches will run as follows: 5 Minutes Presentation & Live Demo + 3 minutes Q&A

    The format may slightly altered depending on how many teams are formed during the hackathon but this is the format you should be preparing for.

  • Who will be judging my pitch?

    We will announce the official judges line up mid April but the panel will be made up of leading travel industry experts, serial entrepreneurs and investors.

  • What is the judging criteria?

    Much like any other hackathon, the judges will be evaluating the pitches on the business model, customer validation, design, demo and pitch. We will release the final judging criteria for participants during the hackathon.

  • What are the prizes?

    We are still finalising the full list of prizes that will be up for grabs for the top teams at the end of Hack Horizon so they will be announced mid April, but get ready for a lot of travel goodies!

  • What happens after the pitches?

    There will be drinks and networking to celebrate the end of the event, as well as an opportunity to speak with press and journalists.