How We Drive Innovation Internally: #HootHackathon

By Connor Meakin | 2 years ago | No Comments

#HootHackathon opening pitch

Entrepreneurship is a core value here at HootSuite, you can see it on the faces of all our employees, and it is contagious! One of the key drivers of our success is a continued dedication to innovation. A huge part of creation and innovation is through collaborative efforts, so we decided to launch the first ever #HootHackathon!

The goal? To drive new ideas, solve problems and give each employee the opportunity to work on projects that they love — whether it be social good, product development or even outdoor ‘landscaping.’

#HootHackathon team meeting

#HootHackathon operation rooftoppatio

Operation rooftop patio at #HootHackathon

We’re lucky to have boast a diverse range of employees and skill sets that continually shape our culture and with that, we’re confident in events like #HootHackathon to continue defining the future of HootSuite.

How does the hackathon actually work?

#HootHackathon is a two day sprint to build something new, fix something old or just create something awesome. Our employees were invited to pitch ideas, either beforehand via email, or during the opening presentation. From there, Owls signed on to contribute to the project that inspires them most.

Our pitches ranged from covert plans to transform the roof at HootSuite HQ into #HootRoofTopPatio, to internal anonymous social networks and brand new product releases.

Each project is unique, using a balance of developers, sales specialists, marketers, and other creatives in order to build something great.


#HootHackathon meeting

Everyone at HootSuite was invited to participate at whichever capacity they wish, so long as they’re contribution does not get in the way of their other work.  All ideas are encouraged, as long as they’re inline with our mission, branding and conduct expectations. At the end of the event, all teams presented what they’ve built to the company.

#HootHackathon allowed Owls to come together over two jam-packed days creation. The groups enjoyed themselves, and most importantly, napkin sketch ideas were transformed into reality.

Written by 5pts

This is so exciting! Can't wait to see the results! Any idea when? Also is it too late to submit cool ideas via #hoothackathon tag? 

HootMatt moderator 5pts

@LeoTabibzadegan Hi Leo, you will see the results of our hackathon emerge over the course of a few months or maybe even a year or longer. Some of the outcomes won't be obvious, and others will be (hopefully) quite noticeable. The hackathon produced a lot of great prototypes and proofs-of-concept that had us shaking our heads in amazement at what can be achieved in just 2 days when creative people roll up their sleeves and combine their ideas. But naturally, not everything will be ready to roll out for customers (among other considerations, we have to make sure any new features are secure and scaleable before releasing them). 

Ultimately, the most important result of the hackathon was all of the collaboration that occurred between Owls in different departments. New working relationships were created and we all gained a better appreciation of what our colleagues do. It was a landmark event in the ongoing development of our entrepreneurial culture and many, many ideas for future hackathons have already been talked about in the lunchroom. If you have ideas you'd like to submit, drop by our Feedback Forum and share them with us! 5pts

Thanks @HootMatt!  for the quick response! I just think it's wonderful, unleashing the pure creative power of individuals that really multiply when interconnected with other members/teams! It just feels like everything you guys are doing is BANG ON! 

Can we please copy paste HootSuite Ideals to other companies around the world? :D

Keep up the AWESOME!

ps. will keep an eye out for updates, would love to see how this evolves!