FAQ

WHY WOULD I JOIN HACK BELGIUM?

Hack Belgium will likely be the most intense and rewarding adventure you’ve ever had in your professional and personal development.*  No matter if you join with colleagues or on your own, you’ll come up with great new ideas for solving the big challenges our society is facing, you’ll meet and work with new people, you’ll learn new skills and learn to apply exciting technologies.

You’ll be supported at every step of the way by outstanding experts, designers, and entrepreneurs. You’ll have access to the biggest concentration of talent and expertise this country has ever seen.

You’ll be pushed to the absolute limits of your imagination and creativity.  And, even if you don’t walk away from Hack Belgium with a brand-new startup project, you’ll still have had a powerful learning experience.

* Or so the participants say.  Have a look at the video of Florence talking about her experience (2 minutes) at Hack Belgium 2018.

 

 

WHY WE WANT TO HACK BELGIUM.

To hit you with a buzzword: disruption. We see technology and business changing rapidly and even though Belgium is not exactly the tropics yet, we’re starting to feel the effects of climate change. We don’t see our governments thinking ahead or even keeping up.

So we’re kinda scared.

But at the same time, we see many possibilities. We know these technologies can be used for good, we know Belgium is rich in expertise and we know very many people out there want to use their work-time to do something valuable.

 

 

DO I REALLY HAVE TO SPEND ENTIRE THREE DAYS AT HACK BELGIUM? MAYBE I COULD JUST DROP IN FOR ONE?

Well, yes.  If you want to get the great results form Hack Belgium – the ideas, the learning, the network, and ultimately a project of your own – you need to put time into it.  It’s a lot of time – but the results are worth it.

 

 

CAN I BRING KIDS WITH ME ON SATURDAY?

Absolutely!  We’ve put together a free special program for kids on Saturday, check it out here.  There are – unfortunately – only 25 places in that program, so book yours today!

 

 

WHAT ON EARTH IS AN INNOVATION FESTIVAL? IS IT A CONFERENCE OR SOMETHING?

Well, it certainly isn’t a conference – you don’t get to sit on your bum and listen to speeches, hour after hour.

It’s not a hackathon either (though we have borrowed a lot of ideas from hackathons) – it’s not about making apps or learning new software development tools.

We call Hack Belgium an innovation festival because of the event’s atmosphere. It’s positive, energetic, inquisitive, collaborative – and it’s incredibly contagious. Just check out the aftermovie of last year’s edition.

 

 

I’M NOT A DEVELOPER… CAN I STILL JOIN?

Absolutely! Hack Belgium does have the word “ hack” in it – but that’s because we want to “hack” the old way of thinking, the obsolete solutions for urgent problems, and the society that’s taking too long to wake up to the urgent challenges we are all facing.

So, people of all backgrounds and with all levels of skill are welcome – it’s the diversity and teamwork that makes Hack Belgium produce such innovative solutions.

 

 

SPEAKING IN PUBLIC MAKES ME NERVOUS… WOULD I HAVE TO?

No. You definitely need to be able to talk to people (we promise you’ll meet probably the nicest, most positive people in Belgium), but we won’t put you on the spot.

 

 

I DON’T HAVE AN IDEA FOR A PROJECT YET. SHOULD I COME?

Yes! More important than bringing an idea is bringing an open mind. We think there is great value in creating ideas together with people from different backgrounds – and in allowing other people to build on, pivot and reform your rough ideas.

So, during the first day we’re going to guide you through brainstorming, co-creation and ideation around the 12 themes of Hack Belgium 2019.

So no worries if you don’t have an idea yet: your head will bursting with them by the end of that day.

 

 

I ALREADY HAVE AN IDEA FOR A PROJECT… IS IT STILL WORTH MY TIME TO COME?

Oh heck yes.  With about 200 experts in every field of human knowledge, all the amazing technology we’ve put together for the event, you’ll make more progress in 3 days at Hack Belgium than you would in 6 months of part-time work on your project.

And if you’ve got a few co-founders, bring them too – Hack Belgium is an outstanding team building experience.

 

 

ON WHAT SHOULD I WORK ON DURING THOSE 3 DAYS?

There are 12 Societal Themes you can work on during Hack Belgium. Visit the Societal Themes page now and pick two that make your heart bit the fastest (you’ll discover why two at the event)!

 

 

I DON’T HAVE A TEAM. CAN I COME ALONE?

Mais bien sur. The teams will be formed at the end of Day 1 of Hack Belgium.  On that note, to the people that are coming in teams, we advise you to split up and venture out. This will multiply the ideas, knowledge and new connections you bring home.

 

 

WHERE AND WHEN IS IT?

Hack Belgium is happening in Tour & Taxis, Brussels on the 28 › 29 › 30 of March 2019.

 

 

WILL THERE BE BEDS?

We’re not expecting you to work overnight.  A few people stayed late (till midnight or so), but most participants are so tired after super-intense days of Hack Belgium that by 8 pm the place is mostly empty.

 

 

CAN I JUST COME TO  SEE THE FINAL PITCHES?

Sorry, no.  First, pitching will be done in 12 parallel streams – impossible to make a choice on short notice. Second, you really need to be in the right frame of mind to understand the context of the pitches, and to be able to take part in the discussions around each project.

You can, however, join one of our VIP Guided Tours.

Each tour is guided by one of the co-founders of Hack Belgium (Leo or Tjorven), and takes about an hour.  During the tour you’ll get an introduction to the event, meet a few participants, see the Technology Experience Zone for yourself, and network with other VIPs.

The number of places for the tours is limited, though. So, sign up through this link and we’ll let you know if we can find a spot for you.

 

 

WILL THERE BE FOOD?

Yes, of course.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the ticket price for the Enterprise and Pro Ticket holders (so if you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, convince your boss to pay for it).

For Discount and Citizen Tickets: food is not included. You are more than welcome to bring your own tartinekes/lunchbox with you. You will also be able to buy food at the venue.

 

 

WHAT IF PEOPLE STEAL MY IDEAS?

★ If this article is too long for your current attention span, consider watching this video instead ★

This is how we deal with Intellectual Property Rights (“IP”) at Hack Belgium

Hack Belgium is an open, contributive event. And to ensure that Hack Belgium remains an open and contributive event, the following principles apply:

 

Everyone keeps what they own already

All participants have or may have pre-existing Intellectual Property Rights. This can be ideas, know-how, trade secrets, copyright in code, sometimes even a patent or an application, and brands, logos and similar stuff. We call this “Pre-Existing IP”.

All Pre-Existing IP remains owned by its owner, and nothing that happens during Hack Belgium can be considered as a transfer or assignment of such Pre-Existing IP. In addition, the fact of showing something that is covered by an IP right (say, showing some code that is covered by your software copyright) does not imply that anyone can copy that or use it freely without your approval – you retain your Pre-Existing IP on that.

 

Hack Belgium is an open, public event

Please be aware that Hack Belgium is an open, public event. Any information uploaded in an application, discussed in a group or even private meeting, or otherwise shared, is to be considered disclosed to a public space. This means that if you are under a duty of confidentiality of certain information, you should not disclose that during Hack Belgium. This does not prevent anyone from signing a specific confidentiality agreement for specific, identifiable, information that is otherwise not communicated to any other Participant.

That being said, it is important to understand that generic ideas are almost never covered by IP or protectable. Only as the idea gets more specific and starts being converted into an actual application, IP protection will start to apply.

 

Attribution is essential

Throughout the event, teams will develop ideas. The content of ideas as well as the persons making up the teams may, and probably will, change throughout the event.

Ideas can be tracked and managed throughout the event through the functions of the Hack Belgium application (mobile or web). Not later than at the end of the event, both the idea and the identity of the individuals who have contributed to it will be finally identified in the application.  It is important that all individuals who contribute to an idea get a fair mention. For the purpose of this attribution, every contributor’s share is considered equal.

The effect of attribution is NOT to allow any contributor to block the use of a particular idea to which they have contributed, but rather to allow all contributors to that idea to use and develop it further.

These rules apply to all categories of Participants and to all individuals that participate either in their own name or on behalf of an organization.

However, any Organization (Partner, Supporter or Invitee) that participates in Hack Belgium, commits in addition, that if an idea is developed into a commercial product as a direct consequence of Hack Belgium, each individual who has contributed to that particular idea:

– gets appropriate name recognition; and

– is invited to share the benefits of such commercial development on a reasonable basis; this can include being offered to work on it against payment or sharing in some of the proceeds on a reasonable basis.

If an Organization does not comply with these requirements, Hack Belgium is entitled to make public statements about that Organization’s lack of respect with these requirements, without incurring any liability towards that Organization.

 

 

I CAN’T MAKE IT THIS TIME, BUT I’D LOVE TO BRING MY COMPANY TO HACK BELGIUM 2020… CAN I DROP IN FOR A PEEK?

Yes!  We provide VIP guided tours for Hack Belgium.

Each tour is guided by one of the co-founders of Hack Belgium (Leo or Tjorven), and takes about an hour.  During the tour you’ll get an introduction to the event, meet a few participants, see the Technology Experience Zone for yourself, and network with other VIPs.

The number of places for the tours is limited, though. So, sign up through this link and we’ll let you know if we can find a spot for you.

 

 

WHY ARE TICKETS SO EXPENSIVE?

We believe that everyone will benefit from taking part in Hack Belgium, and we want to keep Hack Belgium accessible to everyone.  So even though a cost per participant is about EUR 600 (that’s not counting the food, which is another EUR 150 for three days), we make sure to make a few ticket categories very inexpensive.

Students and the unemployed can join the event for EUR 35 including VAT.  That’s about the price of a few beers.

A Citizen ticket (full access for the entire three days of Hack Belgium) is only EUR 100 including VAT – that’s the price for ONE DAY of Rock Werchter, Tomorrowland or Pukkelpop music festivals.  Considering that Hack Belgium can supercharge your career or open a whole new world of opportunities, the value for money is incredible.  

Freelancers, small companies (up to 200 employees) and nonprofit organizations (hospitals, charities, research institutions) can purchase PRO tickets at EUR 300 plus VAT, including breakfast, lunch and dinner for the three days.  That’s about half of what a freelancer would pay for a one-day professional conference, and a tiny part of the training budget for a non-profit or a startup.

You might be asking yourself how we can possibly make Hack Belgium happen if the tickets are so cheap…

Well, Enterprise tickets are EUR 1250 a piece (that’s just about EUR 400 per day, which is still cheaper than pretty much any training offered to corporates).  Plus, some companies contribute even more for additional services we offer them.

Subsidies help – though they only cover about 15% of the cost of organizing Hack Belgium, so the Hack Belgium team work at a minimum wage.

And of course the only way to make the event possible is volunteers.  All of our experts – nearly 200 of them – volunteer their time, anything from 2 hours to 6 days of it (thank you!!!).  Plus, each edition is supported by 30 or so volunteers who help us out with communications, technical work, and so on.

 

 

CAN I VOLUNTEER?

Yup. Believe it or not, but to make Hack Belgium mighty and big and extraordinary for everyone that is coming, we need more than 50 volunteers. Want to be part of a crew with a grand ironic sense of humor and endless beer supply? Sign up here. People of all skills and abilities are welcome.

We could always use a few more Experts – if you have a skill that you think will be useful for Hack Belgium participants, want to offer a workshop or share your knowledge one-on-one with them, do join us!  Experts of all kinds are welcome (we need about 200) – entrepreneurs, academic and industry people, and so on. Fill in this form, and one of our colleagues will get back to you with a few questions.

 

 

I THINK HACK BELGIUM COULD HELP MY ORGANIZATION TO BE MORE CREATIVE. CAN I BUY A FEW TICKETS FOR MY COLLEAGUES?

Absolutely, even though the next edition is really soon, it’s never too late.  Send us an email to Leo and let’s talk!

 

 

WE’D LOVE TO BRING SOME OF THE HACK BELGIUM MAGIC INSIDE OUR ORGANIZATION…  COULD YOU ORGANIZE A HACKATHON FOR US?

Of course.  Check out our work at http://hackbelgiumlabs.be – we’ve created hackathons for BNP Paribas Fortis, European Commission, UCB, Saint-Gobain and quite a few other companies.

 

 

CAN MY ORGANIZATION BECOME A HACK BELGIUM PARTNER?

Absolutely! Send us an email to Leo and let’s talk!

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