Previous researchers have examined the motivations of developers to participate in hackathons events and the challenges of open data hackathons, but limited studies have focused on the preparation and evaluation of these contests. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine factors that lead to the effective implementation and success of open data hackathons and innovation contests. Six case studies of open data hackathons and innovation contests held between 2014 and 2018 in Thessaloniki were studied in order to identify the factors leading to the success of hackathon contests using criteria from the existing literature. The results show that the most significant factors were clear problem definition, mentors’ participation to the contest, level of support to participants by mentors in order to launch their applications to the market, jury members’ knowledge and experience, the entry requirements of the competition, and the participation of companies, data providers, and academics. Furthermore, organizers should take team members’ competences and skills, as well as the support of post-launch activities for applications, into consideration. This paper can be of interest to organizers of hackathon events because they could be knowledgeable about the factors that should take into consideration for the successful implementation of these events.
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