We talked to Richard Tordoya of Hackathon Brasil Community on how they offer free or low cost lectures and workshops for the whole community.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Richard Tordoya: Thanks to God, I am well, and some were contaminated with coronavirus in my family, and unfortunately, we lost a cousin.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Hackathon Brasil Community.
Richard Tordoya: I am an innovation specialist and founder of the Hackathon Brasil Community.
I was born and raised in a poor neighborhood in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. I managed to overcome life’s obstacles, and today I try to bring the opportunities that I didn’t have myself to the poor neighborhoods.
After working for almost 9 years in a bank, I decided to change my profession and become a systems developer. It was then that participating in a hackathon for the first time, and I fell in love with this event model.
I then had the idea to create a community that could provide anyone with the wonderful experience of participating in a marathon like this. So I founded the Hackathon Brasil Community.
How does Hackathon Brasil Community innovate?
Richard Tordoya: Based on the basic model of the hackathon methodology, we seek to create new dynamics and procedures that improve the results obtained at each event. For example, at the last NASA event, we organized in 2019, before the pandemic, we took an astronaut and a rock band to play at the close.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Richard Tordoya: With the reduction of face-to-face events, we had some contracts canceled, and some migrated to perform the hackathon in the online format. As a result, our finances were dramatically impacted.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Richard Tordoya: We have a small team, and it was unnecessary to reduce the number of employees. With the pandemic, we learn more and more to work remotely.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Richard Tordoya: The demand for meetings was completely transferred to the online model, through platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Richard Tordoya: We have not received any funds from the government.
Your final thoughts?
Richard Tordoya: Hackathon for those who don’t know, basically, it is a programming marathon where the technology experts come together to solve a problem. We organize hackathons and innovation events, providing a perfect environment for the development of new technological solutions that solve the problems of society and companies.
During the covid-19 pandemic, we carried out various activities to create solutions, which would help companies and people withstand the negative effects of this period.
A very cool example was the extra edition we organized of the NASA hackathon to fight Covid-19.