INNOVATION PROCESS IN BUSINESS IDEA GENERATION: A CASE OF AN ENTREPRENEURIAL HACKATHON

R. Khan, J. Heikkila, S. Mubaraz, J. Luomakoski
The entrepreneurial hackathons are suggested to be pedagogical innovations in entrepreneurial education. Students actively engage in an innovation process while generating business ideas. This paper seeks to study the innovation process during a hybrid entrepreneurial hackathon, a combination of both face-to-face and virtual learning platforms. International students from a Finnish higher educational institute participated in this event. In order to get a clearer understanding of the innovation process of business idea generation, three stages are explored during the hybrid hackathon: idea generation and identification, concept development, and concept evaluation and selection. This study follows a quantitative research methodology. The empirical data was collected through two surveys: the first one was given to the students in the beginning of the three-day hackathon and the second one at the end of the hackathon. Our analysis shows that according to the participants, external idea sources are as important as the internal idea sources and open innovation is the way to understand innovation. In addition, while determining the team approach, the participants assessed their approach as more conventional than out-of-the-box and somewhere between problem and solution centric. Furthermore, the participants were able to collect relevant information, assess the feasibility of their business ideas and were able to screen the best idea based on benefits and risks. This study contributes in providing insights into the innovation process and students’ approach to business idea generation during an entrepreneurial hybrid hackathon.
 

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