Emily: HEX Global Sprint (January 2021)

The 4 day HEX sprint was an awesome experience. Going into the programme I wasn’t too sure about how everything was going to work as everything was being held online. However, I definitely wasn’t disappointed and the programme exceeded my expectations of how a well virtual programme could be organised. The programme was based around teaching us the key skills of entrepreneurship, beginning with idea generation, market research, prototyping all the way till the last day when we had to pitch a startup idea to venture capitalists. The programme was only 4 days, so this was a lot of information to take in in such a short amount of time. Each day was very jam packed, usually consisting of a mixture of talks on various topics by experts, panels with industry professionals, workshops to learn different skills, working with your team on your startup idea, and networking/social events with alumni and fellow HEXies.

Each day ran from around 9am to 9pm New Zealand time. I definitely felt lucky being in this time zone because the American attendees had to stay up very late into the night to attend the workshops! My main takeaway from this programme is a better understanding of the importance of marketing yourself and your product. The programme outlined the importance of leveraging platforms such as Linkedin to search for opportunities and connect with professionals. These were concepts that I was not really exposed to before this experience and I am sure that they will be very valuable as I start my career after university. The programme is also a really good way to meet and work with people from different countries and backgrounds. I definitely met people that I would not usually have been able to work with outside of this programme. The programme itself was very well organised.

General communication was done using slack, workshops and panels were held on Zoom, and networking events were held on a platform called Remo, which was quite cool for networking because it allows you to move to different tables to talk with different people. Even though everything was virtual, it was very easy to get in touch with different people and ask mentors for help when you need it. It would have been nice to meet everyone in person, but I didn’t feel like I missed out on much just because the programme was held virtually. If you are thinking about taking the 4 day HEX sprint programme, I would recommend it. It is really intensive and quite stressful when you are in the middle of it and there were definitely days where it was quite overwhelming, but looking back it really opened my eyes to a lot of opportunities.

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