If you were disappointed about missing out on Hype Up Weekend, the vaporware hackathon in San Francisco, here’s an event for you: Tilt, a “brainstorming competition” where participants playing the role of “founders” will design product ideas around an assigned theme. The “startups” will be evaluated by participants playing the role of “investors,” competing to get the biggest portfolio and speculating via an internal stock market that will run on the participants’ smartphones. A real, live New York venture capitalist–exactly who will be announced on the date of the event–will make an appearance. It all takes place in one Saturday afternoon on April 21 in Tribeca.
You might be tempted to call Tilt a hackathon, but the event expressly forbids hacking. “This is about business ideas and their viability,” the event advertises. “Design skills, production, marketing and branding are as valuable as software development.”
Justin Moses, a New York consultant and founder, organized the event to recreate the feeling of brainstorming with his cofounder.
“Essentially, we’ve taken the brainstorming out of a hackathon and made an event purely consisting of idea creation,” he wrote in an email. “The major advantage we have is that it’s not limited to hackers – but rather to talented individuals – designers, business types, marketers – interested in working at a startup.”
The hackathon, or ideathon or whatever, isn’t even about the ideas, he said. “This is a game; the ideas themselves are somewhat incidental,” he wrote. “The goal is for different sorts of people to have the chance to work together and see how they do. perhaps you could vet a new co-founder, or meet your next collaborator.”
Adam Parrish, a developer, consultant and founder of Neosavvy, is co-organizing the event.
Local founder Alex Kehayias described it to Betabeat as a “hackathon meets game show.” In one of Tilt’s promotional videos, he quips, “Tilt is a competition that makes people think on the fly about complex business ideas–startup ideas–and basically make them happen in four or five hours.”
Sounds perfect for New York, which is short on technical talent and long on ideators. ”Experience the startup life in a single afternoon; you might just find your next cofounder,” says the site.