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  • Why is a hackathon a developer sprint but not the other way around?
  • Does an elevator pitch necessarily have to be delivered in an elevator?

We have the answers to these burning questions!

If you’ve ever felt lost in a jungle of startup jargon and buzzwords, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a little startup lexicon to give you a clearer look at terms like hackathons, elevator pitches, and more.

The differences between a developer sprint and a hackathon


  • In a developer sprint, a challenge refers to a specific obstacle or problem that the development team needs to overcome or complete within the designated sprint timeframe.
  • Overcoming challenges requires problem-solving and collaboration to find effective solutions and ensure the successful completion of the sprint’s objectives.


2 weeks before demo day


/ˈkɪk ɔːf/
  • A kick-off marks the start of a developer sprint with the challenge partner and participating teams coming together.
  • The kick-off meeting typically includes a detailed description of the challenge that needs to be solved and questions are answered. In some cases, data is provided.

Rapid Prototyping

/ˈræp.ɪd ˈprəʊtətaɪpɪŋ/
  • Rapid prototyping refers to the process of quickly (mostly within two weeks) creating functional or visual prototypes of a product or feature.
  • The goal is to develop a simplified version of the product or feature that showcases its core functionality and user experience.

Demo day

Pitch Deck

/pɪtʃ dek/
  • A pitch deck is a presentation or slide deck communicating the key aspects of a product, project, or idea to stakeholders, investors, or potential clients.
  • It includes the problem being addressed, the proposed solution, market analysis, target audience, competitive advantage, business model, and potential financial projections.
  • A pitch deck is supposed to convey the value proposition, market opportunity, and potential impact of the product or project, aiming to generate interest and support.

Reverse Pitching

/rəˈvəːs pɪtʃ/
  • In reverse pitching, the challenge partners present their specific business challenges, market needs, or problems they are seeking solutions for.
  • Startups, or solution providers pitch their innovative ideas, products, or services as potential solutions.
  • The goal is to foster collaboration and innovation by aligning the solutions offered by startups with the needs and challenges identified by the challenge partner.

Elevator Pitch

/ˈel.ə.veɪ.t̬ɚ ˌpɪtʃ/
  • An elevator pitch is a concise and compelling summary of a product, service, or idea that can be delivered in the time of an elevator ride (around 30 seconds to two minutes).
  • Its goal is to grab the listener’s attention and communicate the core value proposition or unique selling points of the product/service.
  • An effective elevator pitch should answer the questions: 
    • “What problem does it solve?” 
    • “How does it solve the problem?” 
    • “Why is it unique or valuable?”

After demo day

Scoping workshop

/skoʊp ˈwɝːk.ʃɑːp/
  • A scoping workshop is a collaborative session to establish the scope and objectives of a particular development project or feature. Its primary goal is to align all people involved on the project’s purpose, deliverables, and overall direction.
  • The output helps to set expectations, guide the development team’s efforts, and facilitate effective decision-making throughout the sprint.


/ˌem viː ˈpi/
  • An MVP (“minimum viable product”) is the most basic version of a product that contains only core features and functionalities.
  • The focus of an MVP is to test the product’s viability in the market and gather feedback to reduce development time and resources.
  • An MVP allows for faster time-to-market, reduces the risk of building a product without product-market-fit, and provides a basis for further product development and enhancements.