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Pratik Bhagat
Pratik Bhagat

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My Journey of Winning Smart India Hackathon 2022: Lessons and Tips for SIH 2023


Hey there, awesome folks!

I'm Pratik, and guess what? I had a blast winning the Smart India Hackathon 2022. 🎉 But you know what's even more exciting? The fact that the SIH 2023 excitement is in the air, and so many of you have been sliding into my DMs for a slice of advice. Well, you asked, and I'm delivering – in the form of this blog post!

So, whether you're a coding newbie or a hackathon pro, let's embark on a journey together. I'll spill the beans on how my team and I conquered SIH, and I've got some battle-tested tips up my sleeve to help you rock the 2023 edition. Ready to dive in?

Keep scrolling, and let's hack our way to success!

The Adventure Begins: Understanding SIH

The Smart India Hackathon (SIH) isn't just an event; it's an exhilarating journey that starts right at your college campus and takes you on a nationwide innovation roller coaster. So, let's break it down step by step:

Internal Hackathons: It all begins within the cozy confines of your own college. The SIH journey kicks off with internal hackathons, which can vary in structure from college to college. These hackathons are like the launchpad for your SIH experience. The college SPOC will be responsible to nominate the top 35 teams as per the internal hackathon results.

Connecting with Organizations: The real fun begins as your journey progresses to the next stage. The problem statements, the very heart of SIH, are sent to their respective organizations. This is where your innovation meets real-world challenges.

The Finale Beckons: Out of the numerous teams across the nation, only around 4 to 5 teams per problem statement are chosen. These selected teams become the crème de la crème, the contenders for the grand finale. And here's the exciting part—the finale isn't virtual. It's the time when your digital journey converges into a real-world gathering. The grand finale is held offline at various nodal centers scattered across India

Gearing Up for the Grand Finale: The teams gather, the excitement is palpable, and the energy is infectious. Your journey culminates in these grand finales, where you present your solution in person, face to face with the organizations that posed the challenges.

Picking the Problem Statement

Alright, let's spill some beans on a little secret to SIH success: finding the problem statement that clicks with your team's skills and interests is like nailing the first level of a game. It's crucial. Think about it - you wouldn't send a wizard to fight dragons without a wand, right?

Playing to Our Strengths: So, what did we do? Our chosen problem statement was a true masterpiece: "Anti-doping awareness cum sensitization through Gaming App." Ah, the world of sports, gaming, and drugs - a match made in... well, somewhere quite amusing. Who would've thought that we'd find ourselves fighting the villain of doping through the power of gaming? Now, don't get us wrong. We might not be the poster children for athleticism, but we did have a genuine interest in sports, gaming and drugs(maybe). And sure, the whole anti-doping angle sounded pretty darn important too.

So, the takeaway here? When picking your problem statement, make sure it's got a wink and a nod to your team's expertise and interests. It might not be the typical superhero backstory, but hey, it's yours. Own it, embrace it, and get ready to game-change your way through SIH!

Development Process

Alright, you've got your problem statement locked in. Now, let the coding games begin! This is where the magic happens.The golden rule? Solve, solve, solve. Dive into the problem statement into parts/sections. Understand every nook and cranny of the problem. Read it, re-read it, and then read it again. The key is to absorb the problem like a sponge in a rainstorm. Think of the problem statement as your blueprint. You're the architect who takes the blueprint and transforms it into a masterpiece. Whether you're coding your way through or building a no-code marvel, the goal remains the same: solve the problem. Here's the best part: you're not tied to a single path. You're free to pick the development tools, languages, or approaches that resonate with you. It's all about playing to your strengths and using your coding superpowers to overcome the challenge.

Presentation and Pitch

Breaking it Down: Imagine telling a story, but instead of bedtime tales, you're talking about your smart idea. Your goal? Make it easy for everyone – from the judges to regular folks – to understand what you're up to.

Process: Your presentation journey kicks off with the training round, your first encounter with the evaluators. Remember, first impressions can leave a lasting mark. This round is more than just a "hello." It's your chance to show that you've grasped the problem statement and are all set to tackle it head-on over the next 36 hours. Consider this round as the place where you set the stage for your entire presentation journey. The evaluators begin forming an opinion right from here. So, make sure they understand your solution and the path you're about to tread.

Now, it's time for the real journey – three evaluation rounds await you after the training. These rounds are your proving grounds. The judges take a closer look at your solution, how it evolves, and how you navigate challenges.

Now, for a twist. Throughout the journey, keep your radar tuned to the evaluators' feedback. Surprising, right? But here's the thing: the judges' suggestions for modifications hold higher importance than even the problem statement itself. Yes, you read that right. Evaluators see potential beyond the initial pitch; they see adaptability.

After the evaluation rounds, it's the moment you've been working towards – the final demo. Imagine standing in front of a panel of experts, ready to showcase your solution. It's your time to shine.

Winning Moment

The winning moment at the Smart India Hackathon. It's when all your hard work, late nights, and brainpower pay off in the most incredible way. You took an idea, crafted it into a solution, and presented it like a pro. Winning means your creation stood out among the rest. It's like turning a dream into reality.

Winning moment

Even if the top spot doesn't come your way, don't let that dim your spirit. The Smart India Hackathon is more than a trophy; it's an experience of a lifetime. It's about learning, growing, and enjoying the journey. Win or not, the memories you've created during this journey are yours to keep forever. The friends you've made, the skills you've honed – they're all part of your victory story.

Advice for SIH 2023 Participants

Choose Passion Over Trend: Opt for a problem statement that aligns with your passion, not just the trend. Your enthusiasm will fuel your journey.

Embrace Collaboration: Hackathons are team efforts. Embrace diverse skill sets, communicate openly, and watch how collaboration elevates your solution.

Innovate Fearlessly: Don't be afraid to think outside the box. Innovation often springs from unconventional ideas. Dare to be different.

Practice, Practice, Practice: Presentation skills matter. Rehearse your pitch till it's smooth. Engage your audience, and make your solution relatable.

Enjoy Every Step: The journey matters as much as the destination. Relish every moment, from ideation to presentation. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.


As SIH 2023 approaches, embrace the challenges, collaborate with your team, and relish every step of the process. The friendships, lessons, and solutions you create will stay with you far beyond the final pitch. So, go ahead, code your dreams, and make your mark in the world of innovation.

Here's to your journey and the impact you're about to make! Good luck! 🚀👩‍💻👨‍💻

Drop a like if you found this post helpful :) Have questions? Feel free to DM me on Twitter.

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