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Shawee: A Platform for Hackathons


Is there a marathon for coding, a place for computer programmers to come together? Yes, there is! These types of events exist and are called hackathons, from the words “hack” and “marathon”.

When you think about social events held in Brazil, surely a hackathon won’t come to mind. But, the land of carnivals, beach parties, and football matches is also known for the evolving tech industry and a lot of talented developers.

Brazil hosts these coding festivals, and because of that, three young and passionate people, Rodrigo Terron, Abraão Sena, and Wendel Nascimento, decided to bring these events to a new level and make their organization easier. They got together, did a hackasprint, and the result was an online hackathon platform. Their idea was to make hackathon events more accessible to developers and other experts in the field.

The three young men brought companies and programmers closer together, making hackathons more common events in Brazil.

To see how this heck of a hackathon platform came to be, continue reading below.

Warming up for the Marathon

Rodrigo Terron, the CEO of Shawee, was born in 1992 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A smart and curious child, young Rodrigo always wanted to learn more. His keen interest in technology started to show from a very young age.

Growing up in a time of big technological improvements, the industry grabbed his attention and made Rodrigo inspired to solve problems using technology. The youngster became interested in innovations and creative processes encircling the world of technology. It wasn’t long before Rodrigo, the teenager, started looking at things from a business perspective.

Abraão Sena, the COO of Shawee, was also born in the most populated Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, in 1986. Young Abraão preferred spending his time learning rather than kicking a ball outside with other kids. His intelligence and motivation persevered throughout his adolescence, leading Abraão towards success, later in his life.

Wendel Nascimento, CTO of the company, is the youngest of the three co-founders. Born in 1995 in Sao Paulo, Wendel was manifesting signs of high intelligence from a young age. Always being a step ahead of his peers, he was showing exceptional results in school.

Wendel’s main interest was technology, occupying most of his time and energy. But he was more than just a bookworm. Young Wendel exhibited a proactive attitude and passion for coming up with his own ideas for solving problems.

Running Towards Success

After finishing high school, the three Shawee founders embarked on different adventures.

Rodrigo went on to study information technology at the Centro Universitário FMU while working in a call center at the same time. After graduating, he went to work as a strategy coordinator for Grupo Intervalor. He worked there for three years, eventually landing a job as a city director in ProtoHack.

In 2015, Rodrigo decided to start something on his own — a startup called Horizon Four emerged. It was a software-developing technology startup. Besides its primary goal, the company also organized various events like panels, innovation forums, training, and hackathons.

Abraão was working in a few different places. After attaining a degree in Accounting and Business from the FECAP University, Abraão started as an accounting intern at Planservi Engenharia Ltda. After that, he was worked at Mazars in Brazil as an assistant, and at KPMG as a finance controller.

Finally, in 2015, Abraão’s and Rodrigo’s paths crossed. Abraão started working in Horizon Four, leading the finance department and being in charge of the strategic planning.

Wendel attained a degree in Informational Technologies and Programming from Centro Paula Souza. Shortly after, he was working as a web developer for Abril Mídia, and Senai.

When Rodrigo and Abraão had to organize a hackathon for a client, they came head to head with numerous difficulties and problems. There was a lot of manual work included, and meticulous paperwork to be done. All the developed data from the projects had to be separated, which was too much information to be processed manually.

It was the breaking point that led to the invention of Shawee. Teamed up with the talented programmer, Wendel, Rodrigo and Abraão decided to digitize the process of organizing a hackathon.

A Relay Race

Rodrigo, Abraão, and Wendel started working together on an online platform that will connect coders to companies. They wanted Shawee to be accessible for anyone, and to take care of all the steps of organizing a hackathon. Relocating hackathons online was a pretty revolutionary idea. Their platform provides a methodology that helps with every step of organizing a hackathon, from registration to the evaluation of the final results.

Being passionate about these coding fests and understanding the benefits they can bring, the three co-founders needed to make themselves, i.e. Shawee known. They were thrilled to see the possible products as an outcome of coding marathons and share the breakthrough with as many companies in the field.

The trio faced many challenges at the beginning of their project. They had to finance Shawee themselves if they wanted to make it work. Also, the culture of hackathons was not as developed in Brazil as it was in other countries.

Facing these problems meant a lot of hard work and sacrifice to turn their vision into reality. With their hearts on their sleeves, the young entrepreneurs believed in themselves and their idea. The three founders were not stepping down or straying from their goal. Once they had a client that wanted the participants of the hackathon to sign confidentiality clauses before entering. Rodrigo, Abraão, and Wendel decisively refused the notion since that was not in line with their vision and their values.

Eventually, the company started seeing success, with more and more hackathons being organized on their platform. Revenue started coming in so their investment was not wasted, and the pleasure of spreading the culture of hackathons in Brazil was spiced up with financial gain too.

The Finish Line is Getting Closer

Shawee is based in Sao Paulo, the hometown of the three founders. Rodrigo Terron is the current CEO of the company. The COO position is for Abraão Sena, and Wendel Nascimento is the CTO of Shawee. It all started as an idea between hackathon enthusiasts and turned into a prosperous company providing a successful online platform.

Shawee is a self-financed company that has made a revenue of $1.6 so far. It raised the number of employees to 25. The number of hackathons organized by Shawee goes over 150, with more than 10.000 users. Besides organizing hackathons in Brazil, the company has entered the U.S. market as well, starting in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Shawee has participated in important tech events like - Web Summit, Tech Days New york and Disrupt SF. The platform has been used to organize hackathons by more than 40 companies, and some of them are big names like UBER, IBM, Samsung, Sony Music, and VISA, among others.

The company’s goal is to catch the attention of developers, engaging them in these events, thus help CEOs and HR specialists discover and keep talents in their companies.

Shawee is a story of three young people that followed their love and passion. As youngsters in exotic Brazil, they could have stayed with their steady jobs and organized parties to spend their salaries on. Not them! Those guys decided to get into the business of organizing parties for computer geeks.

A marathon for the fingers! A hackathon for the brain!