AngelHack’s Best Kept Secret: How They Scaled to 50,000 Developers in Three Years

[This is a repost of an article from TechInAsia.]


AngelHack, the three-year-old Four Steps to the Epiphany, defines a startup as a "temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model." When a business model is(…) “>startup that specializes in global hackathons, is by no means a secret to it’s global hacker community, however, the fact that it is owned by a woman and operated by an almost all female team, is.

With 19 employees, the women in this group fall into a category that is pretty hard to find in tech, yet they have managed to gain an active following of 50,000 predominantly male developers, entrepreneurs and designers.  So how exactly did the ladies of AngelHack scale their highly sought-after community with an almost all male demographic?

Enter AngelHack CEO, Sabeen Ali, who prior to AngelHack founded, ran and sold her leadership training and organizational development consultancy. She worked with Fortune 100 companies and holds a M.S. degree in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. In 2011, Ali moved her focus to AngelHack, becoming the silent force behind this new phenomenon in the global tech startup scene. Ali’s goal back then and today: make AngelHack – and the term “hacker” synonymous with a community of innovators and make hackathons a valuable service for leading companies.

Ali’s philosophy was simple: make their developers happy! AngelHack quickly grew their community base by engaging with developers as people not commodities. This successful approach opened AngelHack to developer marketing opportunities and allowed the company to play the role of the mentor when evangelizing new software or products.

AngelHack thrives off diversity, both in its corporate team and within their developer community.  With 85 percent male and 15 percent female, AngelHack boasts the largest number of women developers in their community. While bridging the gap between tech communities all over the world, AngelHack also realized that the most effective way to scale would be to build a bridge between innovation and the people using innovative products: women!

In 2015 AngelHack will continue its mission to be the most diverse developer ecosystem in the world with 50 global hackathons in the Spring of 2015. On April 17th, 2015, Ali will be returning to the TEDx stage advocating for women in tech at TEDx Iran “Tipping Point”. Ultimately, what the women of AngelHack want to champion is that the word “hacker” is synonymous with “innovator” and not exclusive to any gender or race.