Junction Interview with Ville from Aaltoes

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##Despite the busy schedule, we recently had a chat with the Junction Finland team to talk about things aside from the technicalities of organizing a hackathon!

##Can you tell us a bit about Junction and how you got involved with it?

Junction was dreamt up a little over a year ago after one of our teammates visited a few hackathons in the U.S. The idea was to bring the “hackathon” concept to Finland and of course do it with our own entrepreneurial flair. We got to work and then in the fall of 2015 we successfully held Junction for the first time, attracting some 500 hackers, coders, designers, and doers from over 30 countries around the world. This year’s Junction team is made of many of the same people that helped build Junction 2015 with of course some fresh faces sprinkled in. The energy and excitement of building something totally new from the ground up is what drew many of us in!

##Junction started out in Finland and Junction Asia will be held in Tokyo for the first time. So why Japan? How did you come to this decision

The story started from Daiki who volunteered at Junction in Helsinki. Daiki was excited about the event and proposed if it would be possible to organize a similar type of a hackathon in Tokyo as well. After Junction, we met in Helsinki with some of the Slush Asia guys visiting Helsinki and had a chat about the subject. We were thrilled about the excitement from the local team. In January the team sent us a message saying they would want to move forward with the idea and now we are here. The landscape in Japan and in Finland is actually quite similar. Both are societies with huge tech potential but still the economy has been struggling. It is really cool to be a part of the change in the mentalities of the young generation. Youth are starting to realize that the world is full of opportunities and why not try them. All of this in addition to the presence and success of Slush Asia in Tokyo made Tokyo a logical choice.

##It is great how the youth are stepping up to take up the opportunities and challenge themselves. Is there anything difference between Junction and Junction Asia? What is special about Junction/Junction Asia?

While Junction and Junction Asia share much of the same ideology both have their unique touches. Both events believe in the power of making and doing and seek to inspire participants to hack the future and have fun while doing so. Junction Asia is different in that it is a smaller more intimate event that allows participants to get to know each other on a more personal level. Of course Junction Asia also draws upon the Japanese culture. An affinity for high tech and a strong sense of community are Japanese values which will surely be seen at Junction Asia.

##You mentioned that Junction Asia will be a smaller event but still you are expecting 200 participants which is a large number for a hackathon. Was there anything that was particularly challenging in organizing Junction? Or in bringing Junction to Japan?

Well, the whole project was a huge effort from the team and later on we’ve been wondering how it was really possible. Building an event from scratch into the biggest hackathon in Europe was a true adventure. Now after one hackathon under our belt we more or less know the ins and outs of building such an event. Once we learned of the possibility of building Junction in Asia we were extremely excited to see what the project would bring. Teaching the new team and the long distance between has been challenging but it has been really rewarding to work with the extremely motivated team in Tokyo.

##A motivated team is indispensable for a big event like this. What are your hopes for the Junction Asia?

We truly believe it will be an awesome event bringing together talented developers and the newest tech in a cool environment. It’s not all about hacking but also about the spirit of doing together and learning from each other.

##We hope that this will be a successful event! Would you like to give a message to the readers? Hack the Future!



Contact: junctionasia@gmail.com