HackCU 2020



HackCU’s general challenge includes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners. This challenge will be evaluated based on the overall creativity of the team and their project, questions selected by HackCU organizers, as well as any additional criteria mandated by the judges.

All Beginner

Hackathons are a great way for beginners in technology—from the workshops to software resources provided by HackCU, we want first-time hackers to learn and build a project first hand. This track will assess the best hack created by a team of all beginner hackers.

Best UX/UI

As crucial as the technology behind a project is, for the best engagement from users it is necessary to have a good user interface that not only fits the needs of the user but also enhances their experience. The track will be judged based on the aesthetic nature of the project’s user design, as well as how effectively it amplifies the purpose of the project.

Empowering Underrepresented People in Tech

As a result of its endless reach, technology has the power to bring together people of different backgrounds, yet there have been many limitations in doing so due to bias in gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. This track aims to create a hack that empowers an underrepresented group of people.


As the number of people facing the harsh consequences of climate change increases, sustainability continues to be a growing problem for the world that needs to be addressed. Hackers for this track will use their technical skills, as well, apply their critical thinking skills to develop a project that addresses a real-world environmental issue.

Social Impact

Technology is a powerful tool that allows us to identify and combat real-world problems that billions of people face around the world today. This track will be assessed based on the project’s ability to propose a resolution for a social issue.

Wolfram Alpha Challenge

Wolfram | One is the world's first fully cloud-desktop hybrid, integrated computation platform: the ideal entry point to using the full capabilities of the Wolfram technology stack. Hackers for this sponsored track will create a project using Wolfram | One (provided by HackCU) or another Wolfram Alpha product of the hacker’s choice.

Best Use of Adobe XD

Use Adobe XD in any of the HackCU categories, showcasing your ideas best digital design solution and user experience! Questions? Contact us at the #Adobe - HackCU slack channel.

Most Creative Usage of Twitter API

This prize aims to see how students can most creatively use Twitter!

Best Use of TapWithUS SDK

Use TapWithUs SDKs to build a custom integration and control any device. Showcase your ideas, app or solution demonstrating a customized user experience! Click here for details. Questions? Contact us at the #TapWithUs - HackCU slack channel.

Dish Network Challenge

Create a system to incentivize students to anonymously share a data value. Examples are mobile usage data, test scores or any other data set. Judging criteria: innovative use of technology, business value and impact, completeness of implementation, and clarity of presentation. Bonus points for use of zero knowledge technology!


Our Story

HackCU was started in 2014 by a group of passionate students who wanted to provide other students the time and space to work on projects they don't normally work on through school. Since then we've been committed to fulfilling our mission of bringing you high-quality, inclusive events open to people of all levels of experience.


Why You?

Like to write programs? Dig into interesting datasets? Design creative works? Or maybe you’ve never written a line of code? We will provide the space and the resources for you to express your creativity, ingenuity, and determination to create anything you want to. Whether you’re building your first website, dabbling in Photoshop, or hacking with an Oculus Rift, HackCU is for you. HackCU is for people of all backgrounds and experiences. So, come and join us!


What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is best described as an “invention marathon”. Anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build & share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Who can attend?

We welcome any student 18 or older to participate!

Do I need a team? How large are teams?

Don’t have a team? We got you covered. We will have time before hacking begins for hackers to get together and form teams. You can have a maximum of 4 members on your team.


How much does HackCU cost?

HackCU is absolutely free to attend. We will also provide meals, snacks, and refreshments!

Will you offer travel reimbursement?

Reimbursement applications are now closed!

Will there be food?

Plenty, we will provide three meals a day as well as snacks, drinks, and caffeine.


What should I bring?

In order to check-in, you must have a government or school-issued ID. But, you should also bring your laptop, laptop charger, phone, chargers, headphones, toiletries, and a reusable water bottle. However, please be aware that there is no sleeping allowed at the venue, so please plan accordingly.

What if I have another question?

Tweet us at @hackcu or drop us a line at contact@hackcu.org


What if I am not a student?

Be a volunteer or mentor! Help out with our hackathon! Check out the Volunteer or Mentor window below to sign up.

Can I reuse a previous project?

You can NOT use anything that you have started prior to the event. You can think of ideas for your project, but you must start from scratch when you arrive.

Do I have to be a programmer?

Absolutely not! It doesn’t matter if you are a designer, a writer, or a chemist. There is a place for you here. Prior to hacking, there will be a team formation session to help form teams.

Event Schedule
Day 1
Time Event
8:00 am Arrival and Check-In
8:00 am Breakfast 1
9:00 am Career Fair
11:00 am Opening Ceremonies
12:00 pm Team Formation
12:00 pm Hacking Begins!
12:00 pm Lunch 1
6:00 pm Dinner 1
11:00 pm Desserts
Day 2
Time Event
8:00 am Breakfast 2
12:00 pm Hacking Ends
12:00 pm Lunch 2
12:30 pm Project Expo / Judging
3:00 pm Closing Ceremonies
Volunteer or Mentor
Want to build HackCU with us?

Help us make this happen and welcome over 400 awesome hackers.
Event Location
HackCU VI will be happening at the JSCBB on February 22nd and 23rd
Interested in supporting HackCU? Consider donating to our funding link here!