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!


Any student, 18 or older, is welcome to apply!

Hackathon Sponsors


$7,500 in prizes

1st Prize

Oculus Go + Topo Design Klettersack / teammate

2nd Prize

Apple Airpods + Hydroflasks + Herschel backpack / teammate

3rd Prize

Fitbit Versa + Hammock + GitHub Backpack / teammate

Best Beginner Hack

Your team is eligible if more than half of your team is a first-timer during HackCU V.

Echo Dot / teammate

Best Hardware Hack

Best hack using hardware.

Arduino Kit / teammate

Best User Interface/Experience

Design the ultimate experience for your project to with this prize.

Fujifilm Instax Camera + 10 films / teammate

Most RANDOM hack

To the most random hack. Get crazy to win! (safety first please)

Prize: Surprise super-random prize (won't be announced until closing ceremony)

Kids + Bikes = happier, more attentive students in the classroom

The winner of this challenge will design a family based app or program that encourages kids to put down their phones & game consoles and throw a leg over their bike to experience the same wonders of the outdoors as we did. Your hack will be judged on its ability to extend the Riding For Focus program into the home, and extend it by adding elements not capable in a school setting. Make sure your solution gives parents the peace of mind that their kids (and their data) is safe.

Coolest Hack with Twilio

This prize goes out to the coolest hack with Twilio. Be it by combining various of our own APIs, use our APIs in ways we haven’t seen before or by solving a great problem with them. Your creativity sets all the limits in this one. Documentation: Check out Twilio Quest to learn Twilio APIs in a fun and interactive way (plus there will be credit and t-shirt awards):

Dish Device Tracker (2)

Track an object (thing) as it moves through any points on the CU Campus. There are many beneficial use cases for such a solution. It’s also important to be able to visualize or display the data in a meaningful way. Think about how your solution would solve a consumer pain-point or create some additional value for society. Think outside the box and don’t feel limited by any technology solution or distance. Questions? Contact us at the #dish - HackCU slack channel

Award: AirTV Player | 4K Media Streamer | for each team member. Winners will have the opportunity to demo their solutions at the Smart Spaces and Things Expo at Dish’s International HQ in Englewood, CO on Thursday May 23rd from 11-2 pm for both corporate executives and other Dish employees.

Design, Build or Break Cyber Games for K-12 Education (3)

This challenge asks for your creative ideas in cybersecurity to K-12 students through the use of games. Topics may include encryption, authentication, code hacking, cyber risk, and network analysis and mapping - you are free to choose your own topic related to cybersecurity, as well as topics will be provided.

Award: First Place – choice of: 1) Free trip to the Pentagon (DoD Headquarters) with the TCP Program with paid airfare, lodging, and custom tour for 3 days, 2 nights, or 2) Nintendo Switch Game Consoles. Second Place – choice of: 1) Circadence Project Ares Licenses, or 2) Google Home Minis - Smart Speakers with Google Assistant. Third Place: Tile Mate Item Trackers (2/person). All Participants: Pride and TCP SWAG.

Splunk Challenge

The team who processes and makes sense of the most unstructured data will win!

Award: A Splunk gift bag full of sweet swag.

Big Data Analytics: Non-Obvious Web Traffic gets many anonymous visitors to its website. Though we may not know exactly who each visitor is, we would like to
observe their behavior and group them into clusters, so we can personalize their onsite experience. By analyzing our web behavioral data
(clickstream) and finding natural-like groupings (clusters) amongst our visitors, we will be able to match the right web content to the right visitor at
the right time

Award: "Bag of Swag with Mystery High Tech Goodies, and Presentation to SVP Marketing & Sales Data"

Best use of Twitter API

Prize for the best use of the public Twitter API. Make sure to register using the form as soon as possible so you can get approved as a developer on the Twitter developer platform.

Award: Twitter Camelback, Twitter beanie, Twitter mug, Twitter notebook / team member, and the winning team will get to pitch their hack to management at the Twitter Boulder office over free lunch!

Twisted hackers

Use your creativity and our APIs to bring even more features to Twist. Integrate Twist with apps you think will enhance the product experience or be creative and build new features of your own.


Prize: One Google home mini + One Todoist lifetime account + $100 in Twist Unlimited credit for each team member

Best usage of Typeform APIs

Use a Typeform in your hack, retrieve answers using webhooks or with the APIs create and modify forms on the fly. The most original hack using Typeform will be awarded. Come to the API 101 workshop. Contact Michael or Nicolas if you have any question :)

Award: 3 Makeymakey collector edition (1 per team member)

RapidAPI Best OctoAPI Hack

Don’t worry, you don’t have to use 8 APIs in your project to be in the running. To be eligible to win this prize is pretty simple. All you have to do is use 2 or more APIs through the RapidAPI platform. It can be any of the 8,000+ APIs on the marketplace, the more APIs you use the better! Bonus points for creating and exposing your API publicly or privately using RapidAPI to add authentication, billing, analytics, and more. Important URLS:,,

Best Smart contract usage (3)

Use smart contracts to be elegible for this prize.

MLH: Best Use of Snap Kit

Use Snap Kit's web or mobile SDK in your hack. Each winning team member will receive a pair of Spectacles by Snapchat or another awesome prize.
Snap Kit:

MLH: Best use of Google Cloud Platform

Use Google Cloud Platform in your hack. Find a full list of GCP products & services at: Each winning team member will receive a Google Home Mini, max 4 per team.

MLH: Best Domain Registered with

Register a domain using during the weekend. Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. Each winning team member will receive a Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit.

MLH: Best IoT Hack using a Qualcomm Device

Use a Qualcomm device, like the Dragonboard 410C, in your IoT project. Each winning team member will receive their own DragonBoard 410C.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:




Judging Criteria

  • Technology
    How technically impressive was the hack?
  • Design
    How intuitive is the user interface and experience?
  • Completion
    How complete is the hack and was the team able to accomplish what they wanted to achieve?
  • Learning
    How much did the team stretch themselves to learn something new?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.