We’re a 36 hour event hosted at Iowa State University where college students from around the
country compete to create innovative hardware and software projects. The HackISU was first held in
the Fall of 2013 and has grown in each of the previous semesters. At our fourth event in September,
over 250 talented students attended, making it our largest event yet. We hope to continue our success
with an even larger event this Spring. Throughout our event students display their skills as they aim to
impress and compete to make brand new ideas a reality.
HackISU is completely free for students to attend which gives any interested student the
opportunity to join us during the weekend to learn, create, and have fun. The event gives attendees the
opportunity to utilize and apply their knowledge to help solve problems or make useful applications.
HackISU uniquely serves students in the midwest by giving them access to an opportunity to connect
with other students, learn new skills, and interact with sponsoring companies.


Pardicipants: Individuals (over 18 and enrolled in college the current semester or one previous semester).

Countries: United States


Submissions must include visuals from your project, all team members, and a short description of functionality.

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,300 in prizes

Best Software Hack

One team will take the prize of best software hack!

Best Hardware Hack

One team will take the prize of best hardware hack!

Best Entrepreneurial Hack

One team with the most technically impressive and viable project will take home this prize.

Best Use of Cloud Computing by Workiva

Cloud computing is revolutionizing the development and delivery of business to business (B2B) solutions as well
as consumer services. Transforming monolithic products into a distributed cluster of services, promoting better
leverage of existing services and the development advantages of independent services. Advancements in
virtualization and containerization are making a big impact on deploying and managing software. One of the
most visible trends in shared infrastructure is the use of container technology such as Docker, Google Container
Engine (GCE) and Amazon's EC2 Container Service (ECS). These platforms are making the development and
deployment of sophisticated, scalable services more approachable than ever. This award would like to recognize
the team that best demonstrates the principles of cloud computing within their project.

Best Internet of Things Hack by Vermeer

Vermeer's judges will be looking for projects that connect devices. The best internet of things projects will be
creative applications that stretch the limits of the modularity of the system, robustness of the system to
expansion, simplicity, scalability, and overall impact.

Best Healthcare or Wellness Hack by Optum

Optum's representatives be looking for the most innovative use of technology in alignment with their company
mission of Helping People Live Healthier Lives. Take a look at Optum's Missions & Values page for more info, or
look at their Innovation page for inspiration.
Hackers should think in terms of projects for promoting healthy choices, managing/improving diet, promoting
physical activity, removing barriers for individuals with disabilities, managing chronic health conditions,
improving health care delivery, reducing waste/fraud from the current healthcare delivery system, promoting
health/wellness in the communities we live and work, etc. Preference will be given to teams who can
demonstrate that they’re doing something in an innovative way that generally hasn’t been done before.

Best Use of GForge API

Build something great using GForge's API - like a mobile version of Team Chat, a Task/Queue manager, a Team
Status Wall, or whatever else you come up with.
Engineering from GForge will be around for nearly all of HackISU, ready to demo the API, answer questions and
provide any other assistance. Check out the live API and docs right now at https://next.gforge.com/apidoc

Best Domain.com Hack

Provided by MLH - Team with the best domain registered on Domain.com wins a Domain.com Swag Pack with an Arduino RedBoard

Best Github Developer Tool

Provided by MLH - Best Github Developer Tool. Anything that makes developers' lives easier!

2nd Place Overall

3rd Place Overall

Sukup Innovation Award

Rockwell Collins Innovation Award

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Registraction is now closed.


Emilee Richardson

Emilee Richardson
Past President of the Greater Des Moines Young Professionals Connection

Bill Adamowski

Bill Adamowski
ISU Research Park

Kyle Blocher

Kyle Blocher
Blocher Consulting

Allen Bierbaum

Allen Bierbaum
VP of Technology at Priority 5

Mike Vesey

Mike Vesey
Founder of IdentityRamp and President of VCI Inc.

Brett Harper

Brett Harper
VP of Product Development at Workiva

Steve Carter

Steve Carter
ISU Research Park

Chris Meinders

Chris Meinders
Lead Developer at Sukup

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Difficulty
    What are the challenges you ran into when making your projects and how did you overcome them?
  • Inventiveness
    What's your unique solution to the problem you found?
  • Wow Factor
    How are you blowing away the judges' expectations of what's possible in 36 hours?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

Grace Hopper Sponsors
John Atanasoff Sponsors
Ada Lovelace Sponsors
Charles Babbage Sponsor

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