1. August 22, 2014

    Get Pumped for MHacks & Cal Hacks

    MHacks & Cal Hacks

    We’re super excited to announce that ChallengePost is powering both MHacks & Cal Hacks this fall.

    Speaking of MHacks, we looked back at all the great projects from MHacks Fall 2013 & Winter 2014 and picked out a few of our favorites:

    Workflow, Green Can, Follow Me, High Five

    Workflow from Ari Weinstein, Veeral Patel, Nick Frey, and Conrad Kramer

    The Grand Prize at MHacks Winter 2014 - workflow allows you to automate daily tasks from your iPad.

    Green Can from Zach Lawrence, Andres Toro, and Joshua Drubin

    A trash can that sorts your garbage based on the sound it makes when you throw it in.

    Follow Me from Jonah Kirby, Austin Wells, Alex Fulton, and Alec Sims.

    “I know the way, just follow me…” Now there is an app for that.

    High Five from Canzhi Ye, Kevin Wu, and Jacob Van Geffen

    Want to really connect with somebody you meet? Open the High Five app to instantly follow & friend each other on Twitter & Facebook.

  2. August 20, 2014

    33 Brilliant Hackathons & Challenges

    We’re in the dog days of summer, but there are plenty of cool hacking opportunities to escape the heat! Dive into 21 new hackathons and 12 online challenges from Rackspace, Mozilla, PubNub, Ford, Al Jazeera, TechCrunch, and more.

    This is just the start of our fall lineup. Sign up here to join our new challenge & hackathon newsletter.

    Hack Something Awesome

    Computer Vision & Facial Recognition

    Media & Storytelling

    • The MediaThon: Inspire the News!
      (Pittsburgh, PA 9/6)
      Gather in a fun, creative, and competitive environment to create media that highlights the possibilities of the news business of the future.

    • Al Jazeera Innovation Challenge: $25,000 in prizes
      (Global - Ends 9/30)
      Nonlinear Narratives: design and build innovative storytelling applications in a competition from the Innovation and Research group at Al Jazeera Media Network.

    Transportation & Mobility

    Internet of Things, Sensors, 3D Printing, and Music

    • Additive Sounds: 3D Printing & the Future of Music Technology
      (London, UK 9/5–7)
      Join Imperial College’s biggest hackathon yet, hosted by Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH) and 3D printer manufacturer Ultimaker. Create new musical innovations using 3D printing and commonly available electronic parts (provided).

    • HACKANODE 2014: $16,500 in prizes
      (Global - Ends 9/24)
      Get the award-winning NODE+ (free loaner units!) — a highly flexible, advanced, and sophisticated sensor platform that tracks temperature, pressure, humidity, color, movement, and more.

    • The Global Webit Congress IoT Hackathon 2014
      (Istanbul, Turkey 10/1–2)
      Build relationships and collaborate with global tech giants from Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

    3D Visualization

    Retail & Fashion

    • Retail Week Hackathon
      (London, UK 9/17–18)
      Create the ultimate customer experience during the Retail Week Technology and Ecommerce Summit. 
    • Decoded Fashion Hackathon
      (London, UK 9/20–21)
      Enhance the consumer experience for fashion and retail brands in Westfield at the world’s first hackathon in a shopping center. 

    Finance Tech

    • Hack/TheBank Barcelona
      (Barcelona, Spain 9/17)
      A fintech hackathon where programmers, designers, and business leaders are brought together to brainstorm and create software for retail banking, capital markets, payments, and big data.

    Health Tech

    • Med Hack - San Francisco
      (San Francisco, CA 9/6–7)
      Spark new health tech innovations in a fun and competitive environment for unique awards such as “Most Fundable,” “Most Practical,” “Best Hack,” and “Monster Hackers.”

    • Dental Hackathon: $3,000 in prizes
      (New York, NY 9/13–14)
      Join digital dentistry experts to develop desktop, mobile, and cloud hacks and apps for dentists and dental laboratories.

    • Grey Healthcare Group Health Outcomes Code-a-Thon: $7,000 in prizes
      (New York, NY 9/20–21)
      Form new ideas and prototypes that improve health outcome measures as they relate to the Affordable Care Act and the larger US healthcare system.

    Make People’s Lives Better

    • Caitlin’s Closet Hackathon
      (Dothan, AL 8/23–24)
      Caitlin’s Closet started with a dress and a goal to prepare young women for success. Create tech-driven solutions to expand the reach and impact of this empowering program.

    • Create for the Kingdom: $9,750 in prizes
      (Austin, TX 9/12–14)
      A hackathon event from the Christian perspective, inviting everyone, regardless of worldview, to join in on solving large challenges and build a healthier and stronger society.

    • Meeting of the Minds 2014 Hackathon: $5,000 in prizes
      (Detroit, MI 9/30–10/1)
      Teams of one to four participants will work all night to build mobile apps the improve the livability of cities. The top three teams will pitch their applications to an audience of 350+ urban sustainability and technology leaders from Fortune 500 companies and leading NGOs from around the world.

    • Leading Age HackFest: $10,000 in prizes
      (Nashville, TN 10/18–19)
      Meet students and professionals from around the country and create an innovative, technology-driven tool to improve the lives of older adults and their families.

    Public Safety & Disaster Response

    • The Fueled 2014 Hackathon: $500 in prizes
      (New York, NY 9/20)
      Leverage White House Safety Data to build innovative applications usable by individuals of all technical ability. The four tracks of this hackathon are: crime/law enforcement, emergency response, natural disaster response, and public safety/societal issues.

    For High School Students

    • HackDC: $7,168 in prizes
      (Washington, DC 12/13–14)
      High school students participating in HackDC this fall are invited to create apps and future companies that will improve our daily lives.


    • AstriCon Hackathon
      (Las Vegas, NV 10/21–22)
      Create, code, and design apps built on Asterisk, Respoke, and other communications APIs at the first ever AstriCon Hackathon.

    Apps & Games

    • Alpha Game Jam
      (San Francisco, CA 9/12–14)
      Join up with game devs of all experience levels and prototype a game that could be the next big thing! Hosted at Microsoft’s SF campus.

    • 1° Hackathon CTA UNESP
      (São Paulo, Brazil 10/18–19)
      Develop HTML5 games for Firefox OS, and learn more about the open web from talks by Mozillians.

  3. August 7, 2014

    Getting From Hackathon to App Store

    This week Neal and I caught up with Velina Ivanova, to talk about launching her new app, Indulge, in the App Store.

  4. August 4, 2014

    Richard’s YC Hacks Round Up + Software Search + Upcoming Hackathons

    YC Hacks

    YC Hacks

    Fresh off the red eye from Mountain View, I want to share my favorite entries with you from Y Combinator’s YC Hacks hackathon. The hacks were out of the world and you can find them all here.


    I sat next to the EVOO team for most of the event and loved the product they came up with. EVOO is designed to help you quickly discover and plans meals for diverse dietary needs. Within the app meals are broken down into timed tasks to make all the steps simple to walk through.

    Trader Bro’s

    Trader Bro’s uses Amazon product reviews to predict a company’s stock price movements. One of my favorite things about this project is that the team had to wait until around 4am Sunday morning to see if their “Impact Score” successfully tracked against a stock price - thankfully it does, as you can see on the submission.


    No more broken branches! The next time you git rebase or reset instead of commit - run git-undo and roll-back those previously destructive actions. I’ll be using it a lot between midnight and 3am.


    Athelas drives down the cost and wait time for many common medical diagnoses. Using a macro lens attached to a smartphone, an untrained user can scan blood samples for common diseases like Malaria.


    As someone who spent ages rearranging furniture in his apartment, I wish Vrniture had been around a few months ago. The project allows you to stage furniture in a virtually modeled room. And, once everything looks good, purchase them IRL, right from the app!

    All-New Software Search

    Our new software search is way more powerful than your standard Ctrl-F or Google query. You can search for projects you’ve worked on with your friends, software that uses two specific APIs or tags, winners, and more. We’re really excited about this feature and fast tracked it from side hack to production.

    Software search

    More Hackathons on the Way

    Are you as hackcited as we are right now? Well stay tuned! We’ve got many more great hackathons coming up. Sign up for hackathon alerts by joining our mailing list and telling us where you’re located.

    Upcoming ChallengePost Hackathons

  5. August 1, 2014

    Judging Hackathon Expos Using ChallengePost

    Judging is one of the hardest things to get right at hackathons - especially at larger events with hundreds of projects.

    However, it’s also one of the most fun and important parts, providing everyone an opportunity share their hacks and checkout the competition.

    Organizers who use ChallengePost have a variety of tools and options at their disposal for judging hacks. In this post I’ll show you how to get the most of ChallengePost if, like the majority of large hackathons, you opt for expo or science fair judging.

    Sponsors prizes

    It’s quite common for sponsors like Twilio or Dropbox to offer specific prizes for the best use of their APIs and SDKs. The key to keeping sponsors happy - in addition to using our Built With galleries - is to help them quickly identify which of the hacks use their service and where to find them. Here’s how ChallengePost can help you do that:

    1. Let us know your sponsor prizes.

    We’ll build you a custom filter for sponsor prizes on your submission form. When hackers submit their projects on ChallengePost, they’ll select the prizes they are applying for.

    ChallengePost Gallery Filters

    2. Assign teams table numbers.

    You can add an additional field to your submission form to collect and display the team’s table number for expo style judging. This makes it easy for judges and participants to locate teams at large events.

    ChallengePost submission with table number

    3. Send sponsors to your submissions gallery

    Once all the submissions are in, direct your sponsors to your ChallengePost submissions gallery. They’ll be able to filter through submissions and see all the projects - including table number - they need to judge.

    ChallengePost Mobile View

    What about the primary judging?

    Our judging system has been designed to work seamlessly on mobile. To complete your main judging simply follow these steps:

    1. Assign your judges in the Challenge’s Manage area.

    Adding a judge on ChallengePost

    2. Have the judges log in on their phone, tablet, laptop, or tricorder and go to the challenge gallery.

    Every user facing page on ChallengePost is mobile optimized. This means judges will be able to browse the projects in the expo hall and enter their scores on the site.

    3. Watch the Leaderboard to see which projects are on top.

    Using ChallengePost you’ll spend less time running the judging process, more time checking out the hacks, and ensure that every project has been judged.

    ChallengePost Manager Leaderboard

    Is your use case different?

    Give me a call (202-203-0025) so we can chat about your ideas. We have built a ton of functionality into ChallengePost so it can be used in a number of ways!


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