As we enter April, the team at Hack Upstate is excited to remind you that the Spring installment will take place Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12 at the Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse! (Sign up here!)

Image via Syracuse Tech Garden:

For those unfamiliar with Hack Upstate, our bi-annual namesake event serves as an opportunity for talented developers, engineers, designers, innovators and problems solvers from across Upstate New York to come together and rapidly collaborate on cutting-edge Web, software, and hardware projects. In short, the event is a 24-hour coding sprint, or a “hackathon.”

Doors Open

Doors open for the event at 11am on Saturday. The Tech Garden will remain open through the night until the final products are demoed and winners are announced at noon the following evening.

Hack Upstate is free and open to the public. Participants have the liberty to form teams as large or small as they wish. There are no restrictions to the types of projects that qualify.

Our Mission

Hack Upstate intends to unite and facilitate collaboration among the greater Upstate New York hacker community. In doing so, we aim to contribute to the growth of Upstate New York’s technology sector, and to create a robust network of technologists and regional technology companies.

Reasons To Participate

  • Win cool prizes (Oculus Rift, Orbotix Ollie, DODO VR Case, Adafruit NeoPixel NeoMatrix, Raspberry Pi 2 Starter Kits, and more – see the full list below)
  • Meet cool, smart people — many of whom can help you land a job
  • Drink cool, free beer
  • Eat hot, free food
  • Motivate yourself to start that passion project you’ve been thinking about
  • Make headway on end-of-the-semester coding projects (although projects started prior to the start of the competition are not eligible for prizes)

Hack Upstate also serves as a perfect opportunity for student entrepreneurs to begin building beta prototypes to demo at April’s Panasci Business Plan Competition or the RvD IDEA Awards. However, this is decidedly not a business plan competition; monetization potential and market attractiveness will not influence the judges’ decision making. Rather, products at Hack Upstate are equally evaluated based on the following:

Hack Upstate

Hack Upstate – image at:

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity / novelty
  • “Wow factor”
  • Execution
  • Polished demo
  • Multidisciplinary

Prizes To Win

Here’s the lineup of great prizes to be won:

Grand Prize:

  • Two Sphero Ollies
  • One DODO VR Case (i.e., Google Cardboard inspired)

Second Place Prize:

  • Two Raspberry Pi 2 start kids
  • One DODO VR Case (i.e., Google Cardboard inspired)

Hack Upstate’s Maker Prize:

  • Sparke Core
  • Adafruit NeoPixel NeoMatrix 8×8 – 64 RGB LED Pixel Matrix
  • PowerSwitch Tail II

Prizes being offered by event sponsors include:

  • Graphic Stock: 8 Graphic Stock subscriptions to the grand prize winner
  • Twilio: $20 in Twilio credits for participants
  • MongoDB University: Oculus Rift
  • Crate: Intel NUCs for best use of Crate’s ditributed DB for Docker
  • And then there’s free swag – such as Hack Upstate T-shirts – and more.

And…another challenge

Hack Upstate is also proud to partner with AT&T to bring you the Tech Valley Civic App Challenge. (Sign up here!)

Image via

Image via:

This virtual hackathon encourages developers to build mobile apps that can solve local community issues for the chance to win $18,000 in cash prizes.

While it is a requirement for at least one member of each participating team to reside or attend school in one of the Tech Valley’s 19 counties, the rest of the team can come from anywhere in the world.

So reach out to a buddy, hack away, make a difference in your community, and maybe win some Summer spending money in the process! The challenge concludes May 1.

 Got comments or questions about Hack Upstate or the April event? Get in touch, or leave your thoughts here!