600 developers and designers from across the country to create incredible software and hardware projects. For 36 hours this spring, from March 30 to April 1, we will provide a warm and collaborative environment for you to build out brilliant, innovative, and impactful ideas.

At HackPrinceton, you'll meet fellow hackers, learn new technologies, and work alongside seasoned mentors. We'll have free food, swag, workshops, lecture series, mentorship, prizes, game, free food, and more. Don't have a team, or even an idea? Don't worry! We'll give you the tools to build something incredible.


  • All hacks must be built by accepted, confirmed, and checked-in HackPrinceton attendees. (This includes registered and checked-in Princeton students.)
  • Teams must consist of no more than four members.
  • Hackers must be a current student, or have left school within the past year, and present enrollment identification (i.e. student ID) to a HackPrinceton organizer if asked.
  • Due to university liability requirements, individuals must be at least 18 years old.


Submissions are due on Devpost by 9:00 AM on Sunday, April 1. After you submit, you can edit your submission until the deadline, so you are encouraged to begin your submission early. We are not able to accommodate late submissions.

You must include videos, photos, or screenshots of the working product and a link to the source code (GitHub, etc.) of your project.

Hackathon Sponsors


$31,070 in prizes

Best Overall

Nintendo Switch awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best software or hardware project overall.

2nd Place

3rd Place

Audience Choice

Amazon Echo Plus awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that garners the most votes from the audience during closing ceremony.

Best VR/AR

Samsung VR Headset awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best hack using VR/AR technology.

Best Design

Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the most polished, well-thought-out user experience.

Best Hardware

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Ultimate Starter Kit awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best hack manipulating hardware.

Best Hack for Social Good

GooDee Portable Projector awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best project that contributes to social or non-profit causes. Team will also be able to select which charity the HackPrinceton-Frutta Bowls fundraiser proceeds will go to.

Best Teamwork

SZJJX Camera Drone awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best hack and consists completely of new-to-each-other teammates who did not know each other prior to this hackathon.

Best First Hack

Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker awarded to each member on a newbie team (up to 4) that best demonstrates new hackathon skills. (To qualify, a strict majority of the team must be attending their first hackathon, and you should demonstrate how the first-time attendees contributed to the project.)

Made My Day

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera and supplementary sheets awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that create the best project that makes the judges smile :)

Most Sustainable

Solar Powered Battery Pack awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best hack dedicated to improving the environment or developing sustainable practices.

Most Prolific Programmers

Mechanical Keyboard awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that wrote the most lines of code among all of the top hacks.

Most Daredevil

Waterproof Wearable Sports Action Camera ("GoPro") awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the boldest, most adventurous hack (that works). You guys were crazy to even try this.

Most Likely to Become a Startup

Think Boards awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that create a hack most likely to be continued into the future as part of a startup.

Made For Princeton Students

$50 Princeton University Store Gift Card awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the best hack that would most likely be used by Princeton students in the future.

April Fool's Day Hack

$10 iTunes Gift Card awarded to each member on the team (up to 4) that creates the most troll hack. The most hyped-up hack that does something completely different than what it's supposed to do (like a plot-twist).

1517 Prize - Sponsored by 1517 Fund (2)

1517 will go into diligence with a handful of teams and select up to three of them for a $1K grant and $5K in AWS credits. Speak to a 1517 Fund representative at some point before exposition judging.

StdLib Prize - Sponsored by StdLib

Best and most creative use of StdLib in a project. Each member of the winning team (up to 4) will receive a Nintendo Switch.

Decentralize everything: Best use of Ark blockchain challenge - Sponsored by ARK.io (4)

Ark offers an out of the box versatile blockchain platform, ready for you to start building your application right on top of the blockchain! This means that endless possibilities are waiting for you and your team to start hacking. Deploy your own chain with our Ark Deployer and let your creative juices flow! There is plenty for every programming niche, from simple blockchain apps, to more complex custom solutions.
For more information: https://github.com/arkecosystem/
Or stop by at our booth.

Winning team receives 2000 Ark coins.

IoT Challenge - Sponsored by ARK.io

Ark’s scalable blockchain platform and IoT devices are a match made in heaven. Blockchain enables and augments a variety of application scenarios and use cases for IoT. No longer are such possibilities just futuristic dreams. Can you and your team hack a blockchain/IoT supercombo? To get you started we have prepared guides, libraries, SDKs, available hardware and general resources, and more information about the ARK ecosystem that will help you during hackprinceton: https://github.com/ark-iot/ark-hackathon. The winning team receives bounty (https://blog.ark.io/ark-github-development-bounty-113806ae9ffe).

Best Financial Hack - Sponsored by Capital One

Capital One prides itself on its mission to Change Banking For Good. We are always looking for ways to bring innovation to the banking world. This weekend, we want to see how you will disrupt the financial market! The winning team receives one $250 Amazon gift card for each member.

Best Use of Wolfram Technology - Sponsored by Wolfram

$100 gift card, one year of Wolfram|One Personal Edition, and Wolfram|Alpha Pro for each member of the winning team (up to 4).

Amazon Web Services - Best Use of AWS

$250 AWS Credit

Best Domain Name from Domain.com

Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit for each member of the winning team.

Best IoT Hack Using a Qualcomm Device

Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c + power source for member of the winning team.

John Snow Labs Prize

To qualify, the team must use an API or dataset from John Snow Labs. The winning team will receive:
- All-you-can-eat, always-up-to-date, clean data from our entire catalog for a year.
- Feature them on our blog and social media, for both the project and the team members.
- The John Snow Labs team will curate 3 datasets specifically for the needs of the winning project, and provide free updates, for a year.

Marlabs Open Innovation Award

Best technology solution to the problem statements given by Marlabs Inc.
$200 gift card for each member of the winning team (up to 4).
Choose one of the following three problem statements:
(1) Identification, Extraction and Classification of sensitive data from any given arbitrary dataset (text or image) i.e. user credentials, email addresses, credit card information, etc. The classification should have a percentage score of accuracy (for the flagged category) and should provide the security risk associated with the flagged sensitive data. Source datasets can be any - databases, spreadsheets, internet web pages, internet data sources (like pastebin), emails etc.

(2) Personal Medical Adherence Assistant - A smartphone based voice enabled conversational personal assistant for prescription medicine adherence.

(3) Develop a system to automatically grade large number of academic student essays based on pre-configured templates and provide feedback or a scoring mechanism. Use of open source libraries encouraged (for NLP, machine learning etc.)

Disclaimer - Marlabs will have the right to access the complete source code developed to solve the above challenges.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Irina Krechmer

Irina Krechmer
VP of Engineering at XO Group Inc.

Meng Shui

Meng Shui
Director of Design at THINX

Daniel Taboada

Daniel Taboada
CEO of Gold Media Tech

Becky Case

Becky Case
VP of Engineering at Birchbox

Geoff Cook

Geoff Cook
CEO of The Meet Group

Judging Criteria

  • Originality
    How original is the idea? Is it simply a repackaging of a previous project or is it something that has never been done before? Projects can also blend two concepts together in a refreshing new way.
  • Design
    Is the project something that looks and feels polished? Is the user experience and interface smooth and well-designed?
  • Technical Difficulty
    Does the project take on technical challenges? What parts of the project did your team invent, and how did you build upon existing tools and technologies?
  • Enjoyment
    Is the project zany, interesting or just plain amusing? Will it bring a smile to the face of those who see it, whether they are adults, teenagers or little kids?
  • Usefulness
    Can this hack be used in real life to better somebody's life? Is it enough to justify people wanting to use it?
  • Other
    Did the team members meet entirely at the hackathon? Did the team overcome any significant obstacles? Is the hack ambitious? Does the hack have any "wow" factors? Was the pitch particularly effective and memorable?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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