BostonHacks is Boston University's annual hackathon. 500 students will come from all around North America to create an awesome project in 24 hours. Along the way they'll learn new technologies and gain experience as developers. 

Come join us for a weekend of awesome workshops, fun side events, free food and free swag, and lots and lots of hacking!


Anyone over the age of 18 who is currently enrolled in a college or university is welcome to attend! Prior programming experience is not required to participate.

To be eligible for prizes, a team can be at most five people. 


Make your project, submit it to Devpost, and demo it during the project expo! You'll have to do all three to be eligible for prizes.

Hackathon Sponsors


$8,050 in prizes

Best Overall Hack (1st place)

Nintendo Switches for each team member!

[TRACK] Giving Back to Veterans Prize

Amazon Echo Spots for each team member

[TRACK] The Smart Home prize

Google Home Hub and 2 Lights Starter Pack for each team member

[TRACK] Data for Urban Good Prize

Five Surface Go Tablets, Typecover and Surface Pen – (perfect for all your daily tasks, giving you laptop performance, tablet portability, and a stunning touchscreen with the power of Windows. To the team/project that best addreses one or more of the following StreetCaster Projects.

For more information visit: (three challenges, one prize)

Challenge 1: Automate Boston’s Ground Truth Sidewalk Data
Challenge 2: Street Quality Indicators
Challenge 3: Park Quality Indicators

Spark! Fellowship Award

Winning idea will be awarded a Spark! Fellowship to continue work on their project through a semester-long spark! fellowship. Participants must be enrolled in Boston University and able to attend workshops on Mondays from 3:30-6:30pm (through and a design sprint February 9th and 10th 11-5pm. For more information: (winners get automatic acceptance)

Best use of GIPHY API

The best use of GIPHY API will be awarded to the team that most creatively leverages GIPHY's API in their project. The prize will be a 3D printing pen and GIPHY Engineering T-shirt for each team member

Liberty Mutual - Best Hack to Live Safe, More Secure Lives

Winners will receive Drones for each team member
-Must have a clearly defined problem
-Preferably polished
-Fill out form at:
-BONUS POINTS for using the ShineAPI built by Liberty's Solaria Labs.

Twilio — Best use of Twilio API (2)

Star Wars Millennium Falcon Waffle Makers

Best use of Algolia

Casio CA-506C-5A Calculator Watch for each team member

Best use of Google Cloud Platform

Google Home Minis for each team member

Best Domain Name from

Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit for each team member

Best IoT Hack Using a Qualcomm Device

410C Dragonboard for each team member

[Weekly Challenge] Best Chat Bot using Botkit & Cisco Webex Teams

Power banks for each team member

Best use of

Hacker gear and swag from

[Weekly Challenge] Best use of Clarifai’s API

Hacker gear from Clarifai for each team member

[Weekly Challenge] Snap Kit Weekly Challenge

Spectacles by Snapchat for each team member

[Weekly Challenge] Best Social Good Hack from Fidelity

$50 Gift Cards from Fidelity for each team member

Best use of

LS20 Gaming Headsets for each team member

Bose - Most creative use of Bose SoundTouch Speaker API

Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Noise Cancelling headphones with google assistant and amazon alexa built-in support

IBM - Best Use of IBM Cloud

Bose QuietComfort 35 II
Noise Cancelling headphones with google assistant and amazon alexa built-in support

ITG - Best Fintech Hack

$500 Amazon giftcard

OneDB - Best Use of OneDB Platform

$100 Amazon Gift Card for Each Team Member

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Ziba Cranmer

Ziba Cranmer
BU Spark!

Abraham Matta

Abraham Matta
Boston University

Kendall Weistroffer

Kendall Weistroffer

Dharmesh Tarapore

Dharmesh Tarapore
BU Spark!

Juan Morales

Juan Morales
Tyme Wear Co-founder

Zach Wang

Zach Wang
Head of Tech at PinOn

Kurt Straube

Kurt Straube
Systems Directory at John Hancock

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Difficulty
    Is the hack technically interesting or difficult? Is it just some lipstick on an API, or were there real technical challenges to surmount? This is the most important criterion that a hack should be judged upon.
  • Originality
    Is the hack more than just another generic social/mobile/local app? Does it do something entirely novel, or at least take a fresh approach to an old problem?
  • Polish
    Is the hack usable in its current state? Is the user experience smooth? Does everything appear to work? Is it well designed?
  • Usefulness
    Is the hack practical? Is it something people would actually use? Does it fulfill a real need people have?
  • Pitch
    How well was the project presented? Did it make the hack more compelling? Did it give a good idea of its purpose?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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