Unlike other hackathons, MadHacks is going to be putting emphasis on the wacky, the original, and the downright impossible! Like the mad geniuses, tinkerers, makers, and designers preceding us, we want to test our boundaries like never before! We're reaching out to the highly dedicated risk-takers, the envelope pushers, and the daredevils. We hope to produce a new kind of hackathon: where the winners are chosen by the hackers, and the sponsors feel like they are right in the middle of the hacker community itself — rather than on the outside looking in.


  • Participants must be 18 or older and students at a post-secondary educational institutuon
  • Participants must be registered as attendees at MadHacks during registration on April 18
  • Teams may be 1-4 hackers


Your hack will be judged by other MadHacks participants and sponsors based on your pitch at the tech expo on Sunday afternoon and your ChallengePost submission-- so make it count. Your submission should include

  • A 'functional' prototype of your application
  • A demonstration video showing your hack in action
  • Screenshots
  • An explanation of your hack-- why did you choose this project to build?

Hackathon Sponsors


$29,374 in prizes

Most Mad Hack - Top 3 as voted by MadHacks Participants (3)

Top three teams as voted by MadHacks participants

One team: TechNexus coworking space
One team: GitHub Silver
One team: Qiqqa Premium
All 3 teams:
* NameCheap Bronze Membership
* $500 Microsoft Azure Credit

Wisconsin Idea - Best Civic/Educational Hack as voted by MadHacks Participants

The hack that best exemplifies The Wisconsin Idea (for more details see http://wisconsinidea.wisc.edu). Tickets to Global Hackathon Seoul and Qiqqa Membership. Sponsored by Global Hackathon Seoul (https://seoul.globalhackathon.io/) and Qiqqa (http://www.qiqqa.com/) .

Best Visuals, Sound, and/or Music as voted by MadHacks Participants

Shiny, blinky, elegant, artistic, photogenic, informative, useful, accessible -- all of the above? Maddest use of visual information, interface, and style. Winner receives a GoPro Camera and $75 credit/team member from Shapeways. Sponsored by Ionic and Shapeways

Alchemist - Best Use of Multiple APIs as voted by MadHacks Participants

Best hack that makes use of multiple APIs to produce something that a medieval alchemist would love to create if they had access to today's technology. Mix and match elements-- APIs and data-- to make a unique and memorable hack. Dell Venue 8 Pro, sponsored by Dell - http://www.dell.com/

Best Game or Entertaining Hack as voted by MadHacks Participants

The most fun, most creative game or entertaining hack. One year GitHub Bronze, sponsored by GitHub - https://github.com/

Best Retro Hack (1990's Tech Only!)

Build something that will run on 1990's hardware, uses 1990's web tech (CGI- no AJAX or REST API's!), uses data from the 1990's in new ways, reinvents/reimplements 1990's protocols, or otherwise celebrates the tech that existed between 1990 and 1999. Need inspiration? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1990s and https://www.ietf.org/download/rfc-index.txt (RFC's 1136 to 2738). Don't forget about the Y2K bug: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_2000_problem

* GitHub 6mo Bronze Plan, sponsored by GitHub - https://github.com/

Best use of Microsoft Azure (Sponsor prize)

Members of winning team receive Dell Venue 8 Pro tablets for the best use of Microsoft Azure. Sponsored by Microsoft.

Best Pebble Hack - Pebble + MLH (Sponsor Prize)

Best hack using a Pebble smartwatch. Winning team receives Pebble smartwatches thanks to Pebble and Major League Hacking

Best use of Wolfram Alpha - Wolfram (Sponsor prize)

Members of the winning team receive Wolfram Programming Cloud Access and a Wolfram Cash Prize, sponsored by Wolfram - https://www.wolframalpha.com/

4490 Ventures

$200 cash prize to the hack with the most commercial potential

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  • In order to submit a hack, you must apply and be accepted to MadHacks, and in attendance and registered at the hackathon
  • Submissions must include at least a picture or screenshot of your hack and a description of your hack


You - MadHacks participants choose the winners!

You - MadHacks participants choose the winners!

Judging Criteria

  • Originality
    A winning hack should be original, break new ground, push the envelope of what is possible-- does this hack use all of the capabilities of its hardware/software? Does this hack add features that didn't exist before?
  • Creativity/Style Points
    Is the hack a unique solution to a problem? Is the problem being solved itself an exercise in creativity? When you look at this hack, does it have a style all its own? Does this hack do what it does in an elegant way?
  • Wackiness
    Ignore for a moment how this hack would fare in the marketplace-- does it make you say "Wow, hey, come here and check this out?" Is it something that you'd never have thought of doing? Does it make you shake your head in amazement?

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