uncommon hacks is a weekend-long celebration of technology where college students from everywhere come to Chicago to make fun, random, and innovative tech-related projects with friends old and new. you’ll work in a small team to design and build a creative project from start to finish in a weekend, learning and having fun in the process.

Hackathon Sponsors


Most Uncommon

Is your hack the most uncommon - a balanced, well designed, technically impressive, and innovative project that is complete with a little "interesting" surprise? We're looking for the projects that are well balanced and show a little bit of character of the developer(s) interests!

PRIZE: Techboss 3D Printing Pen (1 for each member of the winning team)

Most Technically Impressive

Is your project comprised of impressive techniques / scripts / hardware / code that was utilized / constructed primarily by yourselves? Do you have a project that can show off your technical skill? We're focusing on the projects that display creator aptitude with impressive implemented functionality.

PRIZE: ELGOO UNO Arduino Kit (1 for each member of winning team)

Most Innovative

Is your project centered around an important, eye-opening, cool idea? Is your product end vision unexpected? Exciting? We are focusing on projects that display such innovative vision and design of your great ideas.

PRIZE: Chibi Lights STEM Starter Kit (1 for each member of winning team)

Best Hack for Social Good (Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase)

How well does the solution address the challenge or problem?
How creative is the solution? Does it bring new ideas and approaches to solving the problem?
Is the solution finished? Does it work? Is there a roadmap for future enhancements?
Is the solution sustainable within the context of the community it's aiming to impact?
Is the solution well thought out and designed?

PRIZE: Bose Solo3 Wireless Headphones (1 for each member of winning team)

Best Domain Name Registered with Domain.com

PRIZE: Raspberry Pi & PiHut Essential Kit

Best IoT Hack Using a Qualcomm Device

PRIZE: Qualcomm DragonBoard 410c + power source

Best Use of Amazon Web Services

PRIZE: $250 AWS Credit

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Uncommon Hacks Judges

Uncommon Hacks Judges

Judging Criteria

  • Technically Impressive
    Does the product function completely? How much of the functionality was written by the competitors themselves as opposed to open source code/APIs (self written is better)?
  • Innovative
    Is the idea unique, compared to other ideas seen in the real world and / or when comparing to other projects within the Hackathon? Does it solve a problem, no matter how silly?
  • Design
    Is the organization of the product sound? How well did the competitors think out each of the steps that their idea took? What is the quality of the user interaction? Is the project easy to understand and use?
  • Presentation
    Was the presentation clear in explaining the features? Were the presenters able to explain their inspiration and approach? Can the competitors describe the trade offs they made in development and justify their decisions? Was it entertaining?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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