Cal Hacks is the first major collegiate hackathon in the Bay Area.

This October 3–5, student hackers and innovators from across the nation will converge at UC Berkeley's California Memorial Stadium to create incredible software and hardware projects.

View full rules


  • Teams may include up to five members.
  • All hacks must be built at Cal Hacks by registered participants.
  • Hackers must be current undergraduates in college.
  • High school students may participate remotely and submit for the Best High-school Hack.


A valid submission is a software or hardware hack produced at Cal Hacks, from start to finish.

This includes a ChallengePost submission to Cal Hacks and a demonstration during the Hack Expo on Sunday, Oct 5. Please include a video or photo of the working product.


Cal Hacks Judging Team

Cal Hacks Judging Team

Judging Criteria

  • Usefulness
    Is the hack practical given its target audience? Is it something that the user base would actually use? Does it fulfill a need people have?
  • Originality
    Is the hack more than just another generic social app? Does it do something entirely novel, or at least take a fresh approach to an old problem?
  • 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?
  • Polish / Design
    Is the hack usable in its current state? Is the user experience smooth? Does everything appear to work? Is it well-designed?
    Does the hack have that x-factor?