About the challenge

HackFREE will follow the typical format of hackathons. Students in groups of up to four, are to come up with a project of any type and design a working solution using programming. Our hackathon is open to all levels of experience.

There will be assistants wearing coral shirts in order to help you through every part of a hackathon like making and using GitHub, turning in your project, etc.

Get started

1. Find up to three other people to work with and create a team name

2. Think of an ongoing issue that has long-reaching effects on a specific audience. This can be your age group, your community, or people you know. 

3. Using the design thinking framework to design and build a solution to this problem.


By 1 AM EST on January 15th, create a submission (this can be edited) including:

  • Names of all team members
  • School
  • Unique team name
  • Table Number
  • Project description


All FINAL projects must be submitted before 9:30 AM EST on January 15th. For submissions, we need:

  • A short written passage about your project, the inspirations for your project, how your project was built, its features, challenges you ran into, and future plans for your project (max of 100 words each). They can also be bullet points.
  • A Hack that adheres to the scoring rubric and a project uploaded to the Devpost
  • A 2-3 minute presentation/pitch for the judges. 

Hackathon Sponsors


Hack of Distinction (6)

Beginner Hack of Distinction (2)

A team made up of at least 50% beginners, as noted in their event registration form, will be eligible for this award

Best Domain Name from Domain.com

Register a .Tech domain name using Domain.com during the weekend for your chance to win a Domain.com branded backpack for you and each member of your team! Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. The more creative the domain the better!

Most Creative Use of Twilio

Twilio allows you to incorporate mobile messaging, phone calls and a ton of other awesome communication features right into your hackathon project using a web service API. Are you building an e-commerce website and want to send text notifications or email confirmations once an order is completed? Or maybe you'd like to verify users based on their mobile numbers? Twilio makes all this possible and more. Build a hack that simplifies your life using any Twilio API for a chance to win a Twilio Swag Box & GameGo Console ! Get started with $50 in free credit

Best Use of Velo by Wix

We know how difficult it can be to create a phenomenal website in a short period of time, especially when it comes to hackathons. Velo by Wix cuts down your development without sacrificing on functionality! With a built-in database and fully customizable JavaScript front-end and back-end, you can develop a full-stack application directly in your browser. With Velo, all the tools you need are conveniently located in one platform! Build your hackathon project with Velo by Wix for a chance to win Wacom Drawing Tablets for you and each of your teammates.

Best Use of NLP by Cohere

Cohere makes Natural Language Processing easy to do with their ready to use online platform. Simply sign-up, claim your free $75 credit, no credit card required, and start training your very own language model directly on the web! You and your teammates can each win a Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit by using Cohere in your next hack. Wondering what to build? Cohere is great for text and content generation, text-based search, predictive text and so much more. Check out our software & learn pages for more details!

Best Use of MongoDB Atlas

MongoDB Atlas takes the leading modern database and makes it accessible in the cloud! Get started with a $50 credit for students or sign up for the Atlas free forever tier (no credit card required). Along with a suite of services and functionalities, you'll have everything you need to manage all of your data! Build a hack using MongoDB Atlas for a chance to win a M5GO IoT Starter Kit for you and each member of your team.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Jelena Komitas

Jelena Komitas

Judging Criteria

  • Problem and Definition
    Define the problem clearly and concisely. How relevant is the real-world problem or opportunity? How interesting or difficult is the problem to resolve functionally or technically? Is someone else currently solving the problem out in the real world?
  • Solution, Design, and Innovation
    Does the application approach a new problem or look at an old problem in a new way? Does it rely on an existing concept or technology? To what degree does the application actually solve the current problem?
  • Viability
    Is the application technically and marketplace viable? Would people use this product? Does the product have a realistic application in the future or in the present?
  • Does it Work?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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