A WEEKEND OF INNOVATION AND INSPIRATION
CruzHacks is the largest hackathon in Santa Cruz. Each year, we invite hundreds of students to develop solutions to real-world problems, pursue inclusion in tech, and kindle the spirit of innovation. Last year, we brought together 650 students from over 25 universities. Our goals to support creativity in technology and promote the development of technological solutions in social good are at the forefront of our efforts every year.
$54,170 in prizes
Tech Cares - Health Hacks
This category aspires to address healthcare disparities. How do we support mental & physical well-being with accessible services?
- (1) JBL FLIP 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker (per team member)
Tech Cares - Justice Hacks
This category aims to drive innovation for civil liberty and social justice. How can we uphold truth & order in a (mis)information age?
- (1) Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 + film pack (per team member)
Tech Cares - Earth Hacks: Environmental Impact-to-Action
Design a hack or tool that you would use to educate someone who denies the science of climate change.
Projects will be judged on:
- Problem definition and analysis
- Solution design and innovation
- Idea viability
- Implementation of solution demonstration
- (1) Boshiho Cork Laptop Case or LuminAid (per team member)
Best Cruz Hack
Create something that best embodies the essence of Santa Cruz!
- (1) WisFox Wireless Keyboard & Mouse (per team member)
Have a new paradigm for interaction design? Create a project that has an awesome user experience!
- (1) 3rd Gen Amazon Echo Dot (per team member)
Best Beginner Hack
Hackathons are meant for everyone, especially our first-timers! We've created a prize category to reward teams composed of all first-time hackers.
- Teams must be made of all first-time hackers.
- (1) 21 oz Hydro Flask (per team member)
MLH - Best Use of Google Cloud Platform (2)
Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. Firebase counts as well! See full list of products here: g.co/cloud. We select two winning teams for this category. Each winning team member will receive a prize!
- (1) Eco-friendly, Google branded Parkland Academy backpack (per team member)
MLH - Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key (2)
Using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator, build a hack for your chance to win a Grove Beginner Kit, with Arduino Uno R3 included. We select two winning teams for this category. Each winning team member will receive a prize!
- (1) Grove Beginner Kit for Arduino (per team member)
MLH - Best Use of Datastax Astra
Apache Cassandra is one of the most widely used database technologies in modern computing with a proven track record of scalability. Just ask Apple, Netflix and eBay. Build a hack using DataStax Astra’s Cassandra-made-easy service and gain in-demand skills along with a chance to win Blue Snowball Microphones for you and your whole team. It’s easy to sign up with 5GB free and no credit card needed. Start becoming a Cassandra expert today!
- (1) Blue Snowball Mic (per team member)
MLH - Best Domain Name from Domain.com
Register a .tech, .space, or .online domain name using Domain.com during the weekend. Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. Each winning team member will receive a PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger & Domain.com Backpack.
- (1) PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger (per team member)
- (1) Domain.com Backpack (per team member)
Sponsor - UCSC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development & Blackstone Launchpad (5)
UCSC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) & Blackstone Launchpad are providing five teams with $2k in funding each and training to further develop their project after the hackathon.
The 5 winning teams are tackling some of the world's biggest challenges (environmental, health, social; see UN SDGs list) and are committed to keep working on their projects beyond the hackathon for at least one year in order to launch their innovations in the real world.
- Teams must have at least one UCSC student
- Winning teams must be willing to commit to working on project together after hackathon for one year
- (1) $2,000 in funding (per team)
Sponsor - 1517 Grant for Most Novel Hack
1517 is looking for the most unique and novel idea they see during the hackathon. Up to 3 teams may win this prize.
- Hackers must be undergraduates
- Plan on working on project after event
- Must be in United States
- (1) $1,000 grant (per team)
- (1) $10,000 in AWS credits (per team)
- Continued membership from 1517
Sponsor - echoAR
Build the best AR/VR application using the echoAR platform!
Participants MUST use the echoAR platform as part of their project to be eligible for a reward.
- (1) $50 Amazon gift card (per team)
- (1) 1-month free Business Tier access (per team member)
- Selected projects will be featured on our “Inspiration” page
Sponsor - Pinnacle
Pinnacle invites 4 winners from each of the world’s largest 50 collegiate hackathons to compete in an epic hack-off in late 2021. (https://pinnacle.us.org/)
- (1) All-expenses-paid ticket to Pinnacle, the Olympics of Hackathons (per team member)
Sponsor - Wolfram
Members of all winning teams will receive two free 1-year software subscriptions from Wolfram Research.
- (1) 1 year of Wolfram|One Personal Edition (per team member)
- (1) 1 year of Wolfram|Alpha Pro (per team member)
Secret Prize - Most Ambitious
Secret Prize - Wildest Idea
Secret Prize - Most Useful
Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:
All participants of CruzHacks 2021 must be students aged 13 years or older. Any participant who is under the age of 18 must obtain parental permission to participate in CruzHacks 2021, and they and their parent or legal guardian must sign the accompanying Parental Release and Consent Form.
Participants are encouraged to work in teams of up to 4 on a maximum of one project. Registration for CruzHacks 2021 constitutes acceptance of these terms and conditions (and any amendments to them) which are final and binding in all respects. All individuals and teams that apply to CruzHacks 2021 must be accepted by the organizers in order to be eligible to participate.
The Organizers reserve the right to disqualify any participant and/or team from CruzHacks 2021 if, in their sole discretion, the participant and/or team has not complied with these terms and conditions, has tampered with the operation of CruzHacks 2021, or has engaged in any conduct that is detrimental or unfair to the Organizers, CruzHacks 2021, or any other participant and/or team. This determination is at the sole discretion of the Organizers.
Participants from all countries are welcome; however, physical prizes will only be shipped to qualifying participants who reside in the continental United States. Winners outside the continental U.S. will receive an Amazon gift card of equivalent value.
A project submission must have three components to be eligible for judging:
- a 2-minute demo video;
- a link to the project's code repository; and
- a write-up on the project page.
The judging process is asynchronous, and these parts of your submission are what judges will use to evaluate your project. Please see CruzHacks 2021's official rules for more information.
Access Softek Inc.
ASSIST Labs, UC Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Works
Surf City Original
Jesus del Valle
Amazon Web Services
LLC OCRV (Russian Railways)
CruzHacks-provided prizes will be judged on:
How technically impressive was the hack? Was the technical problem the team tackled difficult? Did it use a particularly clever technique or did it use many different components? Did the technology involved make you go "Wow"?
Did the team put thought into user experience? How well designed is the interface? For a website, how beautiful is the CSS or graphics? For a hardware project, how good is the human-computer interaction (is it easy to use / use a cool interface?)?
Does the hack work? Did the team achieve everything they wanted?
Did the team stretch themselves and try to learn something new? What kind of projects have they worked on before? (If a team that always does VR projects decides to switch up and try doing a mobile app instead, that exploration should be rewarded.)
Sponsor prize criteria may vary. See each sponsor prize for info.