CruzHacks brings together a diverse and inclusive group of students and professionals to develop innovative solutions to solve real-world challenges.

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.

View full rules

Hackathon Sponsors

Prizes

$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?

Prize:
- (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?

Prize:
- (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

Prize:
- (1) Boshiho Cork Laptop Case or LuminAid (per team member)

Best Cruz Hack

Create something that best embodies the essence of Santa Cruz!

Prize:
- (1) WisFox Wireless Keyboard & Mouse (per team member)

Best UI/UX

Have a new paradigm for interaction design? Create a project that has an awesome user experience!

Prize:
- (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.

Requirements:
- Teams must be made of all first-time hackers.

Prize:
- (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!

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!

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!

Prize:
- (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.

Prize:
- (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.

Requirements:
- 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

Prize:
- (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.

Requirements:
- Hackers must be undergraduates
- Plan on working on project after event
- Must be in United States

Prize:
- (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.

Prize:
- (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/)

Prize:
- (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.

Prize:
- (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

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Eligibility

Participants

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.

Countries

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.

Requirements

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.

Judges

Alon	Grinshpoon

Alon Grinshpoon
echoAR, Inc.

Bhargav Sathish

Bhargav Sathish
Earth Hacks

Brian Lozano

Brian Lozano
Google

Chris Gu

Chris Gu
MLH

Kelly Fesler

Kelly Fesler
CruzHacks

Nick	Arnett

Nick Arnett
1517 Fund

Neal	Goyal

Neal Goyal
MLH

Neha Pamidi

Neha Pamidi
CruzHacks

Sanjana Paul

Sanjana Paul
Earth Hacks

Alexander Stepanov

Alexander Stepanov
Sigma Software

Ali Ragimov

Ali Ragimov
okko.tv

Amit	Saxena

Amit Saxena
Google

Anatolii Kabanov

Anatolii Kabanov
Barclays

Anna Kopteva

Anna Kopteva
MTS

Aria Chang

Aria Chang
MediaMath

Anton Yarkov

Anton Yarkov
Access Softek Inc.

Artem Gogin

Artem Gogin
Sberbank

Aviv	Elor

Aviv Elor
ASSIST Labs, UC Santa Cruz

Cherie Woo

Cherie Woo
DNAnexus

Christian Johnson

Christian Johnson
Good TRKR

Daulet Tumbayev

Daulet Tumbayev
Loudplay

Dmitrii Khizbullin

Dmitrii Khizbullin
Huawei

Doug Erickson

Doug Erickson
Santa Cruz Works

Doug Sherman

Doug Sherman
Stratovan

Emmanuel Leroy

Emmanuel Leroy
Oracle

Erzhan Torokulov

Erzhan Torokulov
Toptal

Ethan Wilde

Ethan Wilde
Braindunk

Glenn Dunkk-Jacobs-Nolten

Glenn Dunkk-Jacobs-Nolten
InfoSEC Consultants

Iliya	Karin

Iliya Karin
Innotech

Iurii	Didenko

Iurii Didenko
Qualysoft

Jeanne Boudreau

Jeanne Boudreau
Surf City Original

Jeff	LeFevre

Jeff LeFevre
CROSS

Jeffrey Priebe

Jeffrey Priebe
Brightflow AI

Jesus del Valle

Jesus del Valle
Bayer AG

Keith Gudger

Keith Gudger
Retired

Krish Munot

Krish Munot
Freight Tiger

Mikhail Pautov

Mikhail Pautov
Deem Inc

Ned	Hogan

Ned Hogan
Starkey Hearing

Nikita Vasilev

Nikita Vasilev
Sberbank

Oleg Melnic

Oleg Melnic
Proxify

Orkhan Jafarov

Orkhan Jafarov
Invme

Oscar Pan

Oscar Pan
BVA

Pranjal Bhardwaj

Pranjal Bhardwaj
Collabrains

Sean McWillie

Sean McWillie
NIST

Sushant Bhadkamkar

Sushant Bhadkamkar
Lyft

Tanmay Shah

Tanmay Shah
Amazon Web Services

Tsvetan Tsvetanov

Tsvetan Tsvetanov
Roblox

Veronika Golubeva

Veronika Golubeva
Sberbank

Vinay Gaba

Vinay Gaba
Airbnb

Vladislav	Avdeev

Vladislav Avdeev
LLC OCRV (Russian Railways)

Yash	Patel

Yash Patel
Ahmedabad University

Yerlan	Akzhanov

Yerlan Akzhanov
greetgo! LLC

Yuri	Danilov

Yuri Danilov
Sberbank

Judging Criteria

  • CruzHacks-provided prizes will be judged on:
  • Technology
    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"?
  • Design
    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?)?
  • Completion
    Does the hack work? Did the team achieve everything they wanted?
  • Learning
    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.

themes

  • Social Good
  • Health