LA Hacks is a weekend dedicated to you and 999 other students in Pauley Pavilion. Collaborate and build creative solutions to problems, while pushing the limits of your mind and body to make something amazing.


LA Hacks focuses primarily on undergraduate and graduate students but accepts high school students and recent grads (1-2 years out) on a case-by-case basis. Dropouts who would otherwise currently be in college are cool too.

Hackathon Sponsors


$47,300 in prizes

LA Hacks Winner

DJI Phantom Quadcopter Drone,
VR Headsets,
AWS Credit

LA Hacks 2nd Place

Myo Gesture Control Armband,
DVD Set,
AWS Credit

LA Hacks 3rd Place

Amazon Echos,
AWS Credit

LA Hacks Top 4 - 11 (7)

VR Headsets

Best Data Hack

Sphero Star Wars BB-8 App Controlled Robot
(See Data Hack judging criteria)

Best First Time Hack

$2000 scholarships to winning team members to attend Make School's Summer Academy.
(Eligible if it is the first hackathon for more than half the team)

LA Hacks Challenges Prize

If your Hack attempts to solve one of the 7 LA Hacks Challenges revealed at the event (look at judging criteria).
Prize: Laser Projection Keyboards

Best Sustainable Hack

Solar Powered Backpacks. Sponsored by UCLA TGIF

Best Use of Linode API

Mechanical Keyboards

Best Use of Microsoft Technology

Surface Pros

Best Athlete Experience Hack

TBD. Sponsored by LA2024

Best Civic Hack

TBD. Sponsored by City of LA

1517 Prize (3)

$1000 grants to three teams of choice by 1517.

Best Space Exploration Hack

Special Tour of the JPL HQ

Best Gaming Hack by Playfull

Free Chick-fil-A for a year, Restaurant T-Shirts and swag, Free Food Rewards.

Best Use of the Aladdin API

Quadcopter Drones sponsored by Blackrock.

Best User Experience Hack

Sponsored by Disney.

Best Use of Wolfram Tech (3)

Year of access to Wolfram Development Platform: 1000 Wolfram|Alpha API calls per month, 10,000 monthly Cloud Credits, customizable URLs, storage, and more.

Best Potential for Commercialization Success (2)

Invite to a breakfast presentation with Angel Investors.

Best Hack Innovating the Fan Experience

TBD. Sponsored by LA2024

LA Hacks Top 12 - 20 (9)

1 year of Wolfram Pro for each team member

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

All submissions must be made before 9am on Sunday!!! You will be allowed to hack till 10am but challenge post submissions must be made by 9am Sunday or your submission will not be valid! Please make sure of this. 


Jeremy Bloom

Jeremy Bloom
Olympian, Former NFL Player, CEO of Integrate, LA24

Cody Simms

Cody Simms
Executive Director, TechStars

Lillian Coral

Lillian Coral
Chief Data Officer, City of LA

Robert Jadon

Robert Jadon
Invester and Entrepreneur, Startup UCLA

Susan Chang

Susan Chang
Strategy, Digital Distribution, and Technology Executive, Warner Bros.

Jeanne Holm

Jeanne Holm
AGM, City of LA

Laith Azzam

Laith Azzam

Mihir Mathur

Mihir Mathur
President, UCLA ACM

Judging Criteria

  • Originality
    We at LA Hacks want to grow and inspire innovation in the next generation of students. Is the hack more than just another generic social/mobile/local app? Does it do something entirely novel, or at least take a fresh approach to an old problem?
  • Impact / Usefulness
    Impact lies in our hackathon’s roots. We look for hacks that have large social impact as well as general practicality. Is the hack practical? Is the hack impactful? Does it fulfill a real need people have?
  • Technical Difficulty
    Is the hack technically interesting or difficult to develop? Is it a simple API mashup or is it a comprehensive effort that leverages advanced architecture, tough algorithms, and various libraries and languages?
  • Polish / Design
    Clean and seamless hacks are hard to come-by. Is the hack usable in its current state? Does everything appear to work as intended? Does it deliver a beautiful experience? Is it mostly bug-free?
  • Data Track
    Is the data expressed in a creative and visually appealing manner? Does the visualization help with extracting new information from the data set? What conclusions did you draw? Were the conclusions interesting and original?
  • LA Hacks Challenges
    If your hack attempts to tackle one of the challenges mentioned on the website, then mention it in your Devpost submission and in your demos during judging:

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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