Find your Inner Explorer

HackIllinois is a 36 hour event where college students from across the country create technical projects ranging from websites and mobile apps to Wi-Fi connected microwaves. You can work on creating a useful tool that you wish existed or learning a new skill or language — anything goes!

View full rules


University students of all skill levels are eligible to compete. We’re looking for a diverse mix of technical students from any major to create exciting, eclectic hacks. If you are an interested high school student, please fill out the application; we will contact you if there are any troubles.


Teams’ demos will be judged on several criteria including usefulness, technical difficulty, polish, and creativity. More details about the judging process will be provided closer to the event. Teams will not be told their scores during or after judging, and decisions by the judges and HackIllinois team are final.

How to enter

Each team is permitted one submission that must be received by 10:00am on Sunday, March 1st, 2015. Code submitted for judging must be produced only by team members and written during HackIllinois from the starting time on Friday, February 27th, 2015 to the submission time. If you are continuing a previous project or using old code written by you, let us know on the project submission form. Third party libraries are allowed without notice provided that they are publicly available to any participant. All code you create at HackIllinois is owned by you, and may be made open source at your discretion. By submitting a project, you and your team grant the HackIllinois team the unrestricted right to use your submission material, at no cost, for promotional purposes of future HackIllinois events.


HackIllinois Judges

HackIllinois Judges

Jay Freeman

Jay Freeman

Greg Baugues

Greg Baugues

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
    How original is the idea? How creative of an approach do they take?
  • Technical Complexity
    How well do they use technologies together? How complex is it?
  • Utility
    How useful of a product is it? Is it something that you see people using in thier everyday lives?
  • Accessibility
    Is it simple and straightforward? Or is it bulky and hard to understand?
  • Awesomeness
    Is there a wow factor?
  • Polished
    For the final round, judges will be looking at all the previous criterion as well as how clean the product is - in terms of design, appearance, and sophistication?
  • Presentation
    For the final round, judges will be looking at all the previous criterion as well as how well the team presents the project?