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"..Hack Midwest changed my life & the future of Kansas City"

~ Ben Barreth - Founder, Homes For Hackers

Create The Future

Are you ready to create something epic for a chance to win thousands of dollars in prizes? Join us at Hack Midwest: a 24 hour app-building competition for university students (undergraduate/graduate) AND professional designers/developers to come together and create something awesome. Aside from the incredible energy that just can’t be described, it’s a fantastic way to learn & grow! It’s all about just shipping.

Are you frustrated with a world of endless process and other barriers to innovation? You’ve found your freedom at Hack Midwest. Join hundreds of undergrads, professional developers & designers that are just as passionate about building things on July 19th & 20th in Kansas City!


Hack Midwest 2013


More prizes coming soon...keep checking back :)

General Category Prizes

Best In Show: Printrbot 3D Printer
Sponsored by Sentient Technologies

(1) Butterfly Labs Bitcoin Miner

Up to (3) 3Doodler 3D Drawing Pens!

Up to (5) Syma X1 Drones

(1) Acer C720 Chromebook (sponsored by SpeedyCash )

API Category Prizes

Best use of
Rdio API

1 Year of "Rdio Unlimited" Subscriptions (1 per team member)

Best apps built for Pebble Watch

Up to 4 Pebble Classic Smart Watches

Best use of Mashery API Network

Win up to (3) ArcBotics Sparki Robots

Best use of Simplify API

$300 Worth Of MasterCard Gift Cards

Best use of Pivotal Web Services

Zepp Baseball kit + $1000 Pivotal Web Services Credit

Runner Up: Best use of Simplify API

$100 Worth Of MasterCard Gift Cards

Best use of Clarify API

Selection of miscellaneous & geeky Lego sets

Best use of Pivotal Stack (either OSS or Pivotal Product)

2 Raspberry Pi Starter Kits

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Hack Midwest?

Hack Midwest is a fast paced hackathon in Kansas City event where teams of developers design and build a software project within 24 hours.

Who Can Attend?

Any college student is welcome to apply! Sign up with your .edu email address.

Why would I want to go to a Hackathon?

Because you want to: Hone your skills, connect with local developers that are passionate about building good software, learn about tools and new dev patterns, demonstrate your skills...and have a chance at wining cool prizes!

But I don't have any ideas!

…EVERYONE has ideas!

What you might really be saying is that you don't have any GOOD ideas. Just remember that a single good idea rarely presents itself without the generation of a hundred or thousand other bad ones. Look at many of the innovators through history as a testament. Sometimes an idea might take on new life when presented to other developers, who can improve upon it. But you never know until you try. You could always just be on a team with someone who you think has good ideas and help them build it. You'll be able to meet those kind of people at this event!

Am I only allowed to use the APIs you list?

No. You can use any APIs you want to build your apps, but if you want to compete for some of the listed prizes - you'll need to use one of those listed APIs. NOTE: We'll have separate prizes awarded for apps that aren't tied to a particular API, and will announce this soon.

Do I have to pre-organize a team?

No. We can try to help you find one at the event.

Hack?? I'm a developer, not a security guy!!

Relax. In the programming world, hacker means:

"A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and stretching their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.


Programming Language

Applications may be built in any code that you please.

Fresh Code

No production assets of any kind can be created until the start of the official competition period illustrated above. This includes "ready to slice" graphic design assets, application code, and user stories / test cases. Some individuals have asked about frameworks and libraries - yes these ARE allowed, but 3rd party only. When in doubt: Plan, don't create.


Your teams should be comprised of between one and five individuals. No more than five people are allowed on a team. You can pre-organize a team or we can try to help you find one at the event.

24 Hours

Your team has exactly 24 hours to develop a mobile or web based application. After the initial 24 hours are up, you’ll be judged on what you’ve completed. No additional features or bugfixes are allowed during this period, or you will be disqualified.

Source Control

We’ll provide your team with a private Git repository, so we can ensure your code is fresh. As you develop your application, push progress to the assigned repository regularly (“commit early, commit often”) in order to demonstrate progress. Hack Midwest organizers will be observing checkins throughout the event. Don’t be tricky and try to develop your app in its entirety ahead of time, rebasing it and pushing it in at the last minute. Doing so could will get you disqualified. Before the contest ends, you must mark your entry as complete on your assigned Git profile and tag a release of your code with the word ‘HackMidwest’.

Ownership and Open Source

We’re just running a competition here… what you do with your source once the competition is over is up to you. We encourage participants to open source the codebase of their applications for the benefit of the community. However, if you choose not to open source your application, well that’s up to you. Please note that the competition organizers will have access to your code base throughout the competition, in order to make sure that no cheating occurs (as outlined previously). We won’t steal anything from you, promise! However, we do reserve the right to use your application’s likeness as a promotion for this or future contest.


All judging will occur from the perspective of ‘joe average web jockey’. That is, code quality will not be judged. We believe code quality to be a highly subjective affair, and thorough reviews are extremely time-intensive and not in the best interests of this competition. Your application will be judged based on it’s visible merits, such as:

  • completeness
  • user interface
  • originality
  • usefulness

Each judge (both expert panel members as well as peer judges) will be able to rate each application on a scale of one to five (1-5) on these criteria and comment on recommendations / possible enhancements, errors, and other issues that they experienced. Other judges will be able to review these comments. We strongly encourage contestants to use development best practices but in the end judges are expected to rate applications based on their visible merits. Hack Midwest organizers reserve the right to disqualify any team that is believed to be cheating or not competing in the spirit of the competition.


Hack Midwest and other KCITP events are made possible by the support of our forward thinking sponsors.

Is your company interested in being a sponsor? Get in touch!


Location: Johnson County Community College (map)

Saturday, July 19th

10:00am - Hackathon starts!

12:30pm - Lunch

5:00pm - Dinner

Sunday, July 20th

10:00am - Hackathon ends!

10:15am - App Demos Begin

12:00pm - Winners Announced