Camp PolyHacks is a student-run, multidisciplinary hackathon dedicated to social entrepreneurship and human-centered design.

Over two days, Cal Poly students of all backgrounds work in teams to ideate, design, pitch, and market their solution to a problem facing the community. It’s a Learn by Doing marathon of collaboration, learning, and creativity.

Check out the Camper Kit! It contains the following:

Survival Guide: Preparation and how you can make the most out of this hackathon experience

Trails: Breakdown of the Trails with sample problem statements and resources

Resources: Carefully curated resources for iOS, Android, Web Development, Design/Prototyping, and Pitching

Mentors: List of company representatives with their area of expertise

Full Schedule: Descriptions of each event





Hackathon Sponsors


$16,750 in prizes

1st Place

Lenovo Smart Display and Phillips Light Bulb, iFixIt Mako Driver Kits, $4,000 AWS Credits, Gift Basket- Uber Gift Cards, Tile Pros, Caligraphy Pens, Game of Phones, Moleskines

2nd Place

Amazon Echo 2nd Generation, $50 Amazon Gift Cards, $3,000 AWS Credits, Gift Basket- Spotify Gift Cards, Bob Ross Mugs, Caligraphy Pens, Tumblers, Boba Kit, Bluetooth Speaker

3rd Place

Wonderboom Speakers, iFixIt Pro Tech Toolkit, $1,000 AWS Credits, Gift Basket- Moleskines, Amazon gift cards, Caligraphy pens, Echo dot, wireless chargers

Best Pitch

Chromecast Audios

Best Use Of Amazon Web Services by Amazon

$1k AWS Credits and 8 $10 Starbucks Gift Cards

Best Cleantech Hack by Poly Canyon Ventures

$250 Cash, $500 Grant for your Cleantech startup

Best Servant Leadership Hack by Pariveda


Best Use of Satellite Technology by Northrop Grumman

$50 Best Buy Gift Cards

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Teams of 6-8 campers with a minimum of 1 Hacker, 1 Hustler, and 1 Hipster

Choose 1 Trail among: Education, Accessibility, Sustainability


Submit your entire codebase (ex. GitHub repository link), screenshots of your product, slidedeck, and any other sources you'd like to post such as your Illustrator file by Jan 19 7 PM.

How to enter

Show us your ticket on Eventbrite on Friday evening to register. You can form teams at 7:30 PM and submit your poster with your team name, trail choice, and other details at the campfire.

Upload your project on Devpost by 7 PM on Saturday to be entered into the competition. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to upload everything. There are questions you must answer!


Joanne Hontiveros

Joanne Hontiveros
Northrop Grumman

Nancy Dickenson

Nancy Dickenson
Nielsen Norman Group

Vikki Costello

Vikki Costello
Pariveda Solutions

Doris Erlanson

Doris Erlanson

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation + Creativity
    How unique is this app? Is the idea very similar to an existing product? Did the app have any special features or advanced technologies? Was the idea ambitious and did they develop an effective business model? How well did the app solve the social trail?
  • User Interface + User Experience
    How does the UI look? It is professional and clean? Does it have a certain theme carried throughout the entire app? Is the user journey intuitive and easy to use or is it cluttered and confusing?
  • Technical Quality
    How finished and purposeful is the product? Did you scope your features well, given 24 hours? Has it been coded, or are you solely sharing mockups and prototypes? Is the demo live? Did you face any challenges and how did they overcome them?
  • Pitch + App Impact
    Did you define your target market and business opportunity? Would people use or buy this app and how profitable is your revenue model? Was the team cohesive and able to effectively explain their product and answer questions?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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