What is a Hackathon?!?

Meet The Teams - Hackathon 2012It’s an exciting, fast pasted, stimulating event where you turn a crazy cool idea into something real in only 24 hours! It’s like a marathon workshop for developers, designers, and entrepreneurs!

It’s also about meeting and getting to know cool people in the local community while doing something fun!

Email timcolson@startuptucson.com if you have questions or want to help!

Check out the April 2013 Hackathon Projects!


We need your help to put on a successful event with prizes and cool schwag! Please contact Tim for more info.


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Also thanks to Dennis Luttrell, Dan Janes, Jim Kirchoff & Gauge Medical.


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Why do this?

The Interweb is amazing, but meeting a group of like-minded people in person is way better than any social network hangout. We want Tucson’s technical folks to meet and have some fun building stuff together.

The hackathon is a chance to act on that crazy idea you’ve had on the back burner. Or maybe it’s a chance to learn a new skill with one of those “24 hours” books. Do whatever you want because it’s exciting and interesting, and it doesn’t have to make any business sense.

Idea + 24 Hours = Awesome!

What can I accomplish in 24 hours?

Depends on the level of awesome you and your team bring to the event! Surprise us, you may surprise yourself! That said, we recommend keeping the scope reasonable. Something simple and working is better than a complex idea that doesn’t run.

What do I need to bring?

We provide food, facilities, food, power, food, and drinks. You bring the technology, great ideas, and the collective team expertise needed to build something great!

Where and when?

Location: Elegant Thought Offices, 15 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701

Date/Time: 9AM Saturday, April 27 to 1:30 PM Sunday, April 28

 See a Map of where to park

Parking for Hackathon



We’ve been hearing this is the year of sensors, the Internet of Things, the time when everything in the real world can get connected to the web, so the theme is “Interacting with the Real World“. The judges will award points based on what they think of your interpretation of the theme.

Check out this massive list of available sensors…

My favorite: a coin slot sensor and light up piggy bank project!

But don’t worry! You don’t have to be a wiz hardware engineer to participate! A lot of the fun of a hackathon is getting hands on in an environment where other talented people can help show you cool stuff!




7PMHacky Hour at Gentle Ben’s. Meet people and talk about your hackathon ideas!


9:00 AM – Doors open & check in

10:00 AM – Informal idea/team development

10:30 AM – Welcome, introduction, rules, pitches and final projects set

11:30 AM – Lunch

12:00 PM – Coding begins!

6:00 PM – Dinner

6:00 – 8:00 PM Experts/ Mentors (Professors/Professionals can join for dinner, take 15-20 5-min visits)

12:00 AM – Midnight Snack (ice cream)


  8:00 AM – Breakfast

11:30 AM – Lunch

12:00 PM – 2 Min Presentations Start!!!

1:15 PM – Awards

1:30 PM – Done! Go home and get some sleep! You deserve it! Or ride your bike in Cyclovia Tucson!



You must be part of a team with at least two (2) people to win prizes. You can help other teams, but you cannot be a member of more than one team. To win a prize, your team must be here and present your work!

If you just want to hang out and hack by yourself, you can do that too you little honey badger, but no prizes!

Whatever you create, must be built from start to finish during the event. You could build a complete webapp, or a cool script, or a plugin/theme or feature for a larger application. You don’t have to create something huge, but build it during the event, finish it, and have fun along the way.

If you already have an idea, great! You can bring a description, specs, sketches, designs, webpage mockups, etc, but all coding should be done during the 24 hour event.

When time is up, we’ll start calling teams up to give a short presentation.

Your team will have two minutes to present! Two. Not 3. Not 2.5. Two!

Judges and attendees will rate what you did and we’ll award awesome prizes to the winners!


We continue to gather some great prizes.  Everyone will get $100 in Amazon Web Services credit and the winning project team will walk away with some fully loaded Raspberry Pi Kits, complete colorful PiBow cases, T-Cobbler breakout boards, power supplies, SD card, and more!  Other prizes include one copy of Microsoft Windows 8, once copy of Microsoft Office 2013 Pro.   And last, but not least, one lucky attendee will walk away with these pair of Tom’s Sunglasses.  Yeah, they’re sweet.

Contact Info

We need the support of the community to make this happen.

Please email timcolson@startuptucson.com if you have questions or want to help!

Twitter is a great way to stay on top of the latest updates: Follow @startuptucson

Use the #tucsonhacks hashtag for Tucson Hackathon related tweets: Tweet #tucsonhacks