WildHacks is Chicago’s largest intercollegiate hackathon. This November, the most creative and innovative students from the Midwest and around the country will come to Northwestern to ideate, develop, and launch novel hardware and software projects. In just 24 hours, 500 students will learn from top industry mentors, collaborate with talented teammates, and turn their wildest ideas into reality.

November 21-22, 2015 in Evanston, IL.


All full or part-time undergraduate or graduate students are eligible to compete, regardless of skill level or prior experience.

Hackathon Sponsors


$19,540 in prizes

WildHacks 2015 1st Place Prize


WildHacks 2015 2nd Place Prize


WildHacks 2015 3rd Place Prize


Belvedere Trading - Best Hack that Facilitates Communication (2)

The hack that best facilitates communication will win a Siberia V3 Prism Gaming Headset for each team member from Belvedere Trading.

HP Haven OnDemand Challenge (2)

The hack that demonstrates the best and most innovative use of the Haven OnDemand APIs will win GoPro Hero 4 Sessions for each member of the team from HP.

IBM Best Bluemix App

The hack that best uses Bluemix technologies will win Go Pros for each member of the team from IBM

IMC Financial Markets

The hack that has the best data visualization will Apple Watches for the entire team from IMC Financial Markets.

Paypal/Braintree Most Disruptive Use of Braintree SDK or Paypal API

The most disruptive hack using the Braintree SDK or the Paypal API will win a BB-8 Droid for each member of the team from PayPal/Braintree.

Postmates Best Use of Postmates API

The hack that demonstrates the best use of Postmates API win win $1000 in Postmates credit from Postmates

Postmates/Walgreens Challenge

The hack that best demonstrates printing and delivery integration will win $500 in cash, $500 in Postmates credit, Postmates swag, custom revenue share for photo prints if the app is live by January 15, 2015, and a meeting and lunch with the Walgreens API team in downtown Chicago from Walgreens and Postmates

Tanvas Best User Experience

The hack that demonstrates the best user experience will win $500 from Tanvas. Canvas will take into consideration usability, discoverability, aesthetics and uniqueness.

Twilio Best Use of Twilio API

The hack that demonstrates the best use of Twilio API will win an Arduino Yun for each team member from Twilio.

Venture for America Social Innovation Prize

The hack that addresses a social need - whatever that need is - in a creative and fresh way will win $500 from Venture for America. The design takes into account usability and sustainability, and can range from hardware to software.

Walgreens Best Photo API Integration

The hack that demonstrates the best use of Walgreens Photo API will win $500 in cash from Walgreens.

Microsoft Best Use of Azure

Th hack that has the best use of Azure will win Dell Venue 8 Pros for each team member from Microsoft.

Microsoft Best Use of Microsoft Technology

The hack that demonstrates the best use of Microsoft technology will win a Microsoft Bands for each team member.

Groupon Most Out-of-this-World Use of the Groupon Space Cat

The hack that has the most out-of-this-world use of the Groupon Space Cat will win a $100 gift card to Groupon, as well as 4 Cutter & Buck Groupon branded overnight duffle bags filled with Groupon swag, courtesy of Groupon.

MLH Punniest Domain

The web hack that has the punniest domain will win RedBoards from MLH.

MLH Coolest Nest Hack

The hack that demonstrates the coolest use of Nest will win binary clock kits from MLH.

Trustwave - Best anomaly detection algorithm

$600 (4x $150) Amazon Gift Cards

Trustwave - Best visualization of entities on a network

4 Parrot AR Drone Quadricopters, 2.0 Elite Edition, 720p

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Melissa Crounse

Melissa Crounse
Executive Director, The Garage at Northwestern

Brad Morehead

Brad Morehead
CEO LiveWatch Security, Kellogg Adjunct Lecturer of Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Neal Sales-Griffin

Neal Sales-Griffin
CEO, The Starter League

Haoqi Zhang

Haoqi Zhang
Professor, Segal Design Center

Tony Wilkins

Tony Wilkins
Managing Director, BNY Mellon, Membership Chair, Hyde Park Angels

Karl Hughes

Karl Hughes
Head of Engineering, Packback

Justin Woo

Justin Woo

David Giard

David Giard
Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

Judging Criteria

  • Originality
    The hack should be unique and interesting. This can range from a new spin on a known idea to completely outlandish ideas. The hack should be something damn cool you’ve never seen before.
  • Usefulness/Utility
    Doesn't have to be business-ready, but should have the potential to be a useful in everyday life. Should also be intuitive and easy to use.
  • Technical Complexity
    The hack should be technically impressive for 24 hour project. They should have code and a functioning prototype. Anything from frameworks, apis, algorithms to interesting languages can add to the technical difficulty of the project.
  • Polish/Design
    Should look or work beautifully. The closer it looks and feels to a professional-grade application, the better.

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