March 4 - 5



On March 4-5, we will be hosting our flagship annual hackathon, HackCU 9, in-person! You will have the chance to create projects in any of the provided tracks. Submit your project to win a number of special prizes, or attend a few of our many workshops and seminars. HackCU 9 will be hosted at the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building on CU Boulder East Campus.



HackCU’s general challenge includes 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize winners. This challenge will be evaluated based on the overall creativity of the team and their project, questions selected by HackCU organizers, as well as any additional criteria mandated by the judges.

All Beginner

Hackathons are a great way for beginners in technology—from the workshops to software resources provided by HackCU, we want first-time hackers to learn and build a project first hand. This track will assess the best hack created by a team of all beginner hackers.

Best UI/UX

No matter how complex the algorithms behind a technology are, a project has limited possibilities for success unless the user is considered. For the best engagement from users, it is necessary to have a good user interface that fits the needs of the user and enhances their experience. The track will be judged based on the aesthetic nature of the project’s user design, as well as how effectively it amplifies the purpose of the project.

Social Impact

Technology is a powerful tool that allows us to identify and combat real-world problems that billions of people face around the world today. This track will be assessed based on the project’s ability to propose a resolution for a social issue.

Spectrum Capitalize on Captive Portal

One of Charter Communications business priorities is to increase Spectrum Mobile market share, and we currently offer one of the fastest and best value plans in the industry. Spectrum Out of Home Wifi Captive Portal is a platform for authenticating users into public networks. This platform currently sees ~1.2 million unique visits of non-customer traffic and another ~600 thousand Spectrum internet customer visits each month but is not currently leveraged to as a marketing or sales tool. This means we have potential new sale and upsell opportunities that are currently missed. Using the platform provided create a novel strategy and proof of concept solution for marketing/selling to Spectrum Out Of Home Wifi users.

Our Story

HackCU was started in 2014 by a group of passionate students who wanted to provide other students the time and space to work on projects they don't normally work on through school. Since then we've been committed to fulfilling our mission of bringing you high-quality, inclusive events open to people of all levels of experience.

Why You?

Like to write programs? Dig into interesting datasets? Design creative works? Or maybe you've never written a line of code? We will provide the space and the resources for you to express your creativity, ingenuity, and determination to create anything you want to. Whether you're building your first website, dabbling in Photoshop, or hacking with an Oculus Rift, HackCU is for you. HackCU is for people of all backgrounds and experiences. So, come and join us!


What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is best described as an “invention marathon”. Anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build & share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere.

Who can attend?

We welcome any at the University of Colorado Boulder!

Do I need a team? How large are teams?

Don't have a team? We got you covered. We will have time before hacking begins for hackers to get together and form teams. You can have a maximum of 4 members on your team.

Will you offer travel reimbursement?

Reimbursement applications are now closed!

What if I have another question?

Tweet us at @hackcu or drop us a line at [email protected]

What if I am not a student?

Be a mentor! Help out with our hackathon! Check out the mentor window below to sign up.

Can I reuse a previous project?

You can NOT use anything that you have started prior to the event. You can think of ideas for your project, but you must start from scratch when you arrive.

Do I have to be a programmer?

Absolutely not! It doesn't matter if you are a designer, a writer, or a chemist. There is a place for you here. Prior to hacking, there will be a team formation session to help form teams.


Day 1

Time Event

8:00 am

Arrival and Check-In

8:00 am

Breakfast 1

11:00 am

Opening Ceremony

12:00 pm

Lunch 1

12:00 pm

Team Formation

12:00 pm

Hacking Begins!

1:00 pm

Fastly Workshop

2:00 pm

Spectrum Workshop

3:00 pm

Introduction to Git Workshop

6:00 pm

Dinner 1

8:30 pm

Space Trivia

10:00 pm


11:00 pm

2001: A Space Odyssey

Day 2

Time Event

7:00 am

Sid’s Morning Run (weather permitting)

8:00 am

Breakfast 2

12:00 pm


12:00 pm

Lunch 2

12:30 pm

Project Expo / Judging

3:00 pm

Closing Ceremonies

Volunteer and Mentor

Want to build HackCU with us?

Help us make this event happen and welcome over 400 awesome hackers.


Spectrum logo
Keysight Technologies logo
Fastly logo