This October, we will host our first-ever virtual hackathon, centered around the theme of showcasing how Upstate New York is a great place to live and work. 

In addition to the coding competition, we will also host a variety of workshops, panels, and fun activities that show what Central New York has to offer in terms of job and recreational opportunities. 

Anyone in the world can submit to Hack Upstate and be eligible for cash prizes. We will reserve certain prizes and raffles to only New York State-based participants (please see prize descriptions below).

Hack Upstate’s mission is to unite and facilitate collaboration among the greater Upstate New York technology community. In doing so, we aim to contribute to the growth of Upstate New York’s technology sector and to create a robust network of technologists and regional technology companies.

Hack Upstate organizes weekend hackathons twice a year (i.e., Fall & Spring) where developers, designers, engineers and innovators from across Upstate New York come to Syracuse, NY, to share ideas, form teams, build projects, and win awesome prizes in 24 hours. The event is free to attend for all participants.


Anyone can participate from anywhere in the world. If you're under 18, please complete our waiver here.

We will only be able to ship prizes and T-shirts to hackers with submitted projects who are based in New York State.


  • Participants must develop a technical project.
  • No pre-written code or continuing existing projects.
  • Libraries and frameworks are allowed.
  • Project ideation can happen before the hackathon but all code must be written during the hackathon period from Saturday, October 3rd at 12pm EST to Sunday, October 4th at 12pm EST.

Hackathon Sponsors


$2,050 in prizes

Grand Prize

Best Overall Hack - $1,000 Cash Prize

First Runner-Up

$500 - Cash Prize

Honorable Mention

Best-Effort Hack

$100 Cash Prize

Best Hardware Hack

$100 Cash Prize

Best Use of Open Data

$100 Cash Prize

Best Social Impact Prize

$100 Cash Prize

Best "Why CNY is a Great Place to Work and Live" Prize

$100 Amazon gift card raffle for one person who is based in New York State and submits a video or text entry explaining why Central New York is a great place to work and live:

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Steve VonDeak

Steve VonDeak
Co-Founder and Chief of Staff at Density

Laiza Semidey

Laiza Semidey
Syracuse Surge Work Train Manager - Centerstate CEO

Jeff Fuchsberg

Jeff Fuchsberg
Director of GENIUS NY

Kristin Mannion

Kristin Mannion
President of The Alvina Group

Judging Criteria

  • 20% - Originality & Creativity & Novelty
    Is the project new and something that hasn't been attempted before? How does this approach a unique solution to a problem?
  • 20% - Wow Factor
    Subjective and buzz-wordy, huh? That's what makes it fun :) We know you have something up your sleeve that's going to knock our socks off!
  • 20% - Polish / Design / Execution
    Did your team successfully execute your project concept? Is it usable? Does it work? Is it well designed? Is the user experience smooth?
  • 20% - Demo / Presentation
    You'll have 2-3 minutes for a demo to tell the judges about your project, followed by a Q/A. We're interested in the problems you solved, API's you leveraged, technologies used, and lessons learned. We recommend a quick powerpoint.
  • 20% - Multidisciplinary project
    We encourage and applaud interdisciplinary projects fueled by eclectic teams with diverse backgrounds.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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