PennApps XV is scheduled for January 20th-22nd, 2016 at the the Penn Engineering Campus in Philadelphia. The fifteenth iteration of the nation's first college hackathon is upping the hackathon to new extremes, with the world's top and most promising hackers coming together to tackle real world problems using the latest in hardware and software. Teams start working on their hacks (at 8 PM) after the Friday evening kickoff and continue working till Sunday morning (8:00 AM). All submissions MUST be made here on Devpost. Videos are optional.


If you applied to PennApps XV, received an offer to attend and went on to confirm that you will do so, you are eligible to attend PennApps. If you attended and hacked at PennApps, then you are eligible to make a submission. 



Make your project, submit your hack to Devpost and attend the PennApps expo to show off what you built. You must demo at the expo and submit on Devpost in order to be eligible for prizes.


Hackathon Sponsors


$51,340 in prizes

PennApps XV Grand Prize

Oculus Rift + Nintendo Switch + GoPro Session; Lutron Plug-In Dimmer Kit.

PennApps XV Second Place Prize

Nintendo Switch + GoPro Session

PennApps XV Third Place Prize

Nintendo Switch

PennApps Route | Best Health Hack

Hacks that have applications in wellness, medicine and healthcare. Prize: NeuroSky Mindwave Mobile: Brainwave Starter Kit and Surface Pro 4s.

PennApps Route | Best Education Hack

Hacks that have applications in education.Prize: Patagonia backpack & 1 TB external hard drive.

PennApps Route | Best Hardware Hack

Hacks where the main focus is on hardware. Prize: Hardware kits for each team member

PennApps Route | Best VR/AR Hack

Hacks where the main focus is on Virtual/Augmented Reality. Prizes: Logitech Z623 200 Watt Home Speaker System + Amazon Echo Dot

PennApps Route | Best Social/Civic Hacking Hack

Hacks with a primary goal geared towards issues of social or civic impact, or focus on a local community. Prizes: Logitech Z623 200 Watt Home Speaker System + Amazon Echo Dot

Best Use of the Capital One API - Nessie

Presented by Capital One. Winners will receive $400 Amazon gift cards each.

Best Use of Encryption/Security

Presented by Datto. Winners will receive $200 gift cards each.

Lutron IoT Prize

Given to the hack which demonstrates a good integration between hardware and software. Presented by Lutron. Winners will receive Lutron Caséta Wireless Smart Lighting Plug-in Lamp Dimmer Kits (HomeKit-enabled).

1517 Prize Package (3)

Presented by 1517 Fund. This prize package, including a $1K grant, $5K in AWS credits, and ongoing mentorship will go to the team that creates a unique and creative product that they'd like to bring to market.

Best Domain Name Registered in PennApps XV

Presented by NameCheap. Winners will receive $150 credit in their NameCheap accounts.

Best Use of Button

Presented by Button. The prize will go to the hack that best adds a Button to their iOS , Android, or mobile web app. Each winning team member will get an Amazon echo (or similarly priced prize of the team member's choice).

The Most Innovative Embedded Hack

Presented by L3 Technologies. Prize: Cheerwing Syma X5SW-V3 FPV for each team member

Best Data Science Project/Best Use of Beaker

Presented by Two Sigma. Given to the hack that displays the best use of Beaker or best use of data analysis. Prize: $200 AMEX Gift Cards per team member.

Best Space Hack

Given to the best space-related hack. Prize: Google Homes

Best User Experience

Give to the hack displaying the best user experience. Prize: Google Homes

Most Useful to Students

Given to the hack that displays the most use to students. Prize: Logitech Z623 200 Watt Home Speaker System

Most Humorous Hack

It's a surprise!!!

Best Use of Rapid Prototyping, sponsored by AddLab

Presented by AddLab. Prize: $50 in 3D Printing Credit.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


A Killer Judging Panel

A Killer Judging Panel

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Difficulty
    Is the hack technically interesting or difficult? Is it just some lipstick on an API, or were there real technical challenges to surmount? This is the most important criterion that your hack will be judged upon for the general prizes.
  • Originality
    Is the hack more than just another generic social/mobile/local app? Does it do something entirely novel, or at least take a fresh approach to an old problem?
  • Polish
    Is the hack usable in its current state? Is the user experience smooth? Does everything appear to work? Is it well designed?
  • Usefulness
    Is the hack practical? Is it something people would actually use? Does it fulfill a real need people have?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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