Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Hack UCSC 2015 gears up for January event, $10K in prizes

by Doug Erickson and Janneke Lang
Hack UCSC 2015

  • Hack UCSC 2015
  • January 9-11, 2015
  • UCSC’s Crown Merrill Cultural Center
  • Open to students from UCSC, CSUMB, Cabrillo College, and local high schools
  • Register here.

On January 9­-11, 2015, over 300 programmers, designers, and tech enthusiasts will gather to unleash their creativity during a two­-and-­a­-half day hackathon. The 10 finalist teams will present to the larger community at an invitation­only Awards Dinner on Sunday, January 11, where judges will award over $10,000 in cash and prizes.

UCSC, CSUMB, Cabrillo College, and local high schools students are all welcome to participate

Students gather at last year's Hack UCSC 2014

Students working at last year’s Hack UCSC 2014

Lifted by the success of the 2014 inaugural hackathon, HACK UCSC 2015 has set its sights even higher this year. The event has been expanded to include non­-students as well as students from high schools and higher ed schools around the Monterey Bay crescent: UCSC, CSUMB, Cabrillo College, and local high schools.

“This year’s hackathon is truly a Monterey Bay regional event,” exclaims Bud Colligan, Founder and CEO of South Swell Ventures. “It will be exciting to see students from the entire Monterey Bay region inventing their future here!”

“We are excited to be a part of the regional effort to build entrepreneurial skills and interest through this great event!” adds Brad Barbeau, Associate Professor Economics and Entrepreneurship at CSU Monterey Bay College of Business. “This will benefit all of the students in the region.”

HACK UCSC 2015 will be held at UCSC’s Crown Merrill Cultural Center. Nestled in the redwood trees overlooking Monterey Bay, the event gives participants an exciting environment to test their skills, learn new skills, and connect with local companies who are seeking talent.

“We were very pleased with the inaugural event last year,” says Doug Erickson, founder of the Santa Cruz New Tech MeetUp. “When we surveyed the participants 2 weeks after the hackathon, we learned that over 50% had been made job offers.”

Mark Adams, program manager of Santa Cruz Works remarks, “It’s events like the hackathon that contribute to a vibrant tech scene. Students discover that there is a local ecosystem that will support their efforts long past the hackathon.”

“Our campus is 50 years young and providing ideas and energy to the regional economy,” said Brent Haddad, Director of UCSC’s Center for Entrepreneurship, a co­-organizer of HACK UCSC 2015. In honor of UCSC’s 50th anniversary, special prizes will be awarded to projects that focus on genomics, coastal sustainability, social justice, gaming, data science, and linking arts and sciences. To aid these themes, the organizers have added Technology Sponsors who provide industry focus, technologies, and expertise.

The event begins on Friday, January 9 at 1:00 pm with a rousing kick-­off speech by an entrepreneurship celebrity. Meals, mentors, and a safe, well­-it place to hack are provided. On Sunday afternoon final projects are uploaded and judging begins. The top 10 teams are invited to the awards dinner where they make their final pitches and collect prizes.

Register and learn more

Visit the HACK UCSC 2015 web site ( to learn more, register, or to become a sponsor. Seats are limited.



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