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It's time for round 5.0

November 2-4, 2018
California Memorial Stadium

Apply now

The world's largest collegiate hackathon is back!

Last fall, Hack the Bay organized Cal Hacks 4.0 to bring together 2,200 attendees from 50 universities and 5 countries to build everything from mind-controlled vehicles to artificial intelligence for language learning.

For Cal Hacks 5.0, we’re building on our tradition of technical & inclusive excellence by bringing together the world’s brightest collegiate hackers and guiding them in creating impactful, diverse, & innovative projects.

Inclusion

It is a crucial aspect of our mission to embrace and promote inclusivity, accessibility, & ethicality. All participants are expected to respect both our and MLH's Code of Conduct in order to facilitate a positive hackathon experience!

Hack the Bay Code of Conduct MLH Code of Conduct

Initiatives

CubStart

CubStart is a beginner hacker program to help hackathons be less intimidating and more accessible for everyone! We provide a mentorship program for team building, ideation, basic hackathon skills, and technical workshops to encourage those with little or no CS experience to try out hackathons and coding!

Apply to CubStart *

* Currently, CubStart is only available to UC Berkeley students, although we are working towards expanding to other schools in the future.

While acceptance to CubStart guarantees acceptance to Cal Hacks 5.0, we highly encourage you to apply to both Cal Hacks 5.0 as well as CubStart.

Fellowship

Why do you have to stop hacking after the hackathon is over? You don’t! Hack the Bay started The Cal Hacks Fellowship, a program that hosts several hackathon teams after the hackathon to continue building their projects to whatever stages they want to take it to next stage.

If you are interested in participating in the Fellowship, be on the lookout for the "Fellowship Awards" at Cal Hacks 5.0.

FAQ

What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is where you can transform crazy ideas into reality. Join us at Cal Hacks this year alongside the 1,700 other hackers from all over the globe to share, inspire, teach, and most importantly build.
When are applications due?
The deadline to complete your application is 9/24 for out-of-state students, 10/1 for out-of-area students in California, and 10/8 for Berkeley students.
Can I attend without being a hacker?
Yes! We'd love for you to apply to be a volunteer or mentor — we could not make this event happen without our amazing volunteers & mentors.
What if I don’t know how to code?
Cal Hacks is the perfect place to learn! We believe that some of the next great ideas will come from the fresh and diverse minds of individuals who innovate new solutions to hidden problems — we’re inviting you to come create with us. CubStart is a pre-hackathon beginning hacker program to help hackathons be less intimidating and more accessible for everyone! We provide a mentorship program for team building, ideation, basic hackathon skills, and technical workshops to encourage those with little or no CS experience to try out hackathons and coding!

This program includes pre-hackathon workshops to help you gear up and learn all the skills you’ll need to build something you’re proud of as well as continuous individualized mentorship throughout the hackathon.
How do teams work?
Teams can be up to 4 people large. To apply as part of a team, the application will allow you to generate a team code. Make sure everyone applying as part of your team submits this team code in their application. If you don’t have a team prior to Cal Hacks, don’t worry because we’ll host team matching sessions! You may also compete solo but that will be soo much less fun.
How much will this cost?
Cal Hacks is free for all accepted hackers. We will be providing meals, caffeine, workspace, swag, and WiFi for the weekend. Travel reimbursements or bussing will be available for qualifying hackers. All you have to do is come ready to make!
Who can attend?
Cal Hacks applications are open to all high school and college (both undergrad and grad) students over the age of 18.
What should I bring?
All you need is a valid student ID, a laptop, and chargers. A change of clothes and a pillow and/or sleeping bag is recommended.
What is the schedule of the event?
The Cal Hacks 5.0 schedule will be released closer to the event but plan on arriving at the event on the evening of Friday, November 2nd and leaving in the afternoon of Sunday, November 4th.
What can my team build?
Anything your heart desires! Any hardware, software, or tech-related thing you and your team can come up with! Projects will be judged on creativity, technical difficulty, polish, and usefulness.
What if I want to work on my hack after the hackathon is over?
We started The Cal Hacks Fellowship, a program that hosts several hackathon teams after the hackathon to continue building their projects to whatever stages they want to take it to next.

We offer many things like one-on-one mentorship, direct interactions with industry professionals and venture capitalists, office space at The SkyDeck and the House, equity-free funding, and access to future hack nights. We recommend all hackers to apply to our program to take their projects to the next level!
What is the Hack the Bay code of conduct?
Please see the Inclusion section above for detailed code of conduct.