Midwest Big Data Hackathon

University of Iowa

Presented By

October 8 - 9, 2016

Iowa City IA, USA



About the Event


Midwest Big Data Hackathon is a 2 day non-stop hackathon with 150 participants, and it will be held at University of Iowa in the heart of downtown Iowa City, USA. The event is open to all university students that have a passion for creating things with technology!

Students will form teams to work on their project (or 'hack') up to 4 members. Projects are open format, which means that you can hack on web, mobile, desktop, or hardware applications. Company mentors will be available throughout the event for questions to make sure beginners and experts alike will have the help they need to successfully develop their project. All teams will demo their hacks at the end of the event and winners will be chosen by company mentors.

Code of Conduct



Project Ideas and Data Resources

For Mentors


Benefits and FAQs



Partnering with Midwest Big Data Hackathon will give your company the opportunity to bridge the gap between our students and your recruiters. Over the last few years, hackathons have become the unofficial career fairs of the tech industry. This event will allow you to streamline your recruiting process by reaching out to a skilled and motivated pool of student talent. Your engineers will get to work side-by-side with participants to help them in their projects and gauge their technical abilities.

For more information on how you can get the most out of Midwest Big Data Hackathon please read our Sponsorship Guide available above.


Can we send mentors?

Sending mentors is one of the best things you can do to get the most out of this event. Students greatly value industry tutelage and interacting with your brightest engineers will let them get a feel for your company's culture. Mentors are encouraged to give workshops on company specific APIs which will give you the opportunity to test them in the field.

Will our mentors have to pay for food?

No, food and drinks will be provided.

Do mentors work and stay at the event for 2 days?

Your mentors may stay however long they want. Workshops will be set for scheduled times during the event and you will be notified ahead of time. We recommend mentors stay for the first few hours of the event to meet and greet students and return during the day to help out with projects.

What should we bring for our booth?

We suggest a banner with the name of your company, pamphlets with information about your company and promotional items (t-shirts, stickers, USBs, etc.) so that they will remember your company long after the event.

What if our company doesn't have any APIs?

If you would like you can offer a prize for a themed project. For instance, if your company is in the transportation industry, you could offer a prize for the best transportation app.

Didn't find answer to your question?

Please reach us via Twitter, Facebook or email us at midwestbigdata@gmail.com.


Participating in will give you the opportunity to use new technologies and learn in a friendly and collaborative environment. Experienced mentors from world-renowned companies will help you make your project the best it can be!

Midwest Big Data Hackathon is also a great opportunity to meet and work with students from universities across the United States. Companies are always looking for new talent and this event lets you meet them face-to-face. Handing in your resume in person will increase your chances of securing an internship or full-time position!


Where and when is Midwest Big Data Hackathon?
Who can participate?

Any college or university students are welcome to participate! If you are passionate about programming and are interested in new technologies, we want you to join Midwest Big Data Hackathon!

How many people per team?

Maximum 4 students per team and they don’t have to be from the same school as yours. You may also hack solo if you wish.

How much will it cost?

Absolutely nothing! Food is on us too!

What if I'm new to programming?

That's totally ok! Hackathons are a great place to learn. We're going to have tutorials and mentors to support you during the event.

How will my project be judged?

Both Academy and Industry experts will browse the demos at the end of the event, asking questions and choosing their favorites. From these selections, the best-of-the-best will be compared and a select few will get the chance to present in front of everyone at the closing ceremony.

Didn't find answer to your question?

Please reach us via Twitter, Facebook or email us at bigdata@uiowa.edu.

What to bring:
  • Laptop and charger
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Sleeping bag
  • Small pillow
  • Toiletries (Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • Extra clothes
  • Optional
    • Power­bar
    • Ethernet cable
    • USB key
    • Good old-fashioned pen and paper!
Will there be a place to sleep?

We will have dedicated rooms for sleeping. Just bring a sleeping bag or an airbed with you.

What if I don’t have a team?

No problem! You can reach out to other participants on our Facebook Group to create a team before the event. We will also be hosting a team building session prior to the start of hacking on the day of the event.

What if I don’t have a project or idea?

A great place to start is to look at the available Project Ideas which can help to inspire your project. You can also look for people who need help with a project on the Facebook Group.

Should I bring extra hardware?

Yes, you may bring additional hardware if you have a project in mind.

What should I prepare prior to the event?

It’s a good idea to setup your computer with some development software such as an IDE (i.e. Android Studio, XCode), a version control tool (i.e. Git). You don't want to spend a large chunk of time downloading software at the event, do it beforehand!

Should I start my project before the hackathon?

No. All work on projects should be done at the event. You can read up on different APIs and frameworks but all code should be written during the Midwest Big Data Hackathon.


The Location


Hackathon Sponsors


Industrial Partners

If you are a sponsor looking to get involved, please contact bigdata@uiowa.edu