The Hackaday Prize


You’re probably wondering what you’re actually supposed to build? We’ve been vague up to this point on purpose, because spouting specific categorization stifles creativity. We want you to Build the Future — not fit inside of a tiny box made of disqualifying restraints.

Start by thinking of a problem you might solve. Enter this idea to help get everyone thinking toward solutions that will benefit all. As your ideas take shape, document your progress through the planning, testing, and building stages. Show that your build will solve a real problem to put yourself on the path to claim the 2015 Hackaday Prize.

Don't wait for this to happen. Make it happen.

Overall Structure

Idea Storm

Whether you build it or not, share your idea to help everyone get started

Prelim Prizes

Those who have an early start on their projects are eligible for prizes

Official Entries due by 8/17

Thousands of entries will be considered
Developing a product? Opt-in for the Best Product award

Semifinalists Announced 8/31

100 Move on as Semifinalists
10 Finalists for “Best Product”
5 Finalists for each sponsor prize

Finalists Announced 10/5

10 Move on as Finalists
1 “Best Product” announced
1 winner of each sponsor prize announced

Top Rankings 11/14 & 11/15

Grand Prize, 2nd through 5th ranks, and Best Product announced at the Hackaday SuperConference

Important Dates

    • Start your idea storm. Just talking about interesting problems and possible solutions could land you a small prize. Post your own project on and add the tag “HackadayPrize”
    • Entry Round
      • You have until mid-August to submit your official entry but there are prizes available for those that share their work early. We’ll be assembling “Hot Lists” to highlight the best work in many different areas. We will also have Community Voting. Both will help your build with prizes that help you spin PCBs and order parts.
      • Work on full documentation for your project. Before the next deadline make sure you start building a prototype, post images of your work, share a block diagram, make a plan for seeing the project through, and publish a video up to 2-minutes long which covers everything.
      • Before the August cutoff date you may opt-in for the “Best Product” award -- if you choose to do so you will need to get 3 beta test units into our hands
    • Your entry must be officially submitted to the 2015 Hackaday Prize by 1:50pm Pacific Time on 8/17/15 to be considered. Judging will begin and results will be announced on or around 8/31/15
    • 100 Semifinalists will move to the next round. 10 “Best Product” finalists and 5 sponsor prize finalists will be identified.
    • Continue documenting your progress. The more you update your page with progress details the easier it will be for Judges to see your project is worthy of the finals. Have a working prototype and post a second video of 2-minutes or less describing your project and your progress.
    • Judges will look at the progress of your project up to this point, but don’t stop now because the next deadline is just around the corner.
    • 10 Semifinalists will be announced on or around 10/5/2015


Grand Prize

What’s bigger than space? Nothing, and that’s why we’ll be sending the Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Hackaday Prize into space. The win will choose a private spaceflight carrier of their choice, or opt for the cash prize of $196,883.

Last year’s winner, SatNOGS, decided to start a foundation which used the cash option to further the project. That is noble, but we still hold out hope for an adventurous winner who will make the trip!

"Best Product"

Prove you have the talent and skill to create not just a prototype, but a product. Winner of the “Best Product” award will receive a cash prize of $100,000 along with a six-month residency at the Hackaday Design Lab, and assistance with introductions to the organizations key to taking your product to market.

Read the Fine Print

Everything on this page is meant to be human readable. This boiled-down version is subject to change. So if you’re getting serious about winning The Hackaday Prize you simply must read The Official Rules.

The 2015 Entries