Sponsor Categories

In addition to our main categories, Hack UCSC is proud to showcase our sponsor categories that are brought together by companies who follow the go-getter hacker spirit!



Sponsored By Pyze

Society is on the go and everyone's talking about the latest mobile applications! Whether you prefer iOS or Android, we want to see what mobile apps you will develop to solve real world problems!

Requirement: Must be a mobile application. Must use the Pyze SDK, which is available for iOS, Android, Unity, Web/SaaS and Xamarin.

Judging Criteria

Creativity: Does the app provide a creative solution to a real problem?
Design and Execution: How well is the app designed? Is the app easy and intuitive to use?
Integration:  How well does the App utilize Pyze features like push notification, in-app messaging, growth automation, and personalization? 


Winner: Up to $300 in Amazon Gift Cards

Redefine Future of Virtual Closet

Sponsored By Project YX

Build a digital closet for iOS , Android or web application or any combination of thereof.

  • Create a digital or virtual clothes closet
  • Create outfits using individual items from your digital closet.
  •  Load clothing items into digital closet with a mobile phone camera. Extra points if you can use image processing techniques to remove the background or otherwise enhance the image quality.
  • Apply classification or machine learning to classify the garments
  • Extra points for employing computer vision
  • Use any open source or 3’rd party API.

Judging Criteria

Creativity: How unique and innovative is the idea?
Execution: Does the hack/prototype function? How well is the prototype build or constructed?
Presentation: How finished and polished does the final product feel?


First Place:

  •  $1000
  • Santa Cruz Aerial Tour
  • Lunch with YX team

Second Place:

  •  $200 Amazon Gift Card
  •  Lunch with YX team

Third Place: 

  • Lunch with YX team

Google Cloud Platform Prize

Sponsored By Google

Google Cloud offers a plethora of solutions for the modern day developers. If you can come up with a creative way to incorporate Google into your technological solution, this category is for you! 

Requirements: All submissions must leverage either Google App Engine, Google Container Engine, or Google Compute Engine.

Judging Criteria

Submissions that score in the top three for total points in the first round of judging will be selected to compete in the second round for the Grand Prize. The submission with the highest total score from the Round Two judging will win the Grand Prize. The submission with the second highest score from the Round Two judging will win the Second Place Prize and the remaining submission will win the Third Place Prize.

The First Round of judging will be based on the following criteria:

  • 0-40 points – Technical merit of project, including but not limited to app robustness and technical complexity
  • 0-25 points – Ability to clearly articulate what your app does
  • 0-10 points – Originality of the idea

The Second Round of judging, will include the four categories above, as well as the following bonus categories:


Grand Prize:

  • $1,000 Google Cloud Platform Credits
  • Chromebooks for each team member
  • Swag box for team (shirts, notebooks, etc..)
  • Lunch with Google engineers and a representative from the University recruiting team

Second Place Prize:

  • $500 Google Cloud Platform Credits
  • Swag box for team (shirts, notebooks, etc..)
  • Lunch with Google engineers and a representative from the University recruiting team

Third Place Prize:

  • Swag box for team, (shirts, notebooks, etc...)
  • Lunch with Google engineers and a representative from the University recruiting team

Best Use of Microsoft Azure

Sponsored By Microsoft

Let's get into the cloud with Microsoft Azure! Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—for moving faster and achieving more! What will you build with the cloud?

Requirements: A Microsoft Azure product must be an essential component in the application.

Judging Criteria

Design and Execution: How complete is the app? Are all components working? Is it technically impressive? Is the app easy and intuitive to use?
Integration:  Is Microsoft Azure an essential component in the app? Is it implemented in a creative way?


Winner: Xbox One S 1 TB + call with a recruiter

Best Use of Sigma Platform

Sponsored By Sigma

Coming Soon

Judging Criteria

Coming Soon.


Coming Soon

Creative Entrepreneurship

Sponsored By Arts Division, UCSC

Artists are natural entrepreneurs. They are creative. They are disruptors. They take initiative. They implement enduring change. They bring others along. They make something new and put it out in the world, over and over again. The entrepreneurial mindset positions the artist as potentially instrumental in every facet of human endeavor. Equally important, the vision, creativity and problem-solving abilities artists posses are invaluable assets for solving the countless problems we face as a society and for advancing a competitive culture of innovation.

Judging Criteria

Does the project attempt to solve a problem facing society (large or small scale)?
How creative and entrepreneurial is the project?
Does the project inspire creativity in others?


First prize: $1000 and lunch meeting with Dean of the Arts, Susan Solt (and relevant faculty) to further explore creative entrepreneurship

Second prize: $500 and lunch meeting with Dean of the Arts, Susan Solt (and relevant faculty) to further explore creative entrepreneurship

Graduate Division

Sponsored By Graduate Division, UCSC

Are you a Graduate student at UCSC? We want you to show us your technology talents at Hack UCSC! Compete in either main categories, Innovation or Tech Cares to enter!

Requirement: Must be a UCSC Graduate Student.

Judging Criteria

The best hack by a UCSC Graduate Student will be selected from the finalist teams in the Innovation and Tech Care categories. Graduate division staff will pick the fellowship awardee with input from judges.  If two or more UCSC graduate students are on the team selected, the fellowship may be split between the graduate students.  


Winner: $2000 summer fellowship

Best Diversity Hack

Sponsored By SHE++

Looking for the best hack combating the lack of diversity in tech!


Exclusive access to private events during the SHE++ summit in April 2017, including Bay Area tech company tours and the annual SHE++ Mentorship Dinner

Best Hack Against Online Harassment

Sponsored By Hack Harassment (MLH)

Build a software solution that can help reduce the frequency and/or severity of online harassment!


Winner: Hack Harassment Swag Bags

Best Domain Name From Domain.com

Sponsored By Domain.com (MLH)

 Looking for the most creative name from Domain.com!


Winner: Domain.com Swag Bags

Best Use of AWS

Sponsored By AWS (MLH)

Looking for best hack using AWS!


Winner: $250 credit for Amazon Web Services