HackGT 2016 Attracts Over 1,000 Student Hackers

This fall, HackGT hosted the third official Georgia Tech hackathon, welcoming over 1,000 student hackers to descend upon campus for 34 hours to make amazing hacks for awesome prizes. Teams competed for a grand prize of over $60,000 in cash and services, as well as exposure to the dozen Fortune 500 companies in attendance. Travel reimbursements allowed students from across the country to take part in the hackathon mayhem.

On Day 1, teams from major enterprises presented issues for hackers to tackle. Companies like AirWatch, CapitalOne, GE Digital, Andreesen Horowitz, AT&T, Bloomberg, Delta, Goldman Sachs, State Farm, Microsoft, GM and more all took advantage of the opportunity to put their nagging problems in front of bright, creative minds dedicated to hacking their way to a solution.

We’re here at HackGT because we want students from across the country to help solve each other’s problems. It’s an open forum where we can help each other make our lives better.
— Casey Chan, gtlyfe

Throughout the weekend, Macy’s, GE, GM, Blackrock, Delta, and others hosted tech talks to introduce concepts and explain technical issues to their would-be problem solvers. Watch Dog 2 partnered up to teach the basics of cyber security with free games as prizes to incentivize sleepy hackers.

And sleepy hackers there were aplenty. Some students brought hammocks to nap in while others crashed on any available surface. Many, however, stayed up all night, enjoying Silent Disco dance parties and a 3 am cookie break.

Sponsor companies ensured the hackers had plenty of swag to get them through the weekend. Major League Hacking distributed Oculuses, Amazon Echos, and laptops for hacker use. Free boba tea was served up by the hundreds on night 1, and the 24/7 snack bar featured tasty treats from the likes of Insomnia cookies, Sublime donuts, King of Pops and other local snack favorites.

Of course, even the hardest worker needs to recharge sometimes. That’s why the event included meditation sessions, poetry slams, and a rousing game of capture the flag – to teach students that play is essential to productivity.

There’s nothing quite like being there – but check the video to get a feel for the spirit of the event. And stay til the end to get glimpses of the winning presentations.

Want more? The HackGT team is already organizing the 2017 experience. Hit them up on Twitter @TheHackGT. 


VideoRachel ZickStudents, HackGT