HackMerced VII is here! Our event is fully virtual this year however, we are tripling the amount of prizes, swag, and giving away meal reimbursement for our hackers. If a team fully attends the event and demos there project at the end, they will get free food delivery gift cards!


Every submission must include an under 4-minute video detailing what your project is, how it answers the prompt, any future enhancements you may have, and why you decided to build it. The video format needs to be a shareable video link!

Remember to include all your team member names, up to a maximum of 4 people.

Look more details under Project Submissions at Hacker's Guide

Need help with editing your video? How to Edit Video Resource

Hackathon Sponsors


$15,500 in prizes

1st Place Education Track

1x Nintendo Switch per team member (max 4.)

2nd Place Education Track

1x Airpod Wireless Charging for each team member (Max 4.)

3rd Place Education Track

1 Hydroflask per team member (max 4.)

1st Place Cybersecurity Track

1x Nintendo Switch per team member (max 4.)

2nd Place Cybersecurity Track

1x Airpod Wireless Charging for each team member (Max 4.)

1st Place Open Innovation Track

1x Nintendo Switch per team member (max 4.)

3rd Place Cybersecurity Track

1 Hydroflask per team member (max 4.)

2nd Place Open Innovation Track

1x Airpod Wireless Charging for each team member (Max 4.)

3rd Place Open Innovation Track

1 Hydroflask per team member (max 4.)


Best hack that is the craziest, the most out-of-this-world project at HackMerced 2021. It doesn't need to fit any category. Take risks. Make the impossible.

1st Place: Drones

Best in Design

Create the best UI/UX-friendly design application.

1st Place - One-Year Sketch Licenses and $100 Gift Card

2nd Place - Axure RP Team Annual Subscription (With Axure RP Team, multiple people can create diagrams, build UX prototypes, and explore designs in a single Axure RP file at the same time. Co-authoring in Axure RP Team gives you a simple and safe way to explore ideas and contribute when ready for more intentional collaboration) https://www.axure.com/team

Clerky- Best Startup Idea

Form your startup with Clerky's Formation products and get unlimited use* of their standard Fundraising, Hiring, Commercial, and Maintenance products for the lifetime of your startup.

1st Place - Clerky Company Lifetime Package

Lob- Best Lob API

Solve a problem using the Lob API. Lob offers a developer-first platform to optimize direct mail. They provide easy-to-use APIs to automate sending letters, checks, and postcards—creating a personalized mail piece is as easy as creating a webpage. Lob also improves address integrity with autocomplete and address verification APIs.

Checkout Lob's resource page for HackMerced VII

1st Place - $500 Amazon Gift Card

ACM- Best in Sustainability

Eco-friendly ideas are shaping the world rapidly today. We can help save the environment by being efficient in using our resources. Build an innovative solution that helps save the environment globally or locally!

1st Place - 1x Raspberry pi for each team member (max 4.)

MLH- Best Hardware Hack

Build a hack using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator.

1st Place - Bose Speaker for each team member (max 4.)

MLH - Best Domain Name from Domain.com

Register a .tech domain name using Domain.com during the weekend. Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. Each winning team member will receive a PowerSquare Qi wireless phone charger.

1st Place - PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger

MLH - Best Use of Auth0

Auth0 wants your applications to be secure! Use any of the Auth0 APIs for a chance to win some exclusive swag, including a Miir 12oz tumbler, Rubik's Cube, and sticker! Why spend hours building features like social sign-in, Multi-Factor Authentication, and passwordless log-in when you can enable them through Auth0 straight out of the box? Save some time on your hack and set yourself up for a big win. It doesn’t take much to get started. Auth0 is free to try with up to 7,000 free active users and unlimited log-ins. Make your new account today!

1st Place - Exclusive Auth0 Swag made for MLH Winners (Branded Tumbler, Rubik's Cube & Sticker)

MLH - Most Creative Use of GitHub

GitHub is one of the best ways to collaborate, push code, get feedback, and show the world what you’ve built during a hackathon. To take it a step further, GitHub is now offering you access to industry tools, events & learning resources through something called GitHub Global Campus. Win this weekend’s Best Use of GitHub prize category, first by signing up for GitHub Global Campus and second by using a GitHub repository to host your hackathon project’s code! Make sure your use of GitHub stands out with a detailed ReadMe page, meaningful pull requests and collaboration history, and even a GitHub pages deployment!

1st Place - GitHub Octocat Statue, Plushy & Sticker bundle

MLH - Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key

Using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator, build a hack for your chance to win a Grove Beginner Kit, with embedded Arduino Uno compatible board. Each winning team member will receive a prize!

1st Place - Grove Beginner Kit

MLH - Most Creative Use of Twilio

Twilio allows you to incorporate mobile messaging, phone calls and a ton of other awesome communication features right into your hackathon project using web service APIs. Are you building an e-commerce website and want to send text notifications or email confirmations once an order is completed? Or maybe your application needs to verify users based on their mobile numbers? Twilio makes all this possible and more. Build a hack that simplifies your life using any one of Twilio’s APIs for a chance to win a Twilio Swag Box and GameGo Console for you and each of your teammates!

1st Place - Twilio Swag Box GameGo Console

MLH - Best Use of MATLAB

MATLAB and Simulink are computation tools used at more than 5,000 institutions worldwide. Use their software in your next hack to win some exclusive MathWorks swag including a MathWorks branded cinch bag, pair of socks, baseball cap, stylus pen & deck of cards! You can also claim a free MATLAB software license to get started.

1st Place - MathWorks Swag Bag

MLH - Best Use of DeSo

DeSo is the official Web3 sponsor of the MLH Hackathon League and the first Layer 1 blockchain custom-built for decentralized social media applications. While blockchains like Avalanche or Solana cost $0.50+ to store just a 200-character post, the DeSo blockchain is built with custom indexing and storage optimizations which make it 10,000X cheaper to store social content on-chain! In order to qualify for the contest, you must launch an app that writes to the DeSo blockchain and/or implements DeSo identity. While social media apps are a great fit for DeSo, you can also build financial apps, marketplaces, and more on the DeSo blockchain. For inspiration on project ideas, you can check out some of the existing 200+ apps already live on DeSo at Bithunt.com as well as our DeSo APIs. The Best Use of DeSo gets $100 worth of $DESO coin & an exclusive DeSo branded tumbler!

1st Place - $100 worth of $DESO coin & an exclusive DeSo Tumbler

MLH - Best Use of Google Cloud

Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. See full list of products here: g.co/cloud. Winners located in the US will receive a Google Cloud Swag Bag complete with a beanie, pillow, journal, socks & lanyards. Winners outside of the US will receive a Google branded backpack.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Mary Francine Delos Reyes

Mary Francine Delos Reyes
Director / HackMerced

Manjot Singh
Project Manager / IT

Shubham Naik

Shubham Naik
Software Engineer / Snorkle.ai

Deo Halili

Deo Halili
Project Manager / Databricks

Adrian Darian
Software Engineer / Roche

Alexander Petersen

Alexander Petersen
Professor / UC Merced

Felber Bermudez

Felber Bermudez
Graduate Student / UC Merced

Athena Siaotong

Athena Siaotong
Director of Design / HackMerced

Amar Saini
Data Scientist / LLNL

Sid Maestre
Director Engineering / Lob

Andrew Ng

Andrew Ng
Software Engineer / Roche

Jatnael Montes

Jatnael Montes
HackMerced Director

Alison Ross

Alison Ross

Judging Criteria

  • Originality
    Does it do something entirely novel, or at least take a fresh approach to an old problem?
  • Execution
    Is the hack usable in its current state? Is the user experience smooth? Does everything appear to work? Is it well designed?
  • Usefulness
    Is the hack practical? Is it something people would actually use? Does it fulfill a real need people have?
  • Presentation
    How well was the project presented? Did it make the hack more compelling? Did it give a good idea of its purpose?
  • Learning
    Did the team stretch themselves? Did they try to learn something new? What kind of projects have they worked on before?
  • Adherence to Theme
    Does the hack adhere to the event's theme? Does it implement that theme fully or just partially?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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