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15 Cool Hackathon Ideas For Your Next Hackathon

If you are new to the concept of hackathons, you may not know where to start given that there are so many hackathon ideas to choose from. Having said that, organizing a hackathon is an interesting adventure with several fun-filled challenges along the way.

To help solve your confusion, we’ve compiled a list of hackathon ideas that you should refer to if you are planning to organize a hackathon. But before we do that, let’s start with the basics.

What Is A Hackathon?

The word ‘hackathon’ is primarily associated with computer programmers, ethical hackers, and software coders.

While hackathons involve coding on computers until programmers have bloodshot eyes, hackathons are actually a place where like-minded people come together to ‘hack’ innovative ideas and build realistic tech solutions to implement those ideas.

According to Wikipedia:

hackathon ideas

The goal of a hackathon is to solve challenges over the course of the event and create a fully functioning usable software or hardware product by the end of the event.

Most hackathons are time-bound, usually 24 hours or 48 hours, and include a prize for winning teams.

Today, hackathons have expanded in their scope and they now span a wide array of verticals in the likes of Ed-Tech, FinTech, Cyberbullying, Cybersecurity, Environment-Tech, Health-Tech, Auto-Tech, and more.

With Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR),  Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), being core technologies that propel most hackathon ideas and serve as the underpinnings that drive modern innovations, the applications of these technologies is wide.

While there are several mind-blowing hackathons from around the world that you can refer to, here is a list of hackathon ideas under various trending categories that you can refer to if you are planning to organize a hackathon.

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Cool Hackathon Ideas


The education system continues to face multiple challenges in terms of the quality and delivery of education. Tech-based solutions can bridge the gap in learning and streamline the education system.

A great way to ideate and create innovative ed-tech solutions is to host education focussed hackathons.

Here are a few Education-based hackathon ideas:

1. Share learning experiences

Build an app or online platform which programming students can use to capture their work-based experiences and share these learning experiences with other students through text, photos or videos.

The focus should be to develop a platform that allows programming students to share their work experiences and projects with other younger students.

2. Raise classroom behavior issues in real-time

Develop a referral process platform that helps teachers to raise and escalate major behavior issues in the classroom in real-time.

The platform would work like a classroom management tool that will help teachers to share real-­time information on their student’s classroom behaviors with students, other teachers, parents, and administrators.

The system should record all assessments made by the teachers for future reference and annual evaluations.

3. Course and university finder

Develop a robust mobile app that allows students to search for all the necessary information pertaining to the universities they desire, the courses they wish to learn, the admission processes, teacher profiles, alumni information, career paths, employers have partnered with the universities, and more.

The app should have user-friendly filters to search for universities and courses based on a student’s needs and requirements.

Students should be able to chat with representatives of universities directly from the app and should be able to submit applications and save bookmarks of their favorite universities and courses,

Health Tech

Although the level of technology in healthcare is at an all-time high, there is still immense potential to use technology to automate daily operative processes and tasks.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) can revolutionize health-tech for the better and an effective way to determine this is to organize health-tech hackathons.

Here are a few health-tech hackathon ideas:

4. Data processing for hospitals

Develop a secure in-house AI-based data processing solution that will help healthcare institutions and hospitals to study and analyze a patient’s medical records.

Using Deep Neural Networks, robust computational processing, and machine learning, the data processing solution should help medical personnel to streamline their workflows and better manage patient care.

5. Virtual health assistant

Develop a device that can help people living with chronic medical conditions to regularly monitor their health parameters and vitals in order to live a healthy life.

The device should monitor health conditions like diabetes and should alert family members and relatives if the patient’s health deteriorates. The device should also send timely reminders to the patient to take medication.

6. Remote patient examination

Build a mobile app that enables doctors to gain real-time access to a patient’s vital signs from anywhere in the world. The mobile solution should allow doctors to gauge a patient’s condition to determine whether hospitalization is necessary.

The solution can also provide general medical assistance and will be especially useful in cases of emergencies.

Consumer Tech

Consumer tech devices like smartphones, drones, smart homes, etc. make for a brilliant space where AI and machine learning-based solutions can come in handy. Hackathons that focus on developing smarter consumer tech solutions will benefit people at large.

Here are a few consumer tech hackathon ideas:

7. Automate homes and offices

The idea is to build a fully autonomous smart energy monitoring facility for an entire building. This will be like a smart home solution, but for an entire building.

This AI-based solution can use deep learning to recognize patterns of behavior at home or in the office to better manage energy consumption, electricity usage, and to strengthen security, and lower operating costs.

The system should also be equipped to track employee attendance by using CCTV cameras for facial recognition in addition to fingerprint scanners and RFID.

8. Autonomous Drones

Build an AI-powered drone camera, program it with object tracking data from proximity sensors, GPS sensors and motion sensors.

With the autonomous drone, people won’t need to pilot the drone camera. This will help people to take professional vacation photos and videos, this will especially be helpful for solo travelers.

9. Truly predictive keyboard

Develop a keyboard software or app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to predict words based on the conversation the user is having. The predictive text should be contextually relevant to the conversation and the previous few messages to make typing emails and casual conversations seamless.

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Auto tech

With autonomous cars and electric vehicles being the talk of the town, technology in the automotive space is breaking barriers across the globe.

Stalwart brands are heavily investing in hybrid technologies that improve the performance of vehicles while improving their impact on the environment.

However, there are still many gaps and voids that technology can fill in the auto field. And an auto-focused hackathon makes for a great platform to prompt innovators to flex their codes and build promising solutions.

Here are a few auto tech hackathon ideas:

10. Find parking spots

Develop a smartphone app that detects available parking spots in a given area. The idea is to help drivers focus on the road and reduce their fuel consumption by quickly finding available parking. The app can also include features like speed limit warnings and speed camera warnings on highways.

11. Pedestrian safety

Develop a working prototype that helps passenger vehicles to reduce the speed of the car or bring the car to a halt upon detecting pedestrians.

Using infrared, proximity, and motion sensors, the solution should make vehicles safer for pedestrians.

The prototype can also use AI and GPS to reduce the speed based on the location of the vehicle. For instance, the speed can be reduced if the vehicle is in a locality where there only schools or hospitals.

12. Vehicle maintenance

Build a mobile app that allows the owner of the vehicle to fill in timely information about the services done.

Based on the input received, the app should detect what other parameters need service, when the next service is due, what parts need replacement, and so on.

Furthermore, the app can also use augmented reality (AR) to help owners understand the functionality of their vehicle by simply hovering their phone camera over the different various buttons of the interior or the parts in the engine bay.

Financial Tech (FinTech)

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency have been in the limelight for a while now. However, FinTech is a much larger field that aims to improve financial services by using software and emerging tech solutions. A smart way to explore new avenues of improving FinTech is to host a hackathon.

Here are a few auto tech hackathon ideas:

13. Subscription management solution

Consumers are increasingly using monthly or annual subscription service of Netflix, The idea is to create a mobile app or web platform to empower consumers to better manage their payments for ongoing subscription services like Amazon, Spotify, iCloud, DropBox, and so on.

The focus of this software or app should be to help detect and manage consumers’ subscriptions once they fall into disuse.

14. Calculate credit score

Create a more complete, data-driven, real-time credit score software that considers a borrower’s financial and credit history from the beginning of time. Additionally, the software should also be equipped to consider bill payments, rent, utilities, subscriptions, and more.

The idea is to make the credit score software that can be used to qualify borrowers for credit and loans in real-time by taking into account all their financial history.

15. Cash flow management

The idea is to help people view and study their overall spend analysis by developing a mobile app to analyze all the purchases made by scanning a receipt. Use optical character recognition (OCR) to simply click an image of a receipt and track payments.

Using AI and machine learning, the app should be able to group items category-wise, for example, food, clothes, fuel, etc. The app should prompt users when they overspend or make repeat purchases.

Final Thoughts

The hackathon ideas mentioned above will surely help you to organize a successful hackathon. To further sweeten the experience for your participants, you can incentivize them with the right kind of prizes like cash sponsorships and funding opportunities or event sponsorships.

Additionally, it pays to partner with relevant brands and businesses that your participants acknowledge and look up to. It’s also wise to invite mentors and thought leaders from relevant fields. Here’s wishing you happy organizing!

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