Looking for Launch 2016 click here

Friday, February 27 - Sunday, March 1 | Fort Mason, San Francisco

LAUNCH Hackathon Partner Info & Prizes


Best Buy

https://developer.bestbuy.com & https://github.com/BestBuyAPIs

Click here to get a sneak preview of the Best Buy API/SDK workshop.

Partner Prizes (27):

(5) Nest Thermostats

(5) Philips Hue LED Lighting Starter Kits

(5) Belkin WeMo LED Lighting Starter Sets

(4) $150 Best Buy Gift Cards

(4) $100 Best Buy Gift Cards

(4) $50 Best Buy Gift Cards



Partner Prizes (1): $2500 cash prize



Partner Prizes (6):

Honda will have a connected car on site for developers to work on!

6 Google Nexus 5 phones (unlocked, $500 value)


Human Vision Components: Download Link, Password: paa9fahp

Partner Prizes (1): $1000 Gift card to winning team



Partner Prizes (1): $500 Amazon Gift Card


The Coinbase Developer Platform (https://developers.coinbase.com/) The Coinbase API offers payment functionality that's rapidly deployable for any application. Coinbase offers both consumers and merchants the ability to securely accept, store, buy, sell and spend bitcoin.

To jump start your hack project, create an account on our Developer Sandbox (https://developers.coinbase.com/blog/2015/02/20/sandbox) and check out our Developer Blog (https://developers.coinbase.com/blog). Also, see Chris Dixon's blog post for some project ideas (http://cdixon.org/2014/10/04/some-ideas-for-native-bitcoin-apps/).

Partner Prizes (3):

1st: $10,000 in BTC

2nd: $2,000 in BTC

3rd: $1,000 in BTC

**Apps will be scored based on a spectrum of criteria, to include: quality of execution, user value, and innovative and/or unique use of the Coinbase API.**


.CLUB is offering a $10,000 prize for the best Hackathon project using a .CLUB name. The prize is $5,000 cash plus a $5,000 credit toward a premium .CLUB name. Visit .CLUB for a code for a FREE .CLUB domain name.

SparkPost by MessageSystems


Partner Prizes (1): $3,000 cash prize + 1 Year Gold tier of SparkPost ($6,900 value)



Partner Prizes (1): $2,500 awarded to the team that wins the SparkPost sponsor prize if the team also incorporates the FullContact API.



Partner Prizes (3):

1st: Drone - Inspire 1 Quadcopter with 4K Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal $3,000

2nd: $1,000 Visa Giftcard

3rd: $500 Visa Giftcard



Partner Prizes (3):

1st: $5,000 and 100,000 Expedia+ rewards points

2nd: $2,000 and 50,000 Expedia+ rewards points

3rd: $1,000 and 30,000 Expedia+ rewards points

**For reference, 3,500 Expedia+ rewards points can be turned into a $25 coupon to use for hotel, package or flights booking on Expedia.com – so these points can be applied to an array of trip possibilities for the winners.**


Are you using maps or location services? Check out our developer tools at https://developers.arcgis.com. Check out more examples and documentation at https://github.com/Esri

Partner Prizes (1): $5,000 prize for best use of Esri technologies ($2,500 cash + $2,500 online subscription.)


Fabric, Streaming API, Rest API,Create App, Open source libs, Discussion Forums

Partner Prizes (1): 1 Grand Prize: 3 iPods, 2 Jamboxes & 4 Lego Minecraft sets for the winning team


Atlantic.Net provides SSD Virtual Servers that are ready in 30 seconds. Supporting Linux/Windows/FreeBSD, Atlantic.Net SSD Virtual Servers are the fastest and easiest way to create servers in the cloud. Visit the platform here: http://developer.atlantic.net/index.php/API_Documentation

Partner Prizes (3):

1st: $1,500 in credits

2nd: $1,000 in credits

3rd: $500 in credits



Partner Prizes (1): $2,500 cash



Partner Prizes (1):

(1) Adult Size Electric E300 Razor Scooter,

(1) GoPro HERO3 White

(3) Tippmann Cronus Paintball Guns OR 1 Xbox One



free .ME domains. They will be redeemable via coupon codes and each developer can showcase the app developed at the Hackathon at a .ME domain

Partner Prizes (1): screen cleaners for the phones & .ME branded return.me tags for mobile phones (see http://return.me/buy/en/single-tags/12-returnme-mobile-tag.html)



Partner Prizes (1): $5,000 cash for the most innovative use of Sinch


Javascript, IOS, Android

Partner Prizes (3):

1st: 6 months of Firebase Blaze credit, dinner with Firebase co-founders

2nd: 3 months of Bonfire credit

3rd: 3 months of Candle credit

Branch Metrics


Partner Prizes (1): One Parrot Bebop Done for the best integration + 4 Jamboxes for runner ups


Need dinner plans? Reserve can help. Reserve is a digital concierge that helps you find the perfect place to eat, get that hard-to-get table, and then seamlessly handle your payment at the end of the meal. Plus, they're giving all LAUNCH Hackathon attendees $25 off their first experience with the promo code: LAUNCHSF25.  Sign up now at http://www.reserve.com!

How LAUNCH Hackathon Works 


  1. Around 200 teams, of typically four folks, start on Friday afternoon (Feb 27th) at 1:00 PM.
  2. These teams optimally consist of three developers and one UX/designer.  At our hackathon we don’t let in “business people” -- we only allow verified developers (by checking their code) and verified UX/designers.
  3. Why no business people? Because they have nothing to do at these events and wind up bothering folks. If you’re a business person, the “startup weekend” competitions are really the best for you.  
  4. The goal of our hackathon is for the teams to build something cool in 48 hours.
  5. On Sunday March 1 folks finish their code at 1:00 PM and we do three hours of judging.
  6. Judging consists of two people (typically one product/design and one technical) hearing the pitch from the team leader, asking questions and taking notes. These visits take 10 minutes and judges will review a dozen teams.
  7. Judges give these projects scores. Some folks do 1 to 10 score overall, others do a 1 to 10 score based on multiple criteria (technical achievement, product vision, design) and average it.
  8. The top 15 projects get to present on stage for 90 seconds each, take one question, and move on. So, we can do stage judging in under 90 minutes.
  9. The top five projects are determined by the final judges (including me). They get to go on the main stage at the LAUNCH Festival on March 4th in front of thousands of folks!
  10. Will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as a bunch of prizes from our partners.
  11. I will offer to invest $100k in those five -- if they want to start a company (it’s not a cash prize, some members of the team must commit to building a company). It could be $25k each to 4 startups or $100k in one. Some might be invited into the LAUNCH Incubator spring class. This is all pending due diligence (i.e., you didn’t steal the code, you’re not a criminal, etc.).
  12. If folks don’t take the investment I will meet with other teams who want to do a startup or join the incubator. There is no cash prize -- only an investment in a corporate entity that you would start after the event.
  13. There is no alcohol at the event, and it goes without saying that anyone doing drugs at the event will be quickly escorted out. This is a professional event, not a party!
  14. There will be food the entire time.
  15. We will be open 24 hours per day; it might get chilly since we’re on a pier.
  16. You can go home and come back.
  17. You cannot bring guests--sorry!  
  18. There will be no press.
  19. If you make a product for developers, or you are there trying to hire folks, you cannot come as a team and use participation in the hackathon as a way to circumvent the sponsorships we desperately need to run the event. I know, I know, it sounds crazy that someone would do this -- but they have! And we kicked them out!


Teams of 1-4 can apply to attend the event. We're only accepting BUILDERS. All applicants within a team will be reviewed and vetted as developers or designers before they are able to attend the event.

Come with ideas not completed code.  All projects must be built from scratch at the event.


To be considered for judging each team must present a functioning web or mobile application.  All work must be completed by 1:00 pm on Sunday March 1, 2015.  (Early judging will begin at Noon.) Submissions must follow all criteria outlined in the competition rules section.

Submissions that will not be considered:

1. Wireframes

2. Powerpoint or presentation slides

Hackathon Sponsors


$101,500 in prizes

Grand Prize

$100,000 investment prize + guaranteed spot on stage at the LAUNCH Festival 2015!

Student Hacker Prize

Mentoring from Jason Calacanis and Brandon Kessler (from ChallengePost) - 30 mins, $1500 & special prizes from Launch hackathon sponsors (tba). All team members must be currently enrolled undergraduate or high school students

Best Buy (3)





Coinbase (3)



RingCentral (3)

Expedia (3)


Atlantic.net (4)




Firebase (2)

Branch Metrics


InvisionApp (3)


Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

1.  Register each individual team member using the "Register for this hackathon" button at the top of this page.

2.  Teams must be consist of 1-4 team members.

3.  Use the message button to recruit additional team members.

4.  All individuals will be vetted by the LAUNCH Hackathon team.  All participant profiles must include a list of development skills and a minimum of one portfolio submission for consideration.  Participants not meeting this criteria will not be invited to attend this event.


Individuals should not try to circumvent the important role that LAUNCH Hackathon sponsorship plays.  For example, recruiters and software companies who want to get in front of the 1k+ developers at our event should contact partners@launch.co and buy everyone coffee or lunch one of the days.  Anyone trying to go around this system is working against the spirit of the event. So please don't do something lame like litter the event with flyers advertising job openings, or have your team all wear t-shirts for your rack-hosting platform, or park a food truck outside, when you can go the proper – and affordable – route of sponsorship.  If you're not sure if you're crossing the line, just email us at partners@launch.co



Brandon Kessler

Brandon Kessler
CEO @ ChallengePost

Brian Kennish

Brian Kennish
CEO @ RocketShip

Adam Dill

Adam Dill
CTO @ Inside.com

Sahil	Jain

Sahil Jain
CEO @ AdStage

Sue Khim

Sue Khim
Founder @ Brilliant

Ben Nader

Ben Nader
Founder @ Butterfleye

Abby Kiefer

Abby Kiefer
Founder @RedClay

Jacqui Boland

Jacqui Boland
Founder @ RedTri

Rahul Vohra

Rahul Vohra
CEO @ Rapportive

Zach Melamed

Zach Melamed
VP of Engineering @ Connect

Rose Broome

Rose Broome
Founder @ HandUp

Ben Dowling

Ben Dowling
CTO @ Calm.com

Geoffrey Clapp

Geoffrey Clapp
Founder @ GetBetter

Josh Stein

Josh Stein
Partner @ DFJ

Julie Fredrickson

Julie Fredrickson
CEO of Stowaway

Monique Woodard

Monique Woodard
Black Founders

Dani	Essindi Behrendt

Dani Essindi Behrendt
Innovation & Strategy/Honda

Jonathon Triest

Jonathon Triest
Managing Partner/Ludlow Ventures

Jim Gutierrez

Jim Gutierrez

Garrett Vargas

Garrett Vargas
Senior Director/Expedia

Hadiyah Mujhid

Hadiyah Mujhid
Founder/Good App Co

Jonathan Wegener

Jonathan Wegener
Founder/Time Hop

Brett Laffel

Brett Laffel
Principal/Microsoft Ventures

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Achievement
    Judges will evaluate the technical achievement the team has tackled during the event.
  • Product Vision
    Judges will be looking for products that have the ability to disrupt current markets and capture large market share.
  • Design
    Judges will be looking for products that have exceptional design attributes that would appeal to the end-user.
  • Investability
    Projects will judged on attractiveness to investors.

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