SB Hacks is a 36-hour hackathon hosted annually by students at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Normally the event takes place on campus, but this year, we are going digital! SB Hacks aims to expose college students to the technology industry and provide the necessary resources to get hands-on experience in coding. Whether you are a first-time coder or a seasoned hacker, we encourage you to enter SB Hacks with enthusiasm and curiosity. Our hope is that you challenge yourself with a fun project, learn something new along the way, and are proud of what you have accomplished at the end of it all.


Submission Guidelines:

Hackers have several options for how to present their project:

  1. Do a live demo on Discord Sunday Morning

  2. Submit a recorded video and be in the Discord voice channel Sunday morning while the judges watch

  3. Submit a recorded video and not be present during judging

IMPORTANT: Judging will last from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Sunday, February 6. Anyone who plans to be present during their judging (options 1 or 2) must be on Discord by 9:45 AM. Hackers will receive their round assignment on Sunday morning so keep watch for a message about that.

Whether you’re doing a live demo or video submission, the time limit for demos is 3 minutes. If your team is present in the Discord voice channel during judging (options 1 or 2), judges will have up to 2 minutes to ask any questions after the demonstration is over. Make sure that your presentation shows off your project in a clear and concise manner.


Note: The "About the project" section will be considered for judging in the MLH prize categories. If you are applying for any of the MLH prize categories, make sure to fill out all of the parts and give detailed answers.


The rules depend on the specific challenge that you apply for, but in general:

You cannot submit a codebase that you have worked on before the evening of February 4th.

Also, everyone must follow the MLH code of conduct:

Hackathon Sponsors


$7,300 in prizes

Grand Prize

One prize to rule them all...

Prize: Apple iPad Air 4th Gen 64GB for each team member

Runner-Up Prize

Better than third!

Prize: Bose QuietComfort 35 II for each team member

Best Beginner Hack

At SB Hacks we love showcasing the amazing projects made by our first-time hackers! If this is the first hackathon for you and everyone on your team, you will be eligible for the beginner category.

Prize: Anne Pro 2 Keyboard for each team member

Best College Life Hack

College is hard... but your hack makes it a lot easier. Any college or school related project allows you to qualify for this category.

Prize: Auking Mini Projector for each team member

Best Health and Wellness Hack

We all know that health is wealth. In your case, health is a brand new Garmin smart watch.

Prize: Garmin Forerunner 35 for each team member

Creating Change Hack

We love seeing projects that have the potential to impact the world around us, whether this means a project contributing to social, DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging), sustainability, or environmental issues.

Prize: MYNT3D Professional Printing 3D Pen for each team member

Best Joke Hack

Machine-learning powered Pepe Search? A hot dog detection app? We’ve got you covered with a special prize for the funniest (but appropriate!) hack out there :-)

Prize: Bumper Bubble Soccer Ball for each team member

Best Use of React + GraphQL (Sponsored by Invoca)

Prize: OontZ Angle 3 Bluetooth Portable Speakers and an interview for Invoca's summer internship program.

Best Ruby on Rails or React App (Sponsored by Appfolio)

Prize: $100 Amazon gift card for each team member.

Best Domain Name from (Sponsored by MLH)

Prize: PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger
Register a .tech domain name using 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. Domain name must be included in project submission.

Best Use of Google Cloud (Sponsored by MLH)

Prize: Google Cloud Swag Bag or Backpack
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: Each winning team member located in the US will receive a Google Cloud Swag Bag complete with a beanie, pillow, journal, socks and lanyards. International winners will receive a Google branded backpack.

Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key (Sponsored by MLH)

Prize: Grove Beginner Kit
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!

Most Creative Use of Twilio (Sponsored by MLH)

Prize: Twilio Swag Box, GameGo Console
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!

Best Use of Auth0 (Sponsored by MLH)

Prize: Exclusive Auth0 Swag made for MLH Winners (Branded Tumbler, Rubik's Cube & Sticker)
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!

Best Space App powered by Space Force (Sponsored by MLH)

Prize: Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
The sky is not the limit! Try your hand at making a space-themed application for a chance to win a wireless Bluetooth speaker for you and your team from the U.S. Space Force! We’re looking for amazing solutions to any space-related problems you can imagine. For any sci-fi enthusiast, this is the perfect opportunity to push the limits of your creativity by building the technology of tomorrow, today. We can’t wait to see the solutions you build!

Please note: the majority of your team members must be located in the United States to qualify.

Best Use of AssemblyAI API (Sponsored by AssemblyAI)

Prize: $100 Amazon gift card.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Prof. Ziad Matni

Prof. Ziad Matni

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Difficulty
  • Usefulness/Impact
  • Creativity
  • Execution/Polish

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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