Uncommon Hacks is an event inspiring students across the country <and world> to celebrate technology by being a part of it in uncommon ways. Come discover and expand the limits of your creativity while innovating, designing, and exploring. In other words, it’ll be the most exciting and anticipated experience under the title of "hackathon" you will ever be a part of. COME THRU!

The event will be held at the Polsky Exchange January 14-15 2017. Spend 30 hours hacking while embracing the bizarre, meeting dope companies, attending ridiculous events, and most importantly, making an unforgettable memory xD.


You have had to been accepted to attend Uncommon Hacks through the application process.


  1. Create an account on Devpost
  2. Assign all teammates to a draft submission
  4. Get your final product together. if desired, have screenshots or video demos uploaded and ready to go
  5. Submit that thing. Don't look back. Have no regrets.
  6. Watch top 10 submissions present and demo.
  7. Wait around and find out the 1 #TRU winner of Uncommon Hacks 2017 <3 <3 <3 

Hackathon Sponsors


$300 in prizes

Top 4 (4)

We will be giving a special secret prize To Be Announced to the Top 3 projects!

Most Uncommon

You emblemize the hackathon. Your hack is dope. It's uncommon. You'll get a special secret prize to be announced at the event.

Most Chindogu

Chindōgu (珍道具?) is the Japanese art of inventing ingenious everyday gadgets that, on the surface, seem like an ideal solution to a particular problem. However, chindōgu has a distinctive feature: anyone actually attempting to use one of these inventions would find that it causes so many new problems, or such significant social embarrassment, that effectively it has no utility whatsoever. Thus, chindōgu are sometimes described as "unuseless" – that is, they cannot be regarded as "useless" in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called "useful". This Japanese art form is incredible, and we'd love to see it in your product.
Here are some great examples:
Ramen too hot?
Napping on public transport, but your head keeps bobbing?

You'll get a special secret prize to be announced at the event.

Most Aesthetic

✟✞✟✞✟✞✟✞✟✞ /aesthetic/ shit /aesthetic/ sHit✟ thats ⚔ some /aesthetic/✟✟shit right✟✟there✟✟✟ right⚔there ⚔⚔if i do say so my self ツ i say so ツ thats what im talking about right there right there (chorus: ᵃᵉˢᵗʰᵉᵗᶦᶜ) mMMMMMMツ ✟✟ ✟HOOO0O0OOooooOOooooᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒᵒ✟ ✟✟ ✟ ツ ✟ ✞ ✞ ✞ ✟✟/aesthetic/

You'll get a special secret prize to be announced at the event.

Most Technically Impressive/Unique

Haskell? Assembly? Extremely complicated algorithms?

You'll get a special secret prize to be announced at the event.

Best Beginner Prize (Sponsored by Make School)

It's your first hackathon, and you created a dope project. Make School will be sponsoring $2,000 off any Make School Summer Academy program!

Madame Zandra Prize

In the lanrd of Unco5mmon we want amystical and fantas atical. You'll get a special secret prize to be announced at the event.

Paula Prize

Haha. You'll get a special secret prize to be announced at the event.

Best Social Good Hack (J.P. Morgan Sponsored)

KINDest Hack (Sponsored by Kind)

Awarded to hack that best has a positive impact upon society!
The KIND Movement is KIND's mission to spread and celebrate kindness. Small act or big, we encourage it - from writing a thank you letter to someone who deserves it to volunteering with an organization you care about. Every day, their community (aka YOU!) brings them one step closer to our goal of making kindness a state of mind.

Kindergartener Favorite

Criteria is to be the project favorite of a 6-year old :)

Best Android Hack (Sponsored by Make School)

$2,000 off any Make School Summer Academy program if you make the best Android Hack!

Best Use of Microsoft APIs

Smartest Smart Contract Hack (Axiom)

Build a DAPP in Ethereum/Chain/whatever platform you like!

Most Futuristic Hack (Blockchain Education Network)

Keep your eyes to the future and build on emerging technology!

Best Use of AWS

Don't Talk to Me or My Team Ever Again: Omnipointment Prize

Team Commitment Prize (Sponsored by Omnipointment)
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card for each team member + Commemorative Memes
We want to ensure that promising projects and teams don't die after the hackathon ends! Use Omnipointment to find time for your team to keep building after Uncommon Hacks and we'll check back in on your progress in mid-February. This prize will go to the group that demonstrates the best teamwork in continuing their project beyond the 30 hours.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Ben Sussman

Ben Sussman
Engineering Manager / Site Lead, Google Chicago

George Savvas

George Savvas
Technical Product Manager, Groupon

Diana Franklin

Diana Franklin
Senior Research Associate + Lecturer, University of Chicago Computer Science Department / Director of Computer Science Education Research, Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education

Jen Myers

Jen Myers
Director of Open Source Curriculum, Plural Sight

Andrew Annacone

Andrew Annacone
Managing Director, TechNexus Venture Collaborative

Fred Hoch

Fred Hoch
CEO, Illinois Technology Association (ITA) / Founder and General Partner, TechNexus Venture Collaborative

Judging Criteria

  • Top 10 Projects Judging
    Our judges will use HackMIT's judging system, Gavel, to judge the top 10 projects. Please read to learn more: http://www.anishathalye.com/2016/09/19/gavel-an-expo-judging-system/.
  • Sponsored Prizes Judging
    Sponsored prizes will be judged by the company sponsoring.
  • Themed Prizes Judging
    All themed prizes will be judged by our wonderful panel of judges for that specific prize.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors


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