TreeHacks 2021 will be the 7th-ever iteration of TreeHacks. Our theme this year is hacking for the future: addressing deeply impactful problems and building creative, unique solutions. We’ve identified five global and technological challenges that we think have tons of potential for innovation. Across each of these challenges, we’ve scaffolded resources like potential project ideas, data sets, APIs and toolkits, and more to help get you get started. There isn't a strict guideline for what you should work on, our focus areas for this year are: healthcare, education, civic engagement, sustainability, and social interconnectivity.

See for more information!


Teams (max 4 people) of university students who have been accepted to TreeHacks 2021!

Hackathon Sponsors


$124,360 in prizes

Moonshot Prize

The craziest, most out-of-this-world project.

iPad pros for each team member

Most Technically Complex

The most technically impressive project

Sonos One smart speaker for each team member

Most Creative

The project with the most innovative idea and execution.

Nintendo Switch for each team member

Best Hardware Hack

Best hack that incorporates hardware

Corsair K95 RGB Platinum XT mechanical keyboard for each team member

Most Impactful Hack

The project with the greatest potential social impact

Holy Stone HS720 drone for each team member

Best Beginner Hack

Best hack made by a majority-beginner team. Beginners are hackers for whom TreeHacks is their first hackathon.

Airpods for each team member

Healthcare Grand Prize

Best healthcare project

Apple watch for each team member + 2 Nvidia Jetson Nanos

Education Grand Prize

Best education project

Remarkable e-ink table for each team member + 2 Nvidia Jetson Nanos

Sustainability Grand Prize

Best sustainability project

Electric scooter for each team member + 2 Nvidia Jetson Nanos

Civic Engagement Prize

Best civic engagement project

GoPro Hero 9 for each team member + 2 Nvidia Jetson Nanos

Entertainment and Social Interconnectivity Grand Prize

Best entertainment/social interconnectivity project

Oculus Quest 2 for each team member + 2 Nvidia Jetson Nanos

[Microsoft] Azure Challenge

Best use of the Azure platform in a submitted project

- 12-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Subscription (each team member)
- 12-month LinkedIn Learning Subscription (each team member)
- $1000 team donation to selected charity (

[Esri] Best Use of ArcGIS Technology

Build content, APIs, and analytical tools using ArcGIS technology. It should be something that can be used every day, serves a strong, compelling case, and be very thorough and explanatory.

Criteria: most innovative and inspiring

Prize: $1000 USD

[OpenAI] Best Hack using the OpenAI API (2)

Prizes will be provided to the top two teams that integrate the OpenAI API applied to one of the following challenge areas.
- Science (climate, energy, biotech, physics, etc)
- R&D (data analysis, data visualization, research tools, etc)
- Social Impact (healthcare, education, art, etc)

1st place prize is $120 in API credits (equivalent to 2M davinci tokens) and 2nd place prize is $60 in API credits (equivalent 1M davinci tokens)

[Cybertrust America and Mitsubishi Electric Innovation Center] Best Cybersecurity Hack: Cybersecurity Adopters Platform

Our robust public-private partnership is excited to see innovations that enable the nation’s adopters to enhance their cybersecurity posture with:
- Fast, good, and affordable solutions and services
- Robust knowledge-sharing, e.g., AI-enabled, web-based

- High appeal to adopters
- Potential to be applied in the real world
- Leverages NIST Cybersecurity Framework in the hack

$1,000 cash prize AND the opportunity to showcase to a team of CIOs/ CISOs /decision-makers in governments, a leading innovation center and nonprofit leaders, as well as a Black Hat World Champion.

[Checkbook] Checkbook Prizes

Participation: Use of Checkbook’s API
Winning: Most creative, cutting-edge utilization of Checkbook’s API

All participating teams will get a prize on successful completion of their hack

Winning Team: Apple Watch SE or Potensic T25 Drone with 2K Camera (Winners may pick)
Participating Teams: Google Home Mini or Amazon Echo Dot (Teams may pick)

[The @ Company] API challenge

Develop an app on the @protocol that Addresses One of the Five TreeHacks Themes

Healthcare, education, civic engagement, sustainability and social inter-connectivity are all areas of great importance in this time of crisis and political turmoil. Build a mobile app on the @protocol that adheres to one of the five TreeHacks themes for The @ Company’s API challenge.

Criteria: Use of the @protocol (most important), sophistication of the app and its features, adherence to one of the five hackathon themes, UI/UX

Prize: Apple AirPods Pro, $100 @sign gift cards, The @ Company swag

To get started, check out
or join the discord at

[Neo] Reinvent Social Networking. (2)

There’s no better time than now for new ideas in social networking! Build a better social network. There are many opportunities: matching to meet new friends, improved groups, better event calendaring, verifying authenticity of people, moderating speech, and more. Reimagine how people connect and help change the world.

Criteria: Either start a new social network, or build a feature or concept that inspires how to improve existing social networks. We seek solutions that balance virality and engagement with connecting people meaningfully and authentically.

Prize: $10K cash, $5K cloud credits, & meeting with Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram. Winning team members will also get access to workshops & mentor hours with thought leaders in social networking. Cloud credits will include AWS, Twilio, etc.

[Alchemy] Best Hack using Alchemy API and Developer Tools

Alchemy API - Ethereum Blockchain Developer Tools:
The best decentralized application developed on Ethereum using Alchemy’s API and developer tools will be awarded $300 in Eth!

[Landis] Hack most beneficial to aspiring homeowners

$300 Amazon Giftcard

[Stanford's Cantor Art Center] Art, Tech, and Activism Prize (3)

Challenge: Help Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center ( make connections with and better support our surrounding communities. We are excited to see projects that:

Focus on DEAI (diversity, equity, access, and inclusion)


Help communities get involved with the Cantor’s current exhibition, When Home Won’t Let Your Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art (, which centers around themes of belonging and migration

Bonus points will be awarded to teams who attend our student events this weekend- RSVP here for the Zoom link:

Prize items:
• 1st Place: Each Person will Receive:
◦ The opportunity to be featured in upcoming exhibitions/museum programs and interact with museum professionals to implement your project
◦ Museum membership at the $100 level which allows the receiver to go to 70 other museums for free and more benefits outlined outlined here (
◦ Artist gift cards for

• 2nd Place: Each Person will Receive:
◦ Museum membership at the $100 level which allows the receiver to go to 70 other museums for free and more benefits outlined outlined here (
◦ Artist gift cards for

• 3rd Place: Each Person will Receive:
◦ Museum membership at the $100 level which allows the receiver to go to 70 other museums for free and more benefits outlined outlined here (

"Get involved with more museum student programs by filling out this form:"

[Pinnacle] Best Hackathon Project

Each winning team member will receive tickets to Pinnacle, which invites the world’s top 50 collegiate hackathons for an epic finale event in fall 2021. More information can be found here: (

[Stanford McCoy Institute] Practice Safe CS: Ethical Frameworks for Technology’s Future

This prize awards the team that can best articulate the ethical tensions and potential hazards latent in their project and create innovative solutions for addressing them. Teams will also be evaluated based on the ethical significance of their technological intervention. Judging criteria for the prize can be found here: Participants are encouraged to attend the workshop “Practice Safe CS: Ethical Frameworks for Technology’s Future” to learn more. To be considered, participants must also include in their devpost submission a written narrative that explains what ethical considerations were most important when developing the project and how they were incorporated into their final product.


[Hiro] Best Smart Contract Hack using Clarity

Build a Smart Contract Challenge that lets you experiment and get familiar with Clarity's developer environment.

Develop a functional Clarity smart contract that performs some action on the Stacks 2.0 blockchain. It should solve a problem, handle cryptocurrency, execute meaningful functionality, or fulfill an interesting use case. Upload your .clar file to Github, and bonus points for well-commented code and a descriptive README! More info here:

$1,000 for the first-place team
$500 for second-place team
$250 for third-place team

[VALUENEX] Text Data Visualization Challenge

Prize: UE Megaboom 3 Bluetooth Speakers for the winning team

Better understanding quantitative data has long been the focus of hackers. However, the world is abundant with qualitative data that has mostly been neglected for analysis - namely text data! We will be judging for the best text data visualization hack. Projects will be judged on your ability to make text data more insightful to users. Can you make datasets with text data easily understandable at a quick glance? Bonus points will be given to those who apply hierarchical levels of views, preferably through a zoom-in feature.

Attached, please find a couple example text datasets you could work on developing visualizations for:

[Google Cloud] Best Use of Google Cloud (2)

Use any Google Cloud product in your project (Firebase counts!)

1st place: Patagonia backpack for each team member
2nd place: Parkland backpack for each team member

Other top finalists eligible for swag bundles

[Lunchclub] Funniest hack

You want to make it funny, but technical and appropriate. Family friendly kind of hack.

iPad Pro 11'

[Seam] Coolest Hardware/Software Hack

Make some code do something with a bunch of hardware (sensors, devices, LEDs...etc)

Award: A Seam Gateway!! It let's you automate a bunch of devices with code.

[Seam] Best Security Hack or Security Game

Implement an interesting hack or capture the flag game that teaches users about security

Award: A Yubikey!

[Seam] Best Use Of ML

Whoever does the most interesting use of a bunch of nets

Award: a USB Coral Stick! (

[Citadel] Most Impressive Hack

Option of a gaming keyboard or Arcteryx apparel item for each member of the winning team

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


TreeHacks Judges

TreeHacks Judges

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
    We want hackers to create a project that makes you say “wow” and tell all your friends about it. We're looking for projects that think so far outside the box that you begin to wonder why there was a box at all in the first place.
  • Technical Complexity
    In only 36 hours, hackers manage to build projects with remarkably complex infrastructures built on excitingly advanced frameworks. We hope to see projects that are really running some beautiful code or hardware under the hood.
  • Social Impact
    We're looking for hacks that seem crazy, the moonshots that seem out of this world, and the blueprints for change that will impact future generations in humanity's most pressing areas of concern in the coming years.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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