GrizzHacks 5 is the fifth hackathon at Oakland University, and the largest hackathon in the metro Detroit area. This year, GrizzHacks will be virtual, so you can participate from the comfort of your own home! On September 18th-20th, 2020, unite with 300 developers, students and creatives across the world to create innovative software and hardware applications from the ground up. #DreamItBuildIt #GrizzHacks5


Any middle school, high school, college, or university student is eligable to participate in teams of up to 4 hackers! Students who have also graduated within the past year are also welcome to participate as well!

Note that all projects and demos must be made entirely within the hacking time (see for a schedule in your local time zone), and submitted only to GrizzHacks. Continuation hacks and hacks submitted to other hackathons are not eligable for prizes. 


A 2 minute (max) demo video

This is your chance to show off what you've built! While explaining a little bit about why your hack is important, who would use it, and it's overall purpose is important, the main point of the demo is to show what you have built and how it works. You just need to give the judges enough context so they know what the demo is about. More details can be provided in the write-up.

Don't know how to record a demo? Feel free to reach out to a mentor or organizer to help! Never made a screen recording before? Totally fine - check out this video for a tutorial on how to install and use OBS, which is a great free screen-recording software tool!

Never made a hackathon demo before? There's no "right" way to make a hackathon demo, but you can check out this video, this video, and this video as different examples! Make sure you allocate at least an hour or two for the video; a good demo can make or break a hack, and we have a prize for Best Video! ;)

A link to a public code repository

It's hard to demo how much effort goes into each part of a hack. One part may look like a just button, but you know that the button is backed by an awesome algorithm. Or maybe you tried a new design pattern to make things more efficient. Just because this doesn't fit in a video doesn't mean it's not important, and we want to see the behind the scenes of how your hack works!

Don't know how to use GitHub or another version control system? Totally fine - our mentors and organizers are happy to help! We'll be running a workshop about using GitHub shortly after the opening ceremony, and can help you throughout the weekend. Even if you already know GitHub, we highly recommend you check out this workshop. We'll be offering up some awesome tips and tricks to make it easier to work remotely. A "Best Use of DevOps" prize will reward the team with the best use of tools like GitHub when building their hack!

Having a public repository for your code also makes you more appealing to potential employeers, as it shows that you know version control (which is key to any software development/engineering job).

A complete Devpost write up

Two minutes just isn't enough time to share all of the awesomeness that makes your hack unique, but you can include all of that information in your write up! We generally recommend including at least a little information about each of the different heads that Devpost automatically provides.

Just like the video, make sure that you give yourself enough time for the write up (30-60 minutes), as we've got a prize for Best Write Up!

A demo link (optional)

Have something like a website the judges can try themselves? Feel free to give them a demo link! It's totally fine if you don't have this, as it's not applicable for all types of hacks (hardware hacks, mobile apps, etc...) If you can, adding a link to try your hack is always cool (and improves your porfolio for potential employeers)!

Don't know how to bring your hack live? Ask a mentor or an organizer, and we can help! Some free ways to host a website include Firebase, Heroku, and GitHub Pages. For games, check out

Hackathon Sponsors


$8,600 in prizes

First Place Presented by Oakland University Credit Union

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones for each participating member

Second Place

Crenova Video Projector for each participating member

Third Place

ViewSonic 27 Inch IPS 2K 1440p Frameless LED Monitor for each participating member

Best Game

Gaming Mouse + Wireless PC Headset for each participating member

Best Hardware Hack

SNAPTAIN S5C WiFi FPV Drone with 720P HD Camera, SD Card, and Extra Batteries for each participating member

Best Mobile App sponsored by Quicken Loans

Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo for each participating member

Best Web App

Standing Desk for each participating member

Best "Other" Tech Stack

OontZ Angle 3 Ultra (3rd Gen) 5.0 Bluetooth Speaker + Case for each participating member

Most Customer Obsessed Hack sponsored by Amazon

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa for each participating member

Best Education Hack

Rocketbook Fusion Smart Reusable Notebook for each participating member

Best Environmental Hack

Portable Solar Charger for each participating member

Best Finance Hack

Anker PowerCore 26800 Portable Charger for each participating member

Best Social Connectivity Hack

Altec Lansing Bluetooth Speaker for each participating member

Best Social Good Hack

Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones for each participating member

Best Machine Learning Hack

SanDisk 128GB Dual USB A 3.1 and USB C Flashdrive for each participating member

Best UX/UI

Wacom Graphic Drawing Tablet for each participating member

Most Creative Hack

Blue Snowball Microphone for each participating member

Best Rookie Hack*

HSU Development Kit for each participating member

*A minimum of 50% of the team must be participating in their first hackathon

Best Use of DevOps Tools

"Cracking the Coding Interview" book for each participating member.

Note: Every project is automatically entered into this prize category!

Best Write-Up

Portable Parachute Camping Hammocks for each participating member.

Note: Every project is automatically entered into this prize category!

Best Video

Overhead Camera Mount for each participating member.

Note: Every project is automatically entered into this prize category!

Best Party Hack

Bubble Tea Kit and Balloons for each participating member

Best Use of Google Cloud Platform

Google Nest Mini for each participating member

Best Domain Name from Backpack for each participating member

Best Use of Full-Stack JavaSript (Any Framework) sponsored by Dynatrace

SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 500GB for each participating member

Community Class Act Hack sponsored by Oakland University Credit Union

Arduino Starter Kit for each participating member

Innovation is the Key to Success sponsored by Comerica Bank

SAMSUNG T7 Portable SSD 500GB for each participating member

FCA's Favorite Hack sponsored by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B + Charger for each participant

Best Use of Automation sponsored by Ally Bank

Multitool + 3D Pen for each participating member

Best Pizza-Focused Game sponsored by Little Caesars

Redragon S101 Wired RGB Backlit Gaming Keyboard and Mouse, Gaming Mouse Pad, Gaming Headset Combo All in 1 PC Gamer Bundle for each participating member

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Amber Conville

Amber Conville
Director of Engineering at Integral and Founder at Selfdot

Jane Dietrich

Jane Dietrich
Executive Assistance to the SECS Dean at Oakland University

Subra Ganesan

Subra Ganesan
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oakland University

Jeremy Livingston

Jeremy Livingston
Vice President of Engineering at Red Ventures

Amartya Sen

Amartya Sen
Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Oakland University

Judging Criteria

  • TECHNICAL INTEGRITY: Quality over Quantity
    What technologies are used is important, but how well those technologies are used is just as important. A small tech stack used well is usually better than a more advanced stack used poorly. Are all elements of the project functional and used effectively?
    It is all about buzzwords in today’s society. But buzzwords do not always mean a product that delivers on what it promises. Is the project all flash and no substance, or have you produced a product that lives up to its reputation?
  • CREATIVITY: Innovative Proof of Concept
    Even if the project is not fully functioning, how thorough is the plan? Judges will consider how innovative the project is, and how that might have contributed to its final state. If the project was completed, would it fulfill a real need people have?
  • CREATIVITY: Wow Factor
    Everyone wants to be blown away by technological innovation. How well did this project perform at sparking the judges' interest, and getting them excited about what the you are presenting? Would they be just as excited a second time around?
  • PROCESS: Adaptation to Challenges
    Do not be afraid to talk about what challenges you faced, and if/how you were able to overcome those challenges. Did you come up with a creative solution? Did the problem lead to a new idea? What did you learn/how did you grow at GrizzHacks this year?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

Presenting Sponsors
Gold Sponsors
Silver Sponsors

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