it's better to be quirky. come discover and expand the limits of your quirkiness and creativity while innovating, designing, and exploring technology. the most exciting and anticipated experience under the title of "hackathon" you will ever be a part of.

located in the chicago innovation exchange (CIE), a beautiful incubator space, you will get to spend 24 hours hacking away with memes and cutting edge technology for facetime with companies, learning experiences with mentors, and an unforgettable memory. dank? nah, uncommon.


  • Participants Individuals with '.edu' emails are encouraged to apply. High school students will be considered on a case by case basis. Working both on a team and individually works - if you don't have a team yet and would like to be on one, we will host speed dating before the event to meet some other awesome participants. If you are dying to come and are local or require no reimbursements, hit us up at
  • Sponsors Interested in sponsoring or learning more about the hackathon from a recruiter's perspective? Shoot us an email at and we'll get back to you in a jiffy. 
  • Large Insects Any one or multiple insects over 35 pounds will be allowed into the hackathon. Please note that we have the right to deny entrance to any unwelcomed creature.


dont hack what u know. dont hack what u want. hack what u deserve

where's waldo?

Hackathon Sponsors


$2,000 in prizes

1st Place (Crushed it)

These awards can be won by any kind of hack - webapps, games, hardware projects, and more. Whether your hack is entertaining or useful, we’ll be looking closely at its technical merit, creativity, and overall awesomeness. $400 for Amazon

2nd Place (Pretty Swag)

These awards can be won by any kind of hack - webapps, games, hardware projects, and more. Whether your hack is entertaining or useful, we’ll be looking closely at its technical merit, creativity, and overall awesomeness. $200 for Amazon

3rd Place (Amazing)

These awards can be won by any kind of hack - webapps, games, hardware projects, and more. Whether your hack is entertaining or useful, we’ll be looking closely at its technical merit, creativity, and overall awesomeness. $100 for Amazon

Best Continuable Hack (Presented by Thiel Foundation)

Is your product viable in the real marketplace? How will it prevail against competition, better yet, does it have no competition? We will be looking at hacks that have a scalable need. For people to be eligible, they must also submit an application to the Thiel Fellowship (takes 5 minutes and can always be edited later).

Best Use of Macintosh Plus

Prize: 1 team wins swag and sweet vaporwave tees!

Floral Shoppe was met with a polarizing reception from critics and casual listeners alike, being equally "criticized and acclaimed for [Xavier's] soulless take on muzak".[11] Jonathan Dean of Tiny Mix Tapes wrote positively of Floral Shoppe, citing the album as "one of the best single documents of the vaporwave scene yet, a series of estranged but soulful manipulations of found audio that carefully constructs its own meditative headspace through the careful accretion of defamiliarized memory triggers."[4] Stephen Purcell of Noise praised it as one of the year's best albums and wrote: "It's mind warping, it's refreshing and more importantly when it's done as well as this, it needs recognition."[12]

Giving the album a perfect 5.0 rating, Adam Downer of Sputnikmusic characterized the album as "constantly—and delightfully—unsettling" and "a beautiful record that's both warm and strange, nostalgic and futuristic, bizarre and totally simple."[5]

Best Inclusion of Jaden Smith Tweets

Prize: 1 team wins rad shirts!

Sometimes Jaden says completely random things:

"Jealousy Just Reassures Your Love."

"You Do Not Know Who You Are Or Why Your Here So When You See Someone Who Dose The Society Comes Together As A Whole And Destroys Them."

"The Great Gatsby Is One Of The Greatest Movies Of All Time, Coachella."

And of course, the famous,

"How can mirrors be real, if our eyes aren't real"

But sometimes he spews pure wisdom:

"Everybody Get Off Your Phones And Go Do What You Actually Wanna Do"

Does your hack embody any one or more of these tweets?

The Young Metro Don't Trust You Prize (Security)

Prize: 1 Team wins $100 giftcard!

What security have you implemented in your product? Is it secure enough? Does Young Metro trust you enough to use it?

Major Keys to Success

You Smart. You Very Smart. I Appreciate You.

Bless up. They don't want us to enjoy Uncommon Hacks, so we're going to enjoy Uncommon Hacks.

Awarded to the product with the best potential for success in the marketplace. Prize: 1 team will win some sweet articles of clothing.

Best Use of Meme UI (Text Above and Down Below)

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!
If a picture is worth a thousand words, memes have to be at least ten thousand. Unleash the power of memes within your app to convey ideas and concepts that wouldn't be possible otherwise.


Best Common Hack

Two criteria:

Is it common? Totally basic, seen before a thousand times? In an ironic way...?

Does it embody the Chicago, Grammy-winning rapper, Common? Make Regina George proud.

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!

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?

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!

Most Uncommon Hack

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!

Just like the "Common Hack" this has two criteria:

How uncommon is this product? How did you even think of that?

Most Immersive/Mind Blowing User Experience

Whether it's WebGL, OpenGL, Oculus, or anything else you can imagine, blow us away with an unreal sensory experience. Prize: 1 team will win Google Cardboards!

Most Aesthetic

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!
✟✞✟✞✟✞✟✞✟✞ /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/

Best Use of Vaporwave

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!
Statues, purple, 3D and 2D meshes. Throwbacks to elevator and mall music. Let's see it.

One requirement:
All text must be spaced out

Best Use of Artificial Intelligence

Linear regression models? Clusters? Visual recognition? NLP? NBD. Can you make one of these happen well? Let's get closer to converging to singularity at Uncommon Hacks. Sounds fun.

Andrew Ng is a god. Let's use what he's taught us here.
Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!

Meme God

Thank you Based God.
John Cena.
Why you lying?
Doge, bad luck brian. Show us your skills.

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!

Raddest Gizmo Gadget Thingamajig

Prize: 1 team will win $30 to Amazon!
Awarded to the most inventive gizmo in the game. Like that villain Inspector Gadget!

Best Use of GIFS (Sponsored by Giphy)

Gifs are the modern day pictures. Get with it. Let's see some gifs. Prize: 1 team will win some giphy SWAG!

Most Technically Impressive

Prize: 1 team will win #littlebits!

Haskell? Assembly? Extremely complicated algorithms?

Best .tech Domain Name (Sponsored by Get .Tech)

Prize: 1 team will win a gift voucher of $50. Must host their project on a .tech domain!

Best Social Enterprise, "Be Kind" Hack (Sponsored by Kind Bar)


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.

Yo - "Be Kind" Hack (Sponsored by Kind Bar)

Prize: tons of kind bars.

"Yo" was an amazing app that blew up due to its simple UX that gave you the supreme capability of sending a "yo" to your closest friends with a simple tap of a button.

KIND would like you to implement "Yo" but make it a little better. Can you make it pay compliments to your peers instead? Why not spread positivities instead of "Yo's".

You can read more about the Yo App here!

Most UChicago Prize

Awarded to the hack that best invokes the spirit and culture of UChicago.

JP Morgan UI Prize

Hotline Bling Twilio API Award

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

applications are now closed. we're thrilled with the amount of interest this year and can't wait to make this weekend gr8. plz check back next year to apply for the BeSt HACKKathoN of THe YeAr!


******TO SUBMIT****** to FUNcommon hacks:

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. dont look back. have no regrets

6 watch top submissions present and demo 

7 wait around and find out the 1 tru winner of Uncommon Hacks Spr16 <3 <3 <3 

 Want a prize? Find Waldo!



Cassidy Williams

Cassidy Williams
Software Engineer & Developer Evangelist at Clarifai

Jeremy Edberg

Jeremy Edberg
Cofounder at CloudNative

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
    How often have we seen this idea before? Is there anything particularly unique about this. Is this on the market?
  • Complexity
    Level of technical difficulty? What technologies were used in the creation of this project?
  • Execution
    Does the product serve its designated purpose? Is the UI nice? Does everything come together and function properly?
  • Quirkiness and Uniqueness
    Is this aesthetic? How does it fit within our theme.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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