What is HackOHI/O?

HackOHI/O is a 24-hour hackathon that attracts over 800 participants annually for a full weekend of coding, learning, networking, and innovation. HackOHI/O gives students a unique, experiential-learning opportunity to build technology projects from scratch in a welcoming environment.

Teams can come with an idea themselves or can take inspiration from challenges presented by our supporting companies and organizations. After 24-hours of "hacking", teams present their projects to industry experts and judges to get feedback and compete for prizes.

HackOHI/O is hosted by OHI/O, a student organization at The Ohio State University. OHI/O is dedicated to fostering tech culture at Ohio State and its surrounding communities in Central Ohio.

OHI/O is proud of the legacy HackOHI/O has created over the past 11 years at Ohio State. This year, HackHI/O will feature new social activities, the opportunity for industry resume reviews, and new participant support tools, both in person and online.

OHI/O and the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship are partnering to support teams who want to take their project to the next level. Through a series of interactive workshops, Ohio State students gain valuable information and coaching to get ideas off the ground through the Best of Student Startups (BOSS) program. A golden ticket will be provided to the best independent project at HackOHI/O giving them access to this training and a guaranteed spot to pitch in the BOSS Finale. Winners of BOSS gain access to funding and the opportunity to pitch in the finale of the President's Buckeye Accelerator with the chance to compete for a $50,000 award.


HackOHI/O provides opportunities for industry and academic professionals to work directly with students.

Mentors will assist participants throughout the event with any questions or concerns they may have while creating their project. We welcome individuals with knowledge and expertise in various topics to help mentor students at HackOHI/O. This year, mentors can participate both virtually and in-person.

HackOHI/O 2023 Mentorship Guide

Judges will help us score teams on October 29th by reviewing their projects in the form of a video submission and live discussion with the teams. This year, judges will be virtual only. If you are interested in attending the event in-person and want to judge, please sign up to be a mentor as well.

HackOHI/O 2023 Judging Guide


First Energy


Saturday, October 28th

Event Time
Check-in 8:00AM
Team formation 8:00AM - 8:30AM
Breakfast served 8:30AM
Sponsor tabling 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Opening ceremony 9:15AM
Hacking begins 10:00AM
Resume and Networking Workshop 10:30AM - 11:30AM
Verizon Resume 1:1 Review 11:30AM - 12:00PM
Lunch served 12:00PM
Verizon 5G Tech Talk 1:00PM - 1:30PM
Team mentor check-in 1 2:00PM - 3:00PM
Industry Experience Panel 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Student Organization Tables 3:00PM - 5:00PM
Electronics Club Workshop 4:00PM - 4:30PM
Mini Games: Mini Golf and Paper Airplanes 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Dinner served 6:00PM
Team mentor check-in 2 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Video Game Tournament 8:00PM - 9:00PM

Sunday, October 29th

Event Time
Midnight snack served 12:00AM
Breakfast served 7:30AM
Hacking ends 10:00AM
Judging period 10:30AM - 1:30PM
Lunch served 11:00AM
Non-competitive showcase 12:30PM - 2:00PM
Closing ceremony & showcase 2:30PM


Sponsor Challenge Description
Engie [Google Doc]
Honda [Google Doc] [Hype Video]
Veeva [Google Doc]
Verizon [Google Doc] [Hype Video]


Official HackOHI/O prizes this year:

Award Prize
1st Place Playstation 5 Console PS5
2nd Place Meta Quest 2 Meta Quest 2
3rd Place JBL Pulse 5 JBL5
Mystery Superlative 1 Polaroid Now Gen 2 + Film Polaroid
Mystery Superlative 2 Vinyl Player Vinyl Player
Mystery Superlative 3 Echo Show 8 Echo Show 8
Mystery Superlative 4 Anker 24K Power Bank Anker 24K Power Bank
Raffle Odyssey G5 Odyssey G5

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a hackathon?

A hackathon is best described as an “invention marathon”. Anyone who has an interest in technology attends a hackathon to learn, build & share their creations over the course of a weekend in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. You don't have to be a programmer, and you certainly don't have to be majoring in Computer Science. (Definition adapted from MLH organizer guide).

Is there a participant guide for the hackathon?

Yes, see the below link!

Participant Guide

Will the hackathon be virtual?

This year we will be hosting a hybrid event that is virtual and in-person. While we encourage teams to attend in person, there are ways for students, sponsors, and mentors to join us virtually and still participate. It is imperative that all participants, regardless of in-person or virtual status, join the HackOHI/O Discord server to get access to all the event-specific details. The join link will be sent in a confirmation email after the registration form has been completed.

How does a virtual hackathon work?

Everything will work as before but be virtualized using different technologies. There will still be access to mentors, sponsors and other hackers. If you plan to attend virtually, be sure to join the HackOHI/O 11 Discord for pertinent updates when you receive an invitation.

Who can attend?

Anyone who is a student at a university! (AKA if you have a .edu email address, undergrads and grad students are both welcome). We encourage all levels of expertise to join. Whether this is your first hackathon, or you've been to hackathons around the nation, HackOHI/O provides an opportunity to collaborate and create something amazing. Note, unfortunately, if you are under the age of 18 AND you are not an OSU student you are not eligible to participate (OSU Policy). However, if you are an OSU student under the age of 18, you are eligible to participate. Likewise, if you are not an OSU student AND you are over the age of 18, you are eligible to participate.

How does registration work?

The registration for HackOHI/O 11 will open Soon! Register by completed the sign up form. Events are free for all students. There will be a confirmation step two weeks before the event to validate catering expectations. If you have any questions about the registration process, contact registerhackohio@gmail.com.

How do I join a team?

You can pick a team to join in the Discord server. Teams can be anywhere from 2-4 members, and we require for all participants to be in a team to be eligible for judging. If you are looking for a team, we'll be providing opportunities before and during the hackathon to find one. We'll be posting more information on team formation events in our newsletters and on our social media accounts - be on the lookout!

What if I have no programming experience?

That's okay! One of the goals of a hackathon is to learn new skills, and we will have mentors available to help you throughout your project. We will also host workshops prior to the hackathon to introduce you to new programming languages and/or tools. And remember, there are other ways to help out a team in their development beyond programming.

Is it free?

Yes, this event is free for all participants! We would like to thank our generous sponsors and supporters for making this possible.

Do I need to have an idea beforehand?

Nope! Many participants come up with their ideas at the hackathon. Challenges presented by our sponsors will be released the week before the event, which also spark idea formation (and the chance for additional prizes!)

Can I work on my project before the event?

The spirit of a hackathon is to see what you can accomplish in one weekend. Although we will not prevent students from entering with pre-built components, when you enter your project for judging we ask that you are honest and transparent with the judges about what and how much was accomplished during HackOHI/O.

How can I help?

HackOHI/O provides opportunities for industry and academic professionals to work directly with students.
Mentors will assist participants throughout the event with any questions or concerns they may have while creating their project and have two timed check in points with teams. We welcome individuals with knowledge and expertise in various topics to help mentor students at HackOHI/O. This year, mentors can participate both virtually and in-person.
Judges will help us score teams on October 29th by reviewing projects, providing teams feedback and completing a rubric form. This year, judges will be virtual only.

Will there be swag?

Yes, there will! Swag pick-up will happen as you enter HackOHI/O the morning of October 28th. Unfortunately, OHI/O is unable to ship swag to virtual participants. However, virtual participants who win awards will have prizes shipped to them.

What if I can't pick up swag myself? Can someone else grab it for me?

Yes! Just mention the person who will pick-up for you in the comments on your signup, or let an organizer know.

What about hardware hacks?

This year, the Electronics club will be providing basic materials for the event in-person. You are more than welcome to still build with your own materials!

Wow, this all sounds so great! Who hosts HackOHI/O?

HackOHI/O is hosted by OHI/O, an Ohio State student organization. Check out our other events at hackathon@osu.edu.

Ohio State COVID FAQ

HackOHI/O will operate based on the current Safe and Healthy protocols. For more information, visit: https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/events.