Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is best described as an “invention marathon”. Anyone who has an interest in
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
be majoring in Computer Science. (Definition adapted from MLH organizer guide).
Is there a participant guide for the hackathon?
Yes, see the below link!
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
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,
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
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
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
Ohio State COVID FAQ
HackOHI/O will operate based on the current Safe and Healthy protocols. For more information,