• Teams are allowed up to 4 members. It is not mandatory that you work with a team. If you don't have a team and want to find one there will be a team building workshop after the opening ceremony.
  • Organizers and sponsors ARE NOT allowed to be on a team. 
  • All team members should be present at the event. Leaving the venue for some time to hack elsewhere is fine.
  • Teams can seek guidance and support from organizers, volunteers, sponsors, mentors, and others.
  • All work on a project should be done during the hackathon.
  • Teams can use an idea they had before the event.
  • Teams can use libraries, frameworks, or open-source code in their projects. Working on a project before the event and open-sourcing it for the sole purpose of using the code during the event is against the rules and is not allowed.
  • Teams must stop hacking once the time is up.
  • Projects that violate the MLH Code of Conduct are not allowed.
  • Teams or individuals can be disqualified from the competition at the organizers' discretion. Reasons might include but are not limited to breaking the Competition Rules, breaking the MLH Code of Conduct.


Demos will be done like a science fair. The judges will go from team to team and judge based on the criteria below.

It is strongly encouraged that you have a tangible demo so the judges have something to evaluate. 

You can still demo even if your project is broken or you don't finish the whole thing on time. We want to know what you learned and what you managed to build.


  • IMPACT: How would your project effect society? What are the short-term and long-term application of this project?
  • CREATIVITY: Was the project like nothing you have seen before? Did it use a particularly clever technique? Did it use many different components in a unique way? 
  • DESIGN: How good is the user experience? How easy is it to use? how good does it look? 
  • IMPLEMENTATION: Does it work as the team indended it to? Is it an optimal way to solve the problem the team is trying to address?

You don't have to pitch/sale your project. Just focus on the bullet points above and try to be as clear as possible.

Code quality is not a factor in the judging process.

Your project doesn't have to solve a problem or be innovative. Ultimately, the goal at Hack Houston is to learn and have fun.