Return of the Hack: In-Person HackUConn is Back, with Focus on Well-Being

For the first time since 2019, the 20-hour creative sprint is once again being held in person

Students brainstorming at the last HackUConn held in person, in 2019.

Students brainstorming at the last HackUConn held in person, in 2019 (Lucas Voghell ’20 (CLAS)/UConn Photo).

Are you a student passionate about supporting personal well-being?

Do you like finding creative solutions to big problems?

Want to meet people, collaborate with diverse groups, and work with other UConn students to build something exciting and new – in just 20 hours?

Then get ready, because the Hack is back in-person for 2022.

HackUConn – the University’s flagship hackathon – is a 20-hour marathon event that aims to bring together young innovators and industry experts for a non-stop fast-paced invention competition. After a successful virtual event last year, organizers are excited to launch this year’s in-person hackathon by inviting UConn students to “Innovate Well-being” on April 9 and 10 at Werth Tower in Storrs.

“Well-being was selected because of the far-reaching impact of COVID,” says Kathy Rocha, assistant director of the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “It has touched the physical, mental, financial, and other aspects of individuals and their lives. The hope is that students will pick a problem associated with well-being that they would like to explore with a team and try to identify solutions. It is a fun, interactive experience for students to explore problems associated with well-being and team up with other students interested in the same topic. ”

A hackathon is an opportunity for designers, engineers, project managers, business and marketing talent, innovators, entrepreneurs, and any interested individuals to come together and innovate hardware and software solutions to real problems. HackUConn first launched in 2016 as a way to help contribute to the University’s now thriving entrepreneurial culture.

Registration for HackUConn is open from now until the event kicks off on April 9 at 4:00 p.m. Students can register individually and then join a team at the event, or have the option of building a team before the event and registering together, though teams cannot bring in prior work – hacking can only be done during the event’s announced hacking period.

The teams will identify problems that they care about related to well-being and then work together to devise creative and innovative solutions to those problems, with the help of mentoring and workshops from industry professionals and UConn faculty and staff. Teams will have access to resources including hacking supplies, 3D printers, and laser cutters to help build their prototypes.

Coding or computer science experience is not necessary to participate – HackUConn encourages students from all academic disciplines and majors sign up.

“A diverse team typically comes up with the best ideas,” Rocha says. “Everyone has something to offer, regardless of their area of study.”

“We like having diverse teams, which is why we chose a theme like well-being, where a variety of topics could come under that umbrella,” says student organizer Isha Patel ’23 (CLAS). “The definition we are going with for well-being is ‘the state of being comfortable, happy, and healthy,’ which could include social well-being, digital well-being, sexual well-being, or financial well-being, among other topics.”

Over the course of the 20-consecutive hours, the student teams will brainstorm, prototype, and pitch their solutions to a panel of judges, who then select winning ideas and award prizes. Some previous HackUConn winners have gone on to later pitch their hacked ideas to UConn’s Get Seeded, which gives students opportunities to earn seed funding and mentorship to help launch an entrepreneurial idea.

HackUConn is a free event, and Rocha notes that participation is also a great networking and résumé builder.

“The goal is to give all students at UConn the opportunity to identify solutions to problems they care about by working in multidisciplinary teams,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to gain experience and learn new things in a fun and interactive environment. The event includes lots of fun activities, great food, and cash prizes.”

For more information about HackUConn and to register, visit