In our sixth-year running, the organising team from The Hack Cambridge Foundation invites you to join us at Hex Cambridge 2021 for a weekend of coding, fun, and innovation. Work with large-scale datasets and companies to build your projects and bring your ideas to life.


Anyone who is currently a registered student or has graduated after 23rd January 2020 is eligible to attend. Sadly we can't accommodate anyone under the age of 18 this year.

The minimum team size is 2 people, and up to a maximum of 5 people.


When submitting your project, please make sure that any work done prior to the event, or external libraries/codebases/APIs which are used in your project are declared clearly.

Submission requirements for sponsors' prizes will vary but there are no restrictions to be eligible for the overall Hex Cambridge prizes.

Hackathon Sponsors


£24,100 in prizes

Hex Cambridge 1st Place

The team judged to have produced the most innovative, technically challenging and well-designed project.

Prizes: A unique Hack Cambridge trophy for the team. Marshall Wace will be awarding an Oculus Quest 2 to each team member, and Citadel will also be awarding one Voyager Proton Electric Scooter to the team.

Hex Cambridge 2nd Place

Runners up.

Prizes: A Hex Cambridge backpack and a choice of either a Raspberry Pi Starter Kit or a Leap Motion Controller for each team member

Hex Cambridge 3rd Place

Runners up.

Prizes: A Hex Cambridge backpack and a choice of either a Google Nest Mini or an Echo Dot for each team member

Hex Cambridge People's Choice

Do you have what it takes to impress your fellow hackers?

Prizes: A choice of either a Tile Mate or an Elfinbook Smart Memo Pad for each team member

Hex Cambridge Organisers' Choice

A truly innovative hack that just missed the spotlight but deemed by the organisers to deserve a prize for a strong effort.

Prizes: A Hex Cambridge backpack and a choice of either a JBL Bar 2.0 or a Withings Hybrid Smartwatch for each team member

Optiver Challenge 1st Place

Ready to test your problem-solving skills against genuine complexity in a fast-paced environment? It’s time to build a Python trading algorithm that outperforms all others on our proprietary virtual exchange Optibook.

Experience the excitement of a real-world stock trading scenario in the safety of a simulated environment. You’ll be shown how to develop a trading algorithm, and then it’s up to your team’s skills to optimise your creation and beat the competition. The winning team will be the one that has developed the best trading strategy to trade in our simulator (not the team that makes the most money). Good luck and see you on Optibook!

Prizes: Nintendo Switch for each team member of the winning team.

Optiver Challenge 2nd Place

2nd Place in the Optiver Challenge.

Prizes: JBL Charge 4 for each team member.

Huawei Challenge 1st Place

Image classification is a basic yet important task in artificial intelligence. The CIFAR-10 dataset is a set of images, usually used to train machine learning and computer vision algorithms. It is one of the most widely used data sets in machine learning research. The CIFAR-10 dataset contains 60,000 32x32 color images in 10 different categories. 10 different categories represent airplanes, cars, birds, cats, deer, dogs, frogs, horses, boats and trucks. There are 6000 images in each category, and the dataset has a total of 50,000 training images and 10,000 testing images.

Check out your Hack Cambridge dashboard to get access to the full description!

Prizes: Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro for each team member.

Huawei Challenge Honourable Mention (2)

Honourable Mention in the Huawei Challenge; awarded to two teams.

Prizes: Huawei Watch Fit Graphite Black for each team member.

Blackrock Challenge

At BlackRock, our goal is to use technology to create better financial futures for our clients. The last year has been very challenging on the world’s economy, yet we managed to exceed our goals for the year.

We want you to follow the same pattern we followed last year for a more specific target audience. We challenge you to come up with ideas to help individuals or small businesses improve their financial well-being.

Your hack can take into consideration short-term and long-term financial planning or even extreme scenarios such as protecting your assets from a downturn caused by a pandemic.

Check out your Hack Cambridge dashboard to get access to the full description!

Prizes: Ember 295ml Temperature Control Mug 2 and an ACER PM161Q Full HD 15.6" IPS Portable Monitor for each member of the winning team.

Wolfram Award (15)

The top 15 teams at Hex Cambridge will win the Wolfram Award, which is for a year of Wolfram|One Personal Edition plus a one-year subscription to Wolfram|Alpha Pro. The value of each individual award is £275.00.

MLH: Best Domain Name registered with

Register a .tech, .space, or .online domain name using during the weekend. Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. Each winning team member will receive a PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger & Backpack.

MLH: Best use of Google Cloud

Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. See full list of products here: Each winning team member will receive a Google Branded Parkland Academy Backpack.

MLH: Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key (2)

Using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator, build a hack for your chance to win a Grove Beginner Kit, with Arduino Uno R3 included. We select two winning teams for this category. Each winning team member will receive a prize!

MLH: Best use of DataStax Astra

Apache Cassandra is one of the most widely used database technologies in modern computing with a proven track record of scalability. Just ask Apple, Netflix and eBay. Build a hack using DataStax Astra’s Cassandra-made-easy service and gain in-demand skills along with a chance to win Blue Snowball Microphones for you and your whole team. It’s easy to sign up with 5GB free and no credit card needed. Start becoming a Cassandra expert today!

Hackathons UK: Hackiest Hack

Build something that’s over-the-top, over-engineered, and held together with Sellotape and bits of string… use your imagination! Winners get a GIANT enter button!

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Ahmet Cengiz Oztireli

Ahmet Cengiz Oztireli
Associate Professor, University of Cambridge

Bijoy Sagar

Bijoy Sagar
Global CIDO, Bayer

Conor Kiernan

Conor Kiernan
CTO and Partner, Marshall Wace

Mark Hickin

Mark Hickin
Head of Market Data and Analytics, Marshall Wace

Judging Criteria

  • Innovation
    At Hack Cambridge, we love to see things that we've never seen before. Whether it's a new use of an existing technology or maybe something entirely new, we want to see something that breaks boundaries.
  • Technical Excellence
    Good projects don't just materialize out of thin air. They require hard work and dedication and we want to see you really stretch the limits of what you are capable of.
  • Polish
    Getting a project completed in time for a hackathon deadline can be a real scramble. However, we want to see something that's slick and well polished. If it weren't for the context, you would think it would have taken weeks or even months to build!
  • Commercial / Social Enterprise Potential
    You may be able to craft a creative and technically complex project, but can your project survive in the commercial world? We’ll be looking for projects with strong commercial prospects.
  • Societal Impact
    In line with our theme, it’s important to us that you’ve thought about how your hack can make a positive contribution to the wider society.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

Tera Sponsors
Giga Sponsors
Mega Sponsors
Kilo Sponsors

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