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FAQ

About Registration

  1. Who can participate?
  2. Can I just show up?
  3. What if I don’t have an idea?
  4. How many people on a team?
  5. Do I need to have a team?

About the Event

  1. How does judging work?
  2. Can I start working before Pioneer Weekend starts?
  3. Should I pull all-nighters?
  4. What should I bring?

Who can participate?

Only Grinnell College students are allowed to participate. However, the speaker session and final presentations are open to the public! We encourage non-participants to check out the awesome stuff that the students come up with!

Please note that students on-leave are allowed to participate, but may not claim any prize money.

Can I just show up?

Yes, but we HIGHLY recommend that you pre-register beforehand. Please know that we have limited spaces and they are filling up fast! Know that you have to officially register yourself on a team or individually before the final registration deadline listed in the schedule.

You can register here: [LINK]

What if I don’t have an idea?

None needed! You can join teams of people who have ideas. You might just get inspired when you arrive as well. If you have an idea, we will have a session where you can learn how to pitch your idea and samples of good ideas.

How many people on a team?

There can be up to four (4) people on a team.

Do I need to have a team?

Nope! Teams are recommended, but not required. You are absolutely welcome to sign up with your friends but we will have a team-building session on Friday. During the team-building session, people who have ideas or get inspired are welcome to give a ONE MINUTE pitch about their idea. All of these are recorded and after everyone who is willing/able to pitch is finished, we have a team forming exercise where people vote on good ideas and combine groups. The more you can convince others to join you, the better!


How does judging work?

Sunday, each group will be invited to make a presentation on the progress of their ideas. This presentation will be judged on the execution, design, customer validation, and feasibility of your project. More details on the breakdown of these criteria will be provided on Saturday when you begin working on your idea.

Can I start working before Pioneer Weekend starts?

Yes, but we do not encourage fully flushed-out projects or ideas. We also do NOT permit any pitch that is currently or previously an actual business created by the student groups.

What’s a good idea?

Try coming up with an idea that solves a problem. An example problem is “College students in the middle of rural small-town Iowa have a hard time getting groceries”. So an idea is trying to improve food delivery in Iowa.

Again, you don’t need to have an idea. If you do, that’s great! Please don’t work on it beforehand. We want everyone to have an equal playing field.

Does this need to be a For-Profit?

No! We welcome non-profit ideas! There have been quite a few non-profit teams that have won in the past.

Should I pull all-nighters?

Definitely not! The main purpose of the event is to learn a lot, collaborate with other Grinnellians and have fun. You will not get the most out of the experience if you are not fully awake and are exhausted throughout the event. Self-care is important!

What should I bring?

COVID-19 Update: HackGC will be hosted digitally.

We highly recommend that you bring…

  • Laptop
  • Power cord
  • Business cards
  • Camera – take pictures and video!
  • A second monitor, keyboard, etc…. set yourself up to be productive!
  • Lots of creative energy!