Pygmalion's Inaugural 24-hour student and professional Hackathon

PYGHACK is the next step for Pygmalion TECH. An inaugural 24-hour hackathon, offered as a component of the broader cultural event, it is the result of feedback, growth, community engagement, and strong partnerships. 

With an initial advisory board representing leadership from Research Park, Wolfram, Volition, and Pixo, we've come together to fill a void in our current tech sector: invite both campus and community to come together to create something powerful that will ultimately benefit the greater good in this city.  With generous sponsorships from companies and organizations both national and local, and with an eye on improving Champaign-Urbana one small step at a time, PygHack was born.

We are blueprinting this year. Over the course of thirteen years, we've experimented and hypothesized — year in and year out — at Pygmalion. We add things, we take away things. We construct and then we deconstruct. We seek feedback, both empirical and cultural. We are constantly evolving. 

The hope is that by participating, you will form new connections within the community, coming together with your peers and those you may have never crossed paths with otherwise.  We also hope you will help us grow, being part of a group that will further improve upon what will no doubt be an exciting addition to what is now the most comprehensive and culturally engaging event in downstate Illinois. 

The goal is simple, yet complex, like all of the best parts of life: engage coders, designers, engineers, and dreamers. Challenge them to create something to benefit their community or an organization in Champaign-Urbana.  Perhaps something we might not even know we need. 

We are excited to see what happens. 

View full rules


$9,160 in prizes


$1000 CASH

WOLFRAM — A ONE-YEAR license to Wolfram|One and a year of Wolfram|Alpha Pro for each member of the winning team.

VOLITION — Likeness in a game by VOLITION; Agents of Mayhem by Deep Silver Volition bundle; Spend a day with members of team to learn about game development and ask questions (2 hours per discipline).

PIXO — UX & design supplies


$500 CASH


$250 CASH

Wolfram Prize

Wolfram: Best Use of Wolfram Technologies: The winner of this prize will receive $500 CASH, and one year license to Wolfram|One Professional (value $1,310) for each member of the team.

Volition Prize (PICK ONE!)

— Job Shadowing (1 week worth)
— Q&A with members of team and lunch (mix of disciplines)
— Spend a day with the team and provide input on an element of the game (character, vehicle, weapon, animation, etc.) that could then go in an upcoming product. Comes with credit in the product.

Pixo Prize

Q&A and lunch with the UX & design team

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Here are some basic rules about participating in PYGHACK:

  • Hackers must present their ID to gain entry to PYGHACK, which will be crosschecked against the ticketing manifest provided by Pygmalion organizers.
  • This event is open to registered members only. Please register your team AHEAD of time or else you will not be granted entry to the event.
  • If you are registering for the hack, please let us know if you have any food allergies that we should be aware of.
  • There are a variety of prizes available depending on the scope of what your team builds — check out the prizes section to learn more about what to shoot for!
  • Throughout the hack, teams will be provided with data sets and possible access to key leaders and nonprofit organizations working in the space to help craft their solutions.
  • Maximum five (5) members per team.
  • All members of the team should be present to pitch to our judges and receive their prize at the awards ceremony.

For more information about the HACK, please visit the FAQ section of the website.


What is the goal of PYGHACK?

PYGHACK will aim towards helping the greater Champaign-Urbana area and community through social good combined with innovation and technology. Teams will have the opportunity to choose from a set of challenges related to the topic, with a few challenge categories:

  • Benefits the common good in the community at-large, whether that be a local non-profit, organization that benefits the underprivileged, etc.
  • Benefit the community in terms of retention of student talent for growth of Champaign-Urbana's professional job sector.
  • Benefit visitors to Champaign-Urbana community to encourage return visits to the community.
  • Binding together groups of existing organizations to encourage collaboration to benefit the greater Champaign-Urbana community.

Throughout the hack, teams will be provided with access to key leaders and nonprofit organizations working in the space to help craft their solutions.

What are the deadlines I should pay attention to?

You must register to participate in the hackathon by 12 pm CST on Saturday, September 23rd.

You are allowed to continue updating that submission until 12:00 PM CST on Sunday, September 24th.

How to enter

How do I register myself and/or my team?

In order to participate in PYGHACK, please register you and/or your team HERE by 12:00 pm CST on SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd. 

Who can apply to participate in PYGHACK?

Whether you're a tech professional, college student, high school student, or somewhere in between — you can apply to participate!

When are final submissions due?

Final submissions are due by the completion of the hack — 12:00 PM CST on Sunday, September 24th.

Where and when are winners being selected?

The final product submissions will be judged following the completion of the hack, and winners will be presented on Sunday, September 24th at 4:00 p.m. at Beckman Institute for Advanced Technology405 N Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801.

If your team wins a category, you'll be required to prepare a short 2-3 minute presentation describing the concept and demostrating what you've created. All members must be present to receive the awards!



Carly McCrory

Carly McCrory
Champaign County Economic Development Corpration

Ryan Singh

Ryan Singh
iVenture Accelerator

Sara Stone

Sara Stone
Parkland College

William Patterson

William Patterson
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sanford Hess

Sanford Hess
City of Urbana

Judging Criteria

    Does your hack provide a benefit to the greater Champaign-Urbana community (a non-profit organization, under-served population, etc.)?
    Does your team incorporate several members from different communities in Champaign-Urbana? Such as: professionals vs. students vs. engineers vs. coders. Bonus points if you have multi-level diversity!
    Does this hack look good? Looks are important in some capacity!
    Does your hack have a functioning prototype that can be seen by judges? An app, website, device, etc that (at least) mostly works?
    Does your hack provide something new and exciting that doesn't already exist in some capacity? The more unique and creative, the better.