A hackathon is an “innovation sprint” in which teams collaborate to turn crazy ideas into real projects within a tight time limit. At our hackathon, teams of 2-4 collaborate over 36 hours to challenge the status quo, fulfill prize challenges, and create meaningful impact. We provide software, mentors, fun activities, speakers, workshops, buckets of coffee and so much more. You take care of hacking, we’ll take care of you.
START Hack is Europe’s most entrepreneurial hackathon, and this is what makes it stand out. We place a huge emphasis on fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in every one of our attendees, with the main ambition being to spark thinking and creativity that extends far beyond the Hack weekend. This is why we encourage students from business or tech backgrounds to apply.
START Hack 2024 will take place 20th-22nd March 2024, kicking off in the late afternoon.
You might have noticed this is a mid-week event rather than a weekend, and that’s for good reason. Stay tuned for some exciting news!
Nope! START Hack is open to anyone interested in technology and building awesome things, which requires more than just being able to code. We encourage students and young professionals of all backgrounds to apply.
We’ll have a whole host of exciting workshops and resources for participants of all levels, so you can learn more about programming, entrepreneurship, prototyping and much more.
Thanks to our generous sponsors and partners, admission will be free! This includes food, drinks, mentors, workshops, swag, and an unforgettable experience.
Every hacker will get free access to the Summit! However, you must take into consideration that the START Hack and the START Summit take place at the same time. Therefore, you won’t have much time to visit the Summit as a Hacker.
If you apply between 6th December -3rd January, you’ll have the chance to participate in our entrepreneurial hackathon with the support of travel grants. Not everyone will be accepted for travel grants so be fast and apply as soon as the applications open.
Please use common sense when booking your transport – our grants won’t cover first-class or business-class tickets. Travel costs can only be refunded if you attend the Hack and submit your final project. The payments will be processed following the event and we can’t grant you reimbursement on your travel costs if you cancel your participation or fail to turn up.
Once you do arrive at START Hack, you’ll be provided with delicious food and cozy on-site accommodation.
You can apply as an individual or as a team using the form on our application page during the application phases.
The first being between the 6th December - 3rd January. The second one being between 17th January - 28th February.
All we need is some basic information, and you’ll be on your way to START Hack in no time!
Early Bird applications will open 6th December - 3rd January. If you apply during this time, you’ll have the chance to receive one of our exclusive travel grants.
Following this, the main application period will run 23rd January - 28th february.
Decisions will be released periodically, so you can expect to hear back from us in one to two weeks after you submit your application.
Kindly be aware that your acceptance will need to be confirmed. As the event draws nearer, you will receive notification to confirm your attendance.
If you’re a university, high-school student, or young professional, you're good to go! We’ll be accepting students and professionals of all academic backgrounds – prior knowledge of coding or business is not needed.
Unsure if you’re eligible? Ask us!
Yes! However, you will need a permission letter signed by your parent or guardian in order to take part.
Teams are 2-4 people in size. Teams bigger than 4 people are split up into smaller ones, as we've found large teams aren't ideal in a 36-hour event.
Don’t worry – most of our participants don't! That's why we've come up with a few ways to help you meet other participants before and during START Hack. Just register as an individual hacker and we'll help you pair up with other hackers before and during the event!
Every partner will offer a prize for their respective case. These won’t be announced beforehand, as your chief motivation for participating in START Hack should always be about the amazing experience it offers! There’ll be an overall prize pool for the best teams.
Yes, you can find it here.
TLDR: Be nice and have fun!
START Hack provides free accommodation and food at the event. We are planning to provide a sleeping area for up to 300 participants. There will be a separate women's sleeping area. The sleeping area will be fairly modest, so we would recommend bringing a sleeping bag for comfort. Otherwise, you are free to book accommodation in the city of St. Gallen – you can find our accommodation guide here.