Some folks in Boston had a great idea: fight back against the harsh winter with technology. They're calling this event #HackWinter and it's taking place for the first time this year.

We've had our fair share of winter battles and our fair share of hackathons here in Upstate NY. Why not help address some of the serious issues of the season with a hackathon of our own?

HackFrost is our tribute to Boston's #HackWinter and an attempt to relieve the problems caused by our region's rough winters. It's a 3 and a half week virtual hackathon taking place in late winter. There is no cost to enter and you can participate over the internet.  Everybody in the Upstate NY community is invited to participate in #HackFrost! The only rules are that the solution must involve software as a critical piece, the software must be open source, and at least half of the team must come from Upstate NY.


Participants must be at least 13 years of age as of the start date of the contest.

Teams can be any size, from solo teams up to as many people as you can get together. However, at least 50% of the team’s members must live or go to school in Upstate NY (defined as all of NY State excluding the five boroughs of New York City).


All projects must address, mitigate or bring awareness to civic issues caused by the harsh winters in Upstate NY. Projects may be software or hardware based, but hardware projects must include a critical software component developed by the team.

Example problems pulled from real world data and feedback will be available before the event begins. These will include, but not be limited to:

  • Degrading roads due to plows/salt
  • Issues for residents when sidewalks aren't shoveled
  • Lack of heat / clothing for low income families

Projects must be open source software, licensed under the MIT or GPLv3 licenses. Projects must be hosted on Github and available publicly. All projects must be submitted through the DevPost platform. Any submissions that do not follow these guidelines will be disqualified.

Hackathon Sponsors


$300 in prizes

The Golden Shovel

The golden shovel is a symbol of your hard work and dedication, the only trophy worthy of #HackFrost and it's champion.

Tessel 2 courtesy of Accela, Inc.

A Tessel 2 kit courtesy of Accela, Inc.

From the website: "Tessel 2 is a development platform you can embed in a product. Build fast with Node.js/io.js, then optimize the hardware and build thousands."

Vocational Photo Shoot courtesy of Park Ave Portraits

A vocational photo shoot courtesy of Park Ave Portraits.

Park Ave Portraits traffics in high impact, low stress photography services. They have graciously offered a vocational session to the winner, or a member of the winning team. Get the next stage of your career started right with a professional headshot.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Mark Headd

Mark Headd
Developer Evangelist / Accela, Inc.

Brian Chabot

Brian Chabot
Application Developer / L & JG Stickley

Mike Vormwald

Mike Vormwald
Software Developer / PhishMe, Inc

Thomas Hart

Thomas Hart
Software Engineer / Rosie Applications, Inc.

Judging Criteria

  • Community Impact
    How much does your project impact the community? Consideration will be given to the number of people impacted as well as the depth of the effect on those people.
  • Execution
    How well does your project execute on the original idea? This is a hackathon project so judging here will not be harsh, but it will be taken into account.
  • Creativity
    How creative or novel is your idea? Originality and unconventional solutions will score points in this category.

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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