If you think Hacking is just for coders and engineers, you don’t know Hack. NSIN Hackathons are where mission-driven people solve problems in unconventional ways.

The NSIN Hackathon program is an opportunity for students, academics, entrepreneurs, startups, engineers, mathematicians, scientists, technologists, designers, computer scientists, people with experience in communications and marketing, and anyone who is creative and likes to solve problems!

NSIN holds hackathons around the country, each focused on a different challenge with applications to both Defense and commercial markets. At these weekend events, you will learn about the challenge, form teams, come up with novel ideas, work with mentors and subject matter experts to develop your concepts, and pitch your solutions to a panel of judges. Winners receive funding to continue developing their concepts!

An NSIN Hackathon is a chance to:

  • Learn about new challenges
  • Be creative
  • Work with diverse people
  • Compete for exciting opportunities

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?


What do I get?

Free food all weekend, cool swag, and an opportunity to make a difference by working on a real-world challenge with experts in that field.

How long is a hackathon?

Hackathons are about 48 hours, starting Friday afternoon and ending Sunday afternoon.

What will the challenge be?

Every hackathon is different, but the challenge generally has applications to both Government and commercial markets. We’ve done hackathons on humanitarian assistance/disaster response, edge processing, drones and drone defense, human performance, physical cybersecurity, advanced materials, and many other topics. We’ll announce the challenge about 60 days before the hackathon.

Do I need to be on a team to sign up?

Anyone can sign up. If you already have a team or startup, that’s great. If not, our team formation activities will make sure everybody has a chance to join a team or form a team around their idea.

Do I have to know how to code?

No! But coders are welcome too!

Do I need to have first-hand knowledge about the challenge?

No. We will bring experienced mentors from the Government and private sector who are experts in the challenge area and relevant technology disciplines. Their job is to help you understand the context of the challenge, the current state-of-the-art, and the requirements of specific markets. All you need is creativity and a fresh perspective.

What do I need to do to win?

Most importantly, design a novel concept that answers the challenge. We don’t expect your team to build a working prototype over a weekend. If you can demonstrate some aspect of your solution, it will certainly help, but isn’t required.

What can I win?

Up to three winning teams receive up to $15,000 each to continue developing their winning concepts.

Who are the judges?

Each hackathon event has a panel of six to 10 leaders and deep subject matter experts from the Government, private sector, and local community. We’ve had generals, members of Congress, CEOs, venture capitalists, university deans, and many others judge our hackathons.

How do I sign up?

If your interested, simply complete this form to receive information about upcoming NSIN hackathons. Registration typically opens 45 days prior to the hackathon and continues until the event starts.

What should I bring?

Yourself, your laptop, and any tools or tech you think you might need.

How to Participate

Simply sign up using our Register Interest. You will be notified and provided instructions when event registration opens.

Questions about Hackathons?

Please direct any questions to hacks@nsin.us