Product innovation around the growing $15 billion gaming industry is the focus of the University of Oregon’s first intercollegiate hackathon. Dubbed QuackHack, the event will take place January 15-17, 2016 at the University of Oregon’s Lundquist College of Business. College students from any university in Oregon, the Northwest, and beyond can register to participate.
QuackHack is a 40-hour prototyping event expected to draw more than 200 college students and business leaders from across the United States and Canada. A "hackathon" (short for hack marathon) is a term from software development used to describe events in which people collaborate on a focused topic for an intense period of time to create useable product prototypes.
QuackHack seeks to expand the concept of a hackathon beyond software development to encompass students from all majors and disciplines. At the UO QuackHack, student teams will develop prototypes broadly around the theme of gaming, which can include ideas and concepts beyond software development and programming, which includes video games (from education technology to e-sports), mobile apps, Internet-of-things, board games, and recreational games.
In addition to the student prototyping hackathon, the community is welcome to participate in several events throughout the weekend, including tech talks and a video gaming tournament that will run concurrently with the event.
“There is a long history of video game development in Eugene and the greater Willamette Valley,” said Joe Maruschak, founder of game company BraveTree, which was acquired by the well-known Eugene-based GarageGames).
“We need to recognize this core resource as one of our strengths, as there are some extraordinary opportunities that are emerging in gaming and the related fields of virtual reality and augmented reality (AR/VR). The QuackHack hackathon provides a forum to introduce students to those already in the gaming industry and strengthen this network,” added Maruschak, who is now chief startup officer for Eugene RAIN, the local chapter of a state-backed consortium of entrepreneurs, educators, local governments, and businesses seeking to grow startups in Oregon’s South Willamette Valley.
“The gaming industry offers a wealth of economic development opportunities for this region,” said James Terborg, interim dean of the UO Lundquist College of Business and host of the QuackHack events. “Our college welcomes the opportunity to bring students together from around to region to participate in this unique opportunity that will highlight the strengths of crossdisciplinary collaboration.”
This is the inaugural year for QuackHack, the first collegiate sanctioned hackathon focused on gaming in the United States and Canada. Organized by Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, the UO computer science student group, HackTownUSA, and Major League Hacking (the collegiate hackathon organization), the weekend activities will be hosted in the Lillis Business Complex (955 E. 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97403) on the campus of the University of Oregon.
The event is open and free to all college students in the United States and Canada to participate. Students can register to attend QuackHack as a team or as an individual and be matched to a team. Participants will be working, eating, and residing in Lillis Business Complex for the duration of the weekend. Students can attend with an idea for a prototype but can not have started the concept. Student teams will be competing for more than $3,000 in cash prizes for the winning projects. The registration deadline for QuackHack is Monday, January 11.
“We are excited to bring together students, university, and industry leaders in the technology space for crossdisciplinary exploration,” said Kate Harmon, undergraduate program manager of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship. “With over 100+ talented students from across 40 universities already signed up to attend from such prestigious institutions as Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA, Georgia Tech, and the University of Waterloo, we are psyched to see what types of gaming prototypes will be developed by the students, the possible commercial applications of those inventions, and the general networking and business development opportunities available with the technology leaders in attendance.”
Visit QuackHack's website for further information on how to register, get involved, or become a sponsor.