This weekend the University of Michigan is holding its second annual hackathon. Organisers of MHacks are hoping to break the Guinness World Record with the 36-hour marathon by having the largest number of students attend.
The current record holder is PennApps, the University of Pennsylvania‘s hackathon, which last weekend attracted 1,000 students. But those organising MHacks think they can beat that by several hundred.
“If space were not a constraint, we would have well over 2,000 hackers show up from around the world,” said Thomas Erdmann, MHacks’ director and a computer-engineering student at the University of Michigan.
This years’ hackathon will be held in the luxury-box section of the university’s football stadium, which is also known as “The Big House.”
The event has stirred up lots of interest, with sponsers including Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter, Groupon and the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. These companies will be funding transport for the attending students and also sending engineering mentors, who will no doubt be on the look out for the next big talent.
“Students at this MHacks are the ones you will read about in the near future,” Erdmann said.
Tickets for MHacks sold out in just 24 hours, with students from MIT, Caltech, Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.
The students can expect free food and lots of energy drinks. If they feel the need to re-fuel, then they can tweet with specific hashtags to request food. They can also tweet for help from university volunteers and mentors. For those who struggle to keep their eyes open for the full hackathon, napping areas will be available for a quick forty winks.
Attendees will be put into teams of four in order to present to judges on September 22, with finalists being given two minutes to demo what they have created. “The only guideline is to build something awesome,” said Raj Vir, MHacks co-organizer and a computer-science student at the University of Michigan.
First place prize is $10,000, with $20,000 being divided between runners-up.
“Once you understand the hackathon mindset, you have an incredible problem-solving tool at your disposal,” Erdmann said. “One that no university class can effectively teach.”
[Image via mashable]