Sponsor FAQ

General Information

What is HackISU?

HackISU is a 36 hour programming competition focused on the technology and computer/software industries. Over 250 students come to HackISU to learn new things and build cool projects for an entire weekend. The event is free, and inclusive to students of all programming abilities.

What if I'm interested in sponsoring?

If you are interested in sponsoring, you can send an email to hi@hackisu.org.

Why do we need sponsors?

HackISU is 100% funded by sponsors. Our sponsors help us to provide meals for hundreds of students during the event, as well as buying swag/prizes for the best hacks. They also allow us to provide monetary reimbursement for students traveling from other schools to Ames to attend our hackathon. Sponsors can help students learn by giving tech talks during the event, and also participate as mentors for hackers.


What is swag?

T-shirts, stickers, water bottles, mugs, or external battery packs that typically have some branding and advertising on them.

What is a custom prize?

A prize given away by the sponsor for reasons of which they define (best use of their api, most innovative in _______ sector, best entrepreneurial hack, etc)

If we give a custom prize, do we judge?

Yes, unless you would like us to handle that for you.


What are the benefits of having a booth?

Having a booth means that hackers will see that you’re there! They’ll know where you are if they want to ask you any questions during the hackathon. The booth also serves as your home-base during the event for any recruiters/mentors participating.

How long should we be at the booth?

There’s no set schedule for when recruiters or mentors have to be at their booth. We highly recommend having someone there when the event begins on Friday evening as well as Saturday afternoon. Having a presence on Friday evening is important because that is when students are not busy hacking yet, so they will have time to talk with you about your company, any prizes you’re offering, and ask you about job/internship opportunities. They are also starting to form their project ideas - they’ll want to talk with you about how to win your prize! Saturday afternoon is when hackers will be busy hacking...

If I don't have a booth, how do I distribute recruiting materials?

We will have a general swag table where we will put any swag/recruiting materials you’d like to give us.


What do mentors do?

Mentors are the lifeline for hackers. Most people are working with topics or tools that they’ve never touched before, so mentors can help with sticky situations, and keep teams moving to create amazing projects. Mentors are also your most direct interaction with event attendees. They’re great opportunities to talk about your sponsor prize, event, or API. We’ve heard countless stories of people getting help right as they’re about to quit, and are then helped by a timely mentor who makes a real positive impression in the hacker’s weekend. Those are the moments that stick around after HackISU is over.

How many mentors can I send?

We’re happy to have as many mentors as you’d like to bring along. The more the merrier. It’s great to have a variety of mentors with skillsets in everything from embedded systems to mobile to web development.

Do mentors have to stay the whole time?

Nope! Mentors can spend as much or as little time as they’d like at the event, but prime time for mentors is Friday from 8pm - midnight as people are exploring their project ideas and Saturday from 10am - midnight as hackers are starting to get into the gritty details of their projects.


What is an event?

Events at HackISU are fun ways for hackers to take a break from staring at their project and enjoy a lighthearted game or activity. Examples of fun events are cup stacking, handing out caffeinated goodies, technical challenges or brain teasers, and any kind of career help. This is a great opportunity to access hackers in a situation where they’re not preoccupied with the bug they’re trying to fix.

What is a lightning talk?

Lightning talks are short (~15 minutes), technical presentations geared to provide hackers with an intro into a useful tool, framework or API. These are a great way to take some tool you love to use, and give students some information about how they can use it for their hacks. Lightning talks are also great places to show of your API and create some buzz around your company prize.

What is a tech talk?

Tech talks are mid-length (~30 minutes) presentation that are best used to go over some programming concept, API, or tool. Talking about open source contribution, how to build usable libraries, or some quick ways to dabble in machine learning are some examples of tech talk topics. The longer time allows for an in-depth look at whatever you’re showcasing, but it should still be something that an attendee could use at the event or explore more on their own after HackISU.