April 14-15, 2018

About Philly Codefest

What we do

Philly Codefest brings together a diverse and inclusive group of students and professionals to develop innovative solutions to solve real world challenges.

Why we do it

In addition to attempting to make the world a better place through technology, we work to forge and foster lasting relationships among students, professionals, tech leaders, start-ups and corporations.

How we do it

We are designed to build upon the already strong tech community in the Greater Philadelphia area. Philly Codefest is currently organized as an annual software and hardware hackathon where people of all backgrounds and skill levels have the opportunity to participate, learn and compete. It is hosted by the College of Computing & Informatics at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Last Year's Keynote Speaker

Kisha Hortman Hawthorne, MHA, MBA, FACHE

Full bio...

Important Information

Code of Conduct

All participants must respect the Philly Codefest Code of Conduct

Drexel University and PhillyCodefest Policies

Codefest Attendees MUST wear their braclet at all times.

No alcohol permitted on Codefest premises (Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Student Center).

No smoking permitted in the Behrakis Grand Hall, Creese Student Center. Smoking is permitted on Chestnut Street (away from the building entrance).

Per Drexel University policy, the possession and/or use of narcotics or drugs other than those medically prescribed, properly used, properly secured, and in the original container (hereafter: drugs), is prohibited while on Drexel University property.

Anyone found in violation of these policies will be disqualified from Philly Codefest.

In the event of a Medical Emergency: Please notify a staff member IMMEDIATELY


Users must behave responsibly with respect to the Drexel Network at all times.

Users must behave responsibly with respect to the Drexel Network at all times.

Users must respect the integrity and the security of the Drexel Network.

Users must behave in a manner consistent with Drexel’s mission and comply with all applicable laws, regulations, and Drexel policies.

Users must be considerate of the needs of other Users by making every reasonable effort not to impede the ability of others to usethe Drexel Network and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.

Users must respect the rights and property of others, including privacy, confidentiality and intellectual property.

Activities specifically prohibited are enumerated completely at http://www.drexel.edu/it/about/policies/

Drexel Escort Service

All Codefest attendees are urged to utilize Drexel’s escort service through the Department of Public Safety, especially if you are walking around campus late at night. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please contact a staff member to schedule this service.

Food And Drink

All Codefest meals are provided free of charge. Coffee and refreshments will be available at all times during the Codefest. Please refer to the agenda for meal times. Please notify a staff member ASAP of any food allergies.


What's the theme and focus of the challenge?

The primary focus and theme for this year’s Philly Codefest is to develop amazing tools or approaches that enable access and use of data in areas of national and local (Philadelphia region) priority, such as health, hospital and patient care; government and civic solutions; media and digital arts; data science and visualization; and cybersecurity, among others.

The format offers opportunity to pursue multiple challenges with separate prizes for the winners in different aspects of innovation.

Is there a required team size?
Teams must have at least 3 members and no more than 6. If your team does not have 3 members stop by the team building session on Saturday morning or try connecting with someone here on Devpost.
Where can I Park?
The event will be held at Behrakis Grand Hall, 3210 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Parking info can be found here. There is plenty of street parking around the venue (3hr parking, but kiosks are around so you can pay with cash or credit card). Our garage is located about 2 blocks away at 34th and Ludlow St.
What are the judging criteria? How will my product be scored?
How well does your solution meet well-defined user needs? How well have you integrated subject matter knowledge and available data sets in creating your solution? How innovative is your idea? How much did you develop during the event? (We encourage you to use legacy codebases, libraries, APIs, and databases; using an honor system tells us what you produced during the event). How readily might your solution be implemented? Litmus test: will someone pay you to use it, or use it even if you give it away free? Why? You need to convince the judges not only how cool your technology is, but also how well it addresses the problem, how likely it is to be used and how viable it is as a product in the market place. If possible, the judges would love to see a live demo!
Is there anything I need to know about the judging process?
  • The initial round of judging will be conducted in a “Science Fair” style. Following completion of coding, teams will be given time to set up their exhibition tables before judging begins.
  • All projects must be submitted to Devpost no later than 1pm Saturday February 25th, 2017
  • Teams will then be visited by judges and given 3 minutes to demo their projects.
  • Final judging for teams moving forward from the “Science Fair” will consist of a timed presentation in front of a final judging panel.  Slides and demos can be used during the final presentations.
How are teams formed?
We expect the majority of participants might enter the competition as part of a team they have already assembled before the event. If you would like to join a team or recruit members for your team we encourage you to signup on our DEVPOST site. Here you will be able to network with other like minded individuals and potentially form teams before the event begins. There will also be an opportunity Saturday morning to network with others looking to form a team.
What are the rules regarding third-party APIs?
None. Just acknowledge their use.
Can my team meet prior to the event to start discussions?
We encourage team members to start talking amongst themselves, at least by the week leading up to the event to get a head start. But we ask that if you do any coding prior to the start of the event Saturday morning, you disclose this when you present your project to the judges. Many participants find it helpful to assign roles/responsibilities to team members prior to the event.
Do I have to code on site or can I code at a location of my choosing?
All coding must be done on site (please) unless you have extraordinary circumstances. We will have multiple mentors and sponsors on site for the duration of the event to offer assistance in a variety of areas, we encourage you to take advantage of their expertise. If you work off site, you will be at a distinct disadvantage.


Interested in sponsoring Philly Codefest? Take a look at our sponsorship information

The College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) is the focal point for Drexel's computing and information research and education. The College has considerable depth and breadth to address the opportunities and challenges of the information age. The College serves as a central hub for multi-disciplinary computing activities, which applications and utility span across a wide range of academic domains. The faculty and students extend Drexel's long-standing strengths in computing and informatics disciplines, delivering recognition as a world-class academic unit for both research and educational programs. CCI combines the strengths and assets of research, undergraduate, graduate, and professional computing and informatics programs, with special commitment to helping grow Drexel’s “Innovation Neighborhood” as a launching pad for innovative technology entrepreneurs.

Sponsor Philly Codefest

Join the network of support at Philly Codefest 2017 to help deliver new approaches, prototypes and tools that unlock the power of code, data and hardware for innovative solutions. Your support will help propel this combined effort of corporations, educational and professional institutions and individuals to harvest technological creativity in the Philly region and beyond.

Codefest also gives you the opportunity to publicize your product/API to the most tech-savvy students in the Philadelphia area. As a sponsor you will be able to demo your products to participants and watch the creative ways in which hackers use your services.

Philly Codefest is unique in that it is open not only to students but also professionals throughout the Philadelphia and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Three Benefits of Sponsorship:

  • Recruiting - Hackathons are one of today’s most powerful recruiting tools, as they give you access to some of the best and brightest students around. Sponsors will have the opportunity for direct recruiting access to Codefest participants. You’ll be able to meet with and contact participants during and after the event.
  • Brand Exposure - Get your swag and name out to the world. Sponsoring Codefest will allow you to show off your company’s technical side and increase your exposure to current and future tech leaders across the Philadelphia area.
  • Increasing engagement with their API/developer ecosystem - Helping hackers use your products/API’s will allow you to build lasting relationships with hackers. Participants will know your brand and associate it with the helpful team behind it. Sponsoring Codefest will allow for real-time observation of your potential clients/employees testing out your product. Offering a prize for best use of your product is also a great idea from both a branding and product perspective.

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