General Questions
How do I follow the hackathon and get updates?
Who can I contact if I have questions about the hackathon? 

Submission Requirements
What do I need to use to build my Spark app?
What APIs or datasets can I include in my solution?
Why do I have to upload a video?
What should I put in my video?

Testing Process
How can I provide Devpost with access to test my app?

Eligibility & IP
Who is eligible to enter the competition?
We are an organization. Can we enter?
Do the solutions have to be newly created for this competition, or can they be preexisting?
Can more than one person work on a solution and receive credit for it? And if the app wins a prize, how will the prize money be split among the creators?
Can my solution win more than one prize?
Can I enter more than one submission?
Do I retain intellectual property ownership? 
What else will you do with my submission?

Public Voting
How does public voting work?

 

How do I follow the hackathon and get updates?

When you register for the hackathon, you’ll automatically be signed up to receive email updates about it. Follow us on Twitter at @Devpost.

 

Who can I contact if I have questions about the hackathon?

Email support@devpost.com or post a question to the Discussion Board.

 

What do I need to use to build my Spark app?

To be eligible for prizes, participants must build and submit an Apache Spark application to address a real business problem or core business concern related to customer care, marketing, risk management, or operations.

To meet the minimum eligibility requirements you must:

  1. Identify a business need that could be informed by data analysis (see examples).
  2. Find data (publicly available data or data from your own business) to analyze using Apache Spark to inform that business need.
  3. Analyze the data using Apache Spark and share your analysis code for judging (via adding a GitHub link or privately shared file to your submission). (Note: Spark applications are encouraged – though not required – to be portable, with the ability to run on different cloud platforms.)
  4. Showcase your analysis output by including in your submission:
    1. a visual (graphic) or textual explanation of your results; and
    2. a video demo explaining your process and outcomes.
    3. (Pro tip: we recommend explaining how your entry meets the judging criteria in your video demo or text description, such as the portability of your app.)

OPTIONAL: You may develop a working application that utilizes your Spark-analyzed data to help solve a business need, but this is not required to be eligible for a prize.

    

Can I used other APIs or datasets in my submission?

You may use whatever APIs, SDKs, and datasets you choose, as long as you are authorized to use and distribute them. Remember, you MUST meet the requirements above in order to be eligible for a prize.

 

Why do I have to upload a video?

A video helps ensure that everyone can view and experience your Spark app. The video will also be helpful to the panel of judges and will give you the opportunity to explain your approach in designing your application. You may create a screencast or use a handheld video camera to make your video, or choose any other method that demonstrates the application’s features. (Pro tip: we recommend explaining how your entry meets the judging criteria in your video demo or text description, such as the portability of your app.)

  

What should I put in my video?

Aside from your actual app, your submission video is one of the most important parts of your entry. In fact, it’s often one of the first, and sometimes only, things that judges view. Make a great first impression by following these tips on what to include in your video:

  • Tell your story step-by-step. Your video should include an explanation of the problem addressed and a demo of the project itself, along with outcomes. While audio isn’t required, narration or text bubbles can help judges understand your submission.
  • Keep it simple. Per the official rules, your video shouldn’t be longer than five minutes. In the words of Leonardo da Vinci, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
  • Don’t wait until the last minute to upload your video. Keep in mind that the time it takes to upload/process a video on YouTube or Vimeo varies greatly depending on the format of your original video, the file size, upload traffic and Internet connection speed, and could take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours or more.

 

How can I provide Devpost with access to test my app?

All submissions must include analysis code for judging. Analysis code can be shared via adding a GitHub link to your submission, or by uploading a private file which only the managers and judges will see.

If you are also entering an application with a working front-end – such as a website, smartphone application, etc. – please refer to the instructions below on how to share your application for testing.

Solutions which include hardware and wearable technology:

If the submission runs on or includes proprietary hardware or hardware (including wearable technology) that is not widely available to the public, the Sponsor and/or Administrator reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to require the submitter to provide access to the physical hardware solution, or device required to test the solution, upon request.

Software only solutions:

For software solutions running on widely available devices or hardware, please allow us to test using one of the following methods.

Android solution: Upload an .apk file in the submission form or provide a link for us to download your solution in the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

iOS Applications: If your app is available on the app store, please provide a link in the “Website URL” field on the submission form. If you charge for your app, please also provide a promo code. If your app is not yet publicly available, send a test build using one of the following methods:

Diawi

Send us your beta file via Diawi. After uploading your file, Diawi creates a unique short URL to access the installation page (for ex: aBcDeF). When opened in Safari on the iOS device, the page will display a link to install the application. Note that you will need to include provisioning for one or more of the UDIDs below.

Beta by Crashalytics

Send us a beta test via Crashalytics. Use our testing email (testing@Devpost.com) and UDID’s to provision a build and send us a link via the “Share Links” button. Make sure to also add the testing link to your submission form under “iOS Build Link”.  Beta by Crashalytics is free! Here’s a quick how-to for their Beta Distribution tool.

Pro tip: Make sure you add the UDIDs to your build to speed up the process there’s no review, but all builds still need to be received in full before the submission deadline.

Our UDIDs are:

  • iPhone 5 (iOS 8.3) 4c4270daadcf6f2dcd38ef407c38c01c3fa849b8
  • iPhone 5 (iOS 8.3) c94acc0069278cee4b38e4d27ae3f838bf50aa79
  • iPhone 6 (iOS 8.3) ac3c04f10b03e033bc31a0d14146d5740bc7db54

TestFlight / iTunes Connect

Enter our email address to share a build with us for testing. Our TestFlight account email is:testing@Devpost.com. Please note that if you add us as an “External Tester” your app will need to go through Beta App Review before you can send the build. Builds must be received by the submission deadline to be eligible - so plan for extra time. Not sure how to use TestFlight via iTunes Connect? Check out the iTunes Connect Developer Guide and the TestFlight Video Tutorial. 

HockeyApp

Send a testing link to: testing@Devpost.com, and add the testing link to your submission form under “iOS Build Link”. Please note that HockeyApp allows you to send test builds quickly, but there is a fee to use this service. 

Windows Phone solution: Upload an .xap file in the submission form or provide a link for us to download your solution in the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

Web/Mobile Web: Provide a link for us to access your solution on the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

BlackBerry: Upload the appropriate installation files in the submission form or provide a link for us to download your installation file in the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

Kindle: Upload the appropriate installation files on the submission form or provide a link for downloading your installation file in the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

Mac OS: Upload the appropriate installation files in the submission form or provide a link for us to download your installation file in the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

Windows PC: Upload the appropriate installation files (.exe) in the submission form or provide a link for us to download your .exe file in the “Testing Instructions” field on the submission form.

  

Who is eligible to enter the competition?

This challenge is open in the following jurisdictions only: USA, Canada (with exception of Quebec province), Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Germany, Japan, India, Israel, South Korea, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, and France.

Entrants in these areas may compete if they are:

  • Individuals/Teams of Individuals - Minimum Age: 18
  • Companies with 50 or fewer employees are eligible for cash prizes
  • Large Organizations with more than 50 employees (eligible for Large Organization Recognition Award only – not cash prizes)

Note that government-owned entities and employees or contractors currently employed by IBM or Devpost are not eligible for any prize.

 Software partners and those receiving funding or assistance from IBM for application development are not eligible. Any application that is or was funded or compensated, partially or fully, by IBM for its development is not eligible for entry.

 

We are an organization. Can we enter?

Organizations with 50 or fewer employees – who are located in USA, Canada (with exception of Quebec province), Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Germany, Japan, India, Israel, South Korea, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, or France — may enter and compete for cash prizes. Organizations in these jurisdictions with more than 50 employees may enter as well; however, they may only compete only for the Large Organization Recognition Award, which has no cash prize.

 

Do the apps have to be newly created for this competition, or can they be preexisting?

Both new and existing applications may be submitted. However, submitters must explain the updates made to existing applications during the submission period.

  

Can more than one person work on an solution and receive credit for it? And if the solution wins a prize, how will the prize money be split among the creators?

Yes, teams are encouraged. If a team of individuals or an organization is selected as an award winner, the full prize amount will be sent to the submitter. It will be up to the winning team or organization to reallocate the prize money between the team members, as they deem it appropriate.

  

Can my solution win more than one prize?

Yes. All submissions entered by eligible individuals, teams of individuals, and organizations can compete for the overall prizes, as well as the Popular Award – as long as they meet the eligibility requirements for each award.

 

Can I enter more than one submission?

Yes. There is no limit to how many times an eligible person, team, or organization may enter. An individual may also participate on behalf of more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization. However, if you submit two or more solutions that are identical or substantially similar, the Sponsor and Devpost reserve the right to disqualify all the submissions or require you to choose one submission to enter into the competition.

 

Do I retain intellectual property ownership?

Yes. By submitting an app to the hackathon, you do not transfer any intellectual property rights to the Sponsor or Devpost. The Sponsor and Devpost will have the right to feature all submissions entered in the competition for promotional purposes. See the Official Rules for details.

 

What else will you do with my submission?

The Sponsor and Devpost will have the right to publicly display your submission on the hackathon website. They will also be allowed to publicize your name on other websites in connection with the submission and the hackathon during the competition and for 36 months after its conclusion. For more information on publicity rights, please see the Official Rules.

 

How does public voting work?

Visitors to the site can vote for as many submissions as they like, but no more than once for a single submission. At the end of the public voting period, the votes will be tallied and verified to determine the Popular Choice award winner. Have more questions about public voting? Check out our handy public voting help article.