Do you want to join a hackathon in Switzerland? Great idea, since Swiss hackathons are increasingly gaining popularity and attracting more participants year after year. If attending a hackathon is on your 2023 resolutions list, check out this curated list of Switzerland's best hackathons !
How are hackathons organized in Switzerland?
Although many small or even midsized company-organized hackathons exist, the large, publicly accessible hackathons in Zurich and Switzerland are usually organized by universities or voluntary non-profit organizations.
Why would I join a hackathon in Switzerland?
Hackathons in Zurich and Switzerland are a vibrant and exciting part of the local tech scene. The country has a long history of research and development in science and technology and is home to several world-class universities and research institutes. Switzerland is also home to many international tech companies, including IBM, Google, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft, which have established research and development centers here. In addition, the country has a thriving startup ecosystem, with many successful tech startups like Scandit, GetYourGuide, SmallPDF, On, Dfinity, and MindMaze, all coming out of Switzerland. No surprise that Switzerland's hackathons also live up to their expectation, and you can go there to learn new skills in workshops, and talks, maybe win a prize or award, get new gadgets and swag, make new friends, meet industry professionals, and potentially even land your next job here in beautiful Switzerland.
Here is the list of Switzerland's best hackathons in 2023. This list has been curated by Rockstar Recruiting. If your hackathon is missing, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will review and add it to this list.
- ETH Global Hackathon / FMV Space Wrap (20. January – 20. February 2023): Organized by ETH Zurich, this hackathon brings together students from around the world to work on projects that address global issues. Moreover, the winner can score a prize money of CHF 125'000.
- ETH Global Hackathon / Scaling Ethereum (10.–29. March 2023): Aiming at fostering a world-class ecosystem of Ethereum developers and entrepreneurs, this hackathon by ETH Global provides its hackers with a unique network of expertise. Usually, the prize money awarded is around CHF 5'000 for first place or up to CHF 100'000 in new cryptocurrencies.
- START Hack (22-24. March, Location: St. Gallen): START Hack is organized by the student club START Global, led by students from the University of St. Gallen. It is a well-known hackathon in Switzerland that attracts participants from various backgrounds and locations. During the event, attendees work on various projects related to fields such as health, education, and the environment. Applications open on January 25.
- GovTech Hackathon 2023 (23-24. March, Location: Bern): Organized by the Swiss Government, this hackathon gives its participants a chance to work together to create, improve and test electronic interfaces (APIs) in use by public authorities in Switzerland.
- Ethereum Züri (April 14-16, Location: University of Zurich): Similar to the Ethereum Züri conference, the hackathon aims to support the local crypto-friendly community, connect it with industry professionals and creation of new beneficial projects under the guidance of world-class judges, mentors and advisors. 200 hackers from Ethereum development, Virtual machines and blockchain execution, Zero-knowledge proofs, Data availability & security, Cryptography & academic research will get together. EthereumZuri.ch Hackathon is organized by UTXO Foundation.
- Data Hackdays Bern 2023 (May 12-13, Location: Bern Rathaus): Using data and digital tools to develop solutions to public problems and thus contribute to the common good ("public value") in the canton and city of Bern - this is the objective of the second Data Hackdays BE. Creative individuals who want to use data and digital tools for the common good of the canton and city of Bern are invited.
- MakeZurich 2023 (June 16-17, Location: Zurich): MakeZurich took place in 2020 for the last time, but rumor has it that it's coming back in 2023. Around 100 participants met to work on challenges that were provided by the city of Zurich. The event is ideal if you are interested in IoT, as the organizers of HackZurich provide plenty of electronics, sensors, and other hardware to play with. Moreover, they also offer childcare on-site at the event!
- BärnHäckt 2023 (25.–27. August, Location: Marzili Bern): Developers, designers, business experts, business developers, and students meet to solve diverse challenges. Companies submit data packages and exciting challenges and receive innovative solutions from young, dedicated hackers.
- HackZurich (September, Location: Technopark Zurich): This is one of the largest hackathons in Switzerland and is organized by Messe Schweiz AG. Typically, around 400 participants join the in-person event, while another 1'000 join online - making HackZurich one of the largest hybrid Hackathons in Europe. The event brings together students and professionals from around the world to work on projects in various domains, including health, IOT, education, and sustainability. The three main winners received recognition and a cash prize of 5000, 3000, and 1000 Swiss francs, respectively. HackZurich usually takes place in September; the exact date for 2023 has not yet been announced, but we will keep you posted! Make sure to check out the HackZurich website & subscribe to their newsletter to be notified when the application window for HackZurich opens. Also, check out this awesome after-movie from HackZurich 2022 to understand the vibe behind Switzerland's largest hybrid hackathon:
- Baselhack (28. & 29. October 2023, Location: HDW, Pratteln, Basel): BaselHack is the prime hackathon taking place in beautiful Basel. Young and young-at-heart developers, technology fanatics, designers, and others meet for a weekend, tinkering and developing various ideas. Join us for a weekend full of fun and challenges, for meeting new friends and enjoying free drinks & food. Also, each challenge has a prize money of CHF 1'000.
- ETH Global Hackathon / ETH Online (6.–25. October 2023): This hackathon is organized by ETH Zurich, one of the top universities for science, technology, engineering, and math in the world. It brings together students from around the world to work on projects that address global issues. Usually, the prize money awarded is around CHF 5'000 for first place or up to CHF 100'000 in new cryptocurrencies.
Swiss Innovation Challenge: This hackathon is a long-term hackathon challenge (8 months) for SMEs and startups, organized by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). Also, the winner probably awaits prize money of about CHF 30'000, in alignment with last year's prize money.
EPFL Innovation Park Hackathon: This hackathon is organized by EPFL Innovation Park and brings together students, startups, and industry partners to develop innovative solutions to challenges in various sectors, including health, energy, and the environment.
It is worth noting that these are just a few examples of hackathons that will be held in Switzerland in 2023, and there may be many other events that have taken place as well. It is a good idea to keep an eye on event listings and websites for organizations that host hackathons in Switzerland, such as Hackathon.com, Eventbrite, School of Data, Devpost, or the SwissDevJobs Event Page, and look for information about hackathons hosted by tech companies and universities in Switzerland.
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