Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Toggle Navigation Menu


Save the date for Macathon 2024 on November 8 & 9!

Macathon is a twenty-four hour idea-building competition that connects students with alums. Team of 3-6 students put their ideas into action. All-Nighters, All Innovators: Highlights from Macathon 2023.

2023 Macathon Dave Mao Keeping It Real Prize goes to “the goonies” for demonstrating a spirit of playfulness, joy, and possibility.

Macathon is an idea-building challenge that moves liberal arts into action, fosters innovation, and connects alums and students.

Macathon, is an overnight innovation and creativity contest. In teams of 3-6 participants, students put their liberal arts education into action and invent a unique and original service or product (website, application, physical product) that solves a real-world problem. No preparation work is allowed; everything for the competition must be produced within the 24-hour period.

Winning teams will receive over $2000 in cash prizes!!

  • 1st Place: $1,000
  • 2nd Place: $750
  • 3rd Place: $500

At the beginning of the competition, each team is paired with a group of 4-6 alumni judges. Judges sign up from around the world specifically to mentor and evaluate Macathon teams. Each team will prepare and deliver a 7-minute verbal/visual video presentation of their product or service. Students will be judged on their identification and understanding of a real-world problem, their solution, and their presentation. The three highest-scoring teams in the final will be awarded cash prizes!

Please join us for Macathon final presentations in John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center.

Important Dates

Macathon Info Sessions and Application will open in Fall 2024. *Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis with a total of 12-18 teams.

Macathon Pre-Work Disclaimer

The spirit of Macathon harnesses the creativity and innovation found throughout the liberal arts experience and wraps it up in a 24-hour competition. Please respect the spirit of this competition by not completing any pre-work. Pre-work is defined as any action directly tied to the solution of a problem or opportunity. While you may engage in problem or opportunity-identifying actions, you may not work towards a solution. The Entrepreneurship Department reserves the ability to disqualify any participants who we determine to have engaged in pre-work. If you are worried you might infringe on this policy or have any questions, please contact Sasmita at [email protected]

Examples of acceptable pre-work:

  • Brainstorming with your friends about problems or opportunities you see in the world. 
  • Creating a list of things that bug you.
  • Researching a specific problem in the world with the intent of better understanding the problem itself. 

Examples of unacceptable pre-work:

  • Brainstorming potential solutions to a problem.
  • Researching solutions that currently exist.
  • Creating the theoretical framework of a solution.
  • Writing code or creating a product with the intention of using it during the competition.
  • Acquiring the necessary components of your solution that you would use during the competition.
  • Having a solution already created in which you will use as your service or product.
  • It cannot be a variant or “innovation” of an existing solution that you have designed.