Students participating in Macathon 2021

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.

A mash-up of a start-up competition and a hackathon where entrepreneurs, inventors, and design-thinkers compete to come up with new and disruptive ventures.

A traditional hackathon is a contest where brilliant computer programmers and other technologists compete to improve, break, build, and create new systems.

But our Macathon goes beyond them. To succeed, Macathon teams need a mix of technical, business, design, communication, and creativity.

At the beginning of the competition, each team is paired with a group of 4-6 virtual alumni judges. Judges sign up from around the world specifically to virtually 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 with cash prizes! More information for students

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

Important Dates!

Info Session: TBD

Applications Open: TBD

Applications Close: TBD

Orientation: TBD

*Applications are accepted on a first come first serve basis. (12-18 total teams typically admitted)

Cash Prizes!

Winning teams will receive over $2000 in cash prizes.

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



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 Abbie at

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 which 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.