February 16th and 17th

Every year Dominion Enterprises hosts a hackathon exclusively for the university students of Virginia. In previous years participants have hacked “Student Life” in which they created mobile apps or web sites designed to address the pains felt by university students. This year we decided to let iron sharpen iron and are asking the students to contribute their ideas to the open source community. Whether your idea applies to student life, or is the database solution that replaces Oracle we want to help make it a reality.

How Should I prepare?

Get Approval From Your University

It is important to us that your university has given its blessing for you to miss classes to participate in this event. If you cannot find a faculty member to nominate your team send an email to the organizers. We will help get your team registered.

Know the Characteristics of a Good Open Source Project

When evaluating your idea as an open source project ask yourself these 3 questions;
    1.) Can the entire project can be completed in the public eye?
    2.) Is there already an open source alternative actively being worked on?
    3.) Is there a relevant problem solved by this project?

Review the Judging Criteria and Project Requirements

With a $10,000 scholarship at stake we felt the need to provide a clear outline of what judges will be looking at and the requirements a project will have to meet to be eligible.

Contact your Coaches!

Yes! you read that right. Some of Dominion Enterprises top talent is going to be at the event to guide you through any problems you may encounter. After your team has been registered some of our coaches will contact you via email.

Come to the Orientation

On February 10th from 3PM to 5PM we will be hosting an Orientation for participants to meet their coaches, learn about the challenges and some useful tips for succeeding. Come join us at Dominion Enterprises home office located at 150 Granby St. in downtown Norfolk.

We have some open source ideas to share with you

Unsure of what to work on?

No need to worry. We have curated a list of problems that are awaiting an open source solution. You are also free to work on a project of your own choosing. Choosing a project to work on would be a great time to start talking with your coaches. They can help vet your idea or help you choose one of the proposed projects that fits your teams strengths.

Proposed Challenges

All of the proposed projects include a list of required features needed for the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and several use cases for the project. The list of features will be used during judging to determine the level of completeness of your implementation. The use cases provided define how the project is meant to be used and will help guide your decisions.


Defining A Challenge

If you have an awesome idea that you have not had a chance to work on yet now is your time to get it off the ground. When defining your own project a list of features for the MVP and at least one use case will need to be submitted for use in judging. Click the button below for 10 tips on writing good user stories.


Judging Criteria

Projects will be judged on their merits as an open source project, their level of completeness and the creativity/innovation in solving a business challenge. Every project must include a list of features required for an MVP as well as one or more use cases. Teams that proposed their own project will have to submit these prior to judging.

Open Source

We are looking to see how friendly your project is to the open source community. Does it have great documentation? Is it readily available to a package manager and have CI/CD configured? If you can answer yes to any of those questions you have a good open source project going.


Innovative projects aim high and disrupt the status quo by solving the toughest challenges. We want to see projects tackling current problems that have not been solved before. Start small and build up your project but stay ambitious!


Every project will be judged using a list of required features for a Minimum Viable Product. If you are defining your own project you will need to provide the list prior to judging. All of the challenges we have proposed already have these requirements listed.


Three of the projects that stand out from the rest will be awarded prizes. The grand prize awarded to best in show this year will be a scholarship of $10,000 to be divided among the members of the winning team. Prizes for Best Solution to a Challenge and Best Suited to Open Source will be announced shortly.

Best Solution to a Challenge

The project that wins this category is an innovative solution that exceeds the features specified in the MVP requirements but could use some work to make it a successful open source project.

Best in Show

The project that wins best in show will not only be an innovative solution, but also have a solid implementation with excellent documentation and a polished finish. The project’s source code will be readily available to the open source community to use or modify.

Best Suited to Open Source

The project best suited for open source is most likely to be embraced by the open source community. This project has great documentation enabling developers to quickly and easily start working with the project.


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