Sponsor FAQ

General Information

What is HackISU?

HackISU is a 36 hour programming competition focused on the technology and computer/software industries. Over 450 students come to HackISU to learn and build amazing projects for an entire weekend. The event is free, and inclusive to students of all programming abilities.

What if I'm interested in sponsoring?

That is fantastic! We can't wait to work with you! Please send us an email to hackiowastate@gmail.com. We will follow-up with you to showcase our variety of sponsor packages.

Why do we need sponsors?

HackISU is 100% funded by sponsors. Our sponsors help us to provide meals for hundreds of students during the event, as well as buying swag/prizes for the best hacks. They also allow organizers to travel to leadership conventions, like MLH Hackcon. Sponsors can help students learn by giving tech talks during the event, and also participate as mentors for hackers.


What is swag?

Custom T-shirts for our event and various custom stickers created by our design team that typically have some branding and advertising on them. Along with the promotional items our amazing sponsors bring for our hackers!

What is a custom prize?

A prize given away by the sponsor for reasons of which they define (best use of their api, most innovative in _______ sector, best entrepreneurial hack, etc)

If we give a custom prize, do we judge?

Yes, you can send a designated judging team to judge the hackers that submitted to your prize. Unless you would like us to handle that for you, that is an option as well.


What are the benefits of having a booth?

Sponsors having a booth at HackISU means that our hackers will see that you’re there! They’ll know where you are and will be able to ask you any questions they may have during the hackathon. The booth will also serve as your home-base during the event for any recruiters/mentors participating. This is important for you to get the most out of your sponsorship!

How long should we be at the booth?

There’s no set schedule for when recruiters or mentors have to be at their booth. We depend on our sponsors having a representative from the company at their designated booth when the event begins on Friday evening as well as throughout the event. Having a presence on Friday evening is important because that is when students are arriving and not yet hacking, so they will have time to talk with you about your company, any prizes you’re offering, and ask you about job/internship opportunities. They are also starting to form their project ideas -- they’ll want to talk with you about how to win your prize!

If I don't have a booth, how do I distribute recruiting materials?

We will have a general swag table where we will put any swag/recruiting materials you’d like to give us.


What do mentors do?

Mentors are the lifeline for our hackers. Most people are working with topics or tools that they’ve never touched before and are just learning, so mentors can help with hacker question or aid in a strategy to fix the issue. Mentors are your most direct interaction with our hackers. It is a great opportunities to talk about your sponsor prize, event, or API. We’ve heard countless stories of people getting help right as they’re about to quit, and are then helped by a timely mentor who makes a real positive impression in the hacker’s weekend. Those are the moments that help make HackISU a valuable and memorable experience!

How many mentors can I send?

We’re happy to have as many mentors as you’d like to bring along. The more the merrier. It’s great to have a variety of mentors with skillsets in everything from embedded systems to mobile to web development.

Do mentors have to stay the whole time?

Mentors can spend as much or as little time as they’d like at the event, but prime time for mentors is Friday from 8pm - Midnight as people are exploring their project ideas and Saturday from 10am - Midnight as hackers are starting to get into the gritty details of their projects. If you need a brief of a break from the hustle and bustle of mentoring, please feel free to take advantage of our Sponsor Lounge!


What is an event?

Events at HackISU are fun ways for hackers to take a break from staring at their project and enjoy a lighthearted game or activity. Examples of fun events are cup stacking, handing out caffeinated goodies, technical challenges or brain teasers, and any kind of career help. This is a great opportunity to access hackers in a situation where they’re not preoccupied with the bug they’re trying to fix.

What is a tech talk?

Tech talks are mid-length (~30 minutes) presentation that are best used to go over some programming concept, API, or tool. Talking about open source contribution, how to build usable libraries, or some quick ways to dabble in machine learning are some examples of tech talk topics. The longer time allows for an in-depth look at whatever you’re showcasing, but it should still be something that an attendee could use at the event or explore more on their own after HackISU.