What can you build in one day? PantherHacks is a free hackathon inviting STEM+Arts college students of Milwaukee and beyond to come together on UWM's campus and develop an innovative idea in less than 8 hours.  

Whether your idea is based in code, designing a new piece of digital artwork, throwing digital video together, composing new dance steps or devising the next "must have" technology gadget, at the end of the day you can show it off for judging and see if you win something. 

Food?  We have eats throughout the day.  Comfy space with lots of light and windows?  We've got you covered there as well.  Great people to hang out with?  Yeah, we've got that as well. 

We believe innovation is borderless and universal.  We welcome all college students from Milwaukee and beyond to participate!  Be certain to register in advance.  Seats are limited and we will be closing registration once we hit capacity for the venue -- so get signed up now to reserve your spot.

If all that isn't enough fun, great guest speakers are scheduled to share tidbits on innovations throughout the day.  Oh yeah, did we menton free food, snacks, and swag!

Milwaukee's emerging youth talent is you! Seats are limited, so mark your calendars and register now!

Tentative Schedule (Subject to Change)

Registration, Networking and Morning Eats
Meet and check in at the UWM Sandburg Hall Green Room (location details in the right panel).  On arrival get your name badge and wristband. Light breakfast items available! Maybe you'll find teammates?

Hackathon officials will be going over the rules. Be sure to bring the resources you need for the day! There will be time for questions with the hackathon officials. Submissions open up after this session.

Open Hacking
Let the connecting, hacking, and innovating commence! Get crackin' on your project!

Innovation Inspirations
Various guest speakers will be sharing their thoughts on what innovation and entrepreneurship means to them, along with discussing current issues affecting a variety of industries. Who knows, you may even get a project idea from one of them.

Getting hungry? Lunchtime eats provided. 

Dinner with select items available.

Submissions Close
No submissions after this time will be accepted.

Participants who want to compete will have their projects judged via a presentation.

Shortly Afterwards
Closing Session and Awards
Final remarks will be made by the officials and prizes will be awarded.

Sandburg Hall Closes
All participants should be ready to depart Sandburg Hall before this time.

What To Bring and Safety

Remember to bring to the event what you need to create your innovation, including computers - we will provide internet.  Please note any items deemed "creatively messy" or "dangerous" will not be allowed in.  Your computers, circuit boards, dance mats, sonic screwdrivers, whiteboards, papers, digitial video equipment, etc. are likely to be just fine.  Use your best discretion -- if it can be dangerous, loud or messy, we'll say "no" at the door.


  • 18 years of age or over.
  • Current student enrolled at a post-secondary institution.
  • Interest in technology, arts or related fields.


  • Submissions involving software can include source code (if you'd like to share it) with instructions for running the project.  Screenshots or images are appreciated also.  Additional documentation and materials are welcome but not necessary.
  • If your project is artistic or hardware based, a photograph of your project for judging is appreciated as well as any documentation or materials.

Hackathon Sponsors


Third Place

Second Place

First Place

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  1. ** Advanced Registration Required**  Register as a participant on this ChallengePost portal. If a team of you are arriving, each teammate must also register individually in advance.

    -If your thing is code, the questions are obvious to answer
    -If your thing is in Engineering, Sciences, Arts or Other, use the "Other" option when answering the sign-up questions and let us know what it is you're into.

  2. Show up at Sandburg Hall's Green Room during registration. You must check in at the check-in table to obtain a wristband and name badge. Both must be worn during the entire event for re-entry.
  3. Have fun! Find teammates or work alone, your choice!
  4. Make something awesome!
  5. If you want to have your creation judged, submit your final project for review to ChallengePost by the time submissions close and be ready to present by the listed time.


J. Dietenberger

J. Dietenberger
IT, Project Management, Development, Internship, Innovations and Organizational Development professional with over 25 years experience.

Joe Poeschl

Joe Poeschl
Lead Product Designer & Partner at Polymathic - Product Development & Consulting. Co-founder of The Commons - Cross-university entrepreneurship & innovation accelerator.

Carlton Reeves, Ph.D.

Carlton Reeves, Ph.D.
Entrepreneur in Residence UWM Research Foundation

Hunter Ruth

Hunter Ruth
Instructor, Designer, Web & Mobile Application Developer

Donna Genzmer

Donna Genzmer
Geospatial Information Professional -academic research and instruction, outreach and collaboration - 35 years managerial experience.

Melora Svoboda

Melora Svoboda
Engineer/entrepreneur: 27 years building systems, teams & companies.

Jessica Gilmore

Jessica Gilmore
Featured UWM graduate, Milwaukee Girls in Tech leader, Digital Marketing Specialist at Rexnord

Judging Criteria

  • Aesthetic Appeal
    Is the innovation attractive to the eye? Does it meet design standards or use a new design trend?
  • Creativity
    Does your idea solve a common problem or add value to our lives, or performs a task in a different way? Is your innovation novel and useful?
  • Tech-Savviness
    Does your innovation take advantage of newer technologies or techniques?
  • Marketability
    If this innovation were to be turned into a product and commercialized, how easy would it be to do so? Could this product be marketed in a business-to-business or business-to-consumer environment?

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