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What if you can code the superpower of your choice and help humanity?

In collaboration with NexCon 3, the ultimate celebration of science fiction and fantasy in the Philippines, happening on April 2-3, 2016, high school and college students will get a chance to build an app for social good – an opportunity to be a superhero using their coding skills!

Participants will use Bluemix, IBM’s open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing, and running apps of all types, such as web, mobile, big data, and smart devices. The best thing about Bluemix is Watson, IBM’s famed artificially intelligent computer which can be operated using natural language (remember Jarvis from Iron Man?). The computer has even beaten humans in a popular quiz shoe, Jeopardy. Watson is so powerful, it is now being used in cancer treatment, law, finance, weather prediction, and many others!

Pre-Event Meetup (Required)

Hack-a-Superpower will have its pre-event on March 30 at Oakwood Ortigas where the theme will be announced. Each team must send at least one representative for the pre-event meetup.

Learn Bluemix before the hackathon starts!

On March 30, we will have a “Teach Me How to Bluemix” session with mentors and subject matter experts but it would best to get started sooner!

Below are good Bluemix Tutorial Links.

Pre-Event Meetup: Teach Me How to Bluemix

March 30, 2016
Joy 1 Function Room, Oakwood Ortigas Joy-Nostalg Center
17 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City

  5:00 PM  –   5:30 PM 

Registration & Dinner (Registration closes at 6PM)

  5:30 PM  –   5:35 AM

Welcome Remarks

  5:35 PM  –   6:00 PM

Hello, Watson

  6:00 PM   –  6:30 PM

Kids Code

  6:30 PM   –  7:00 PM

Mission Innovation

  7:00 PM  –  8:30 PM

Bluemix Tutorial

  8:30 PM  –  8:45 PM

Announcement of Hack-a-Superpower Theme

  8:45 PM  –  8:55 PM

Q&A and Consultation

  8:55 PM  –  9:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Day 1: Hackathon Proper

April 2, 2016
Meeting Room 10, SMX Convention Center
Mall of Asia, Pasay City

  7:00 AM  –   7:30 PM 

Registration & AM Snacks (Registration closes at 8AM)

  8:00 AM  –   8:30 AM

Introduction & Briefing

  8:30 AM  –   12:00 PM

Hackaway to Glory + Pop Quizzes/Games

  12:00 PM  –   1:00 PM

Lunch Break

  1:00 PM   –  1:30 PM

Hackathon Continuation

  1:30 PM  –  2:00 PM

Motivational Talk

  2:00 PM  –  4:50 PM

Hackaway to Glory + Pop Quizzes/Games

  4:50 PM  –  5:00 PM

Wrap Up + FREE for NexCon


Day 2: Hackathon Proper

April 3, 2016
Meeting Room 10, SMX Convention Center
Mall of Asia, Pasay City

  8:00 AM  –   8:30 AM 

Registration & AM Snacks (Registration closes at 9AM)

  9:00 AM  –   9:30 AM

Regroup & Polishing

  9:30 AM  –   10:00 AM

Introduction of Judges

  10:00 AM  –   11:30 AM


  11:30 AM   –  12:00 PM

Announcement of Top 3 (No Order)

  12:00 PM  –  3:00 PM

Lunch Break

  3:00 PM  –  3:30 PM

Top 3 Final Pitching at NexCon Hall

  3:30 PM  –  4:00 PM

Awarding & Photo Ops

What to expect?

  • Open to all currently enrolled high school and college students.
  • All participants will get a two-day pass for NexCon 3. Get to attend the panels, cosplay events, geek fights, lipsync combat, and many more!
  • The hackathon theme will be announced on March 30 at the “Teach Me How to Bluemix” session but be prepared for a little twist to spice up the hackathon on April 2!
  • Top 3 finalists will be given a chance to pitch their apps during the main event of NexCon 3 in an audience of around 500!
  • Meet and network with developers and get a chance to engage with seasoned tech mentors!
  • The top 3 winning teams gets premium gadgets! There will be showers of cool goodies through the hackathon. Be prepared for some fun gigs and quizzes. The experience of a hackathon and a sci-fi conference combined though, is priceless.

Hackathon Rules

Registration & Team Size
Only registered teams will be allowed to compete. Participants must register as a team or individual and each group can be composed of 3 members maximum. A total of 10 teams will compete in the hackathon.

Participants should be college or high school students who are currently enrolled in an educational institution.

Participants can start to develop the app after the “Teach Me How to Bluemix” session, after announcing the theme, which will be given at the end of the session. On April 2, a special announcement will be made. Due to venue regulations, staying overnight (after 12MN) is not allowed. Participants should return on the following day by 9 am.

Hackathon Theme
The theme will be announced on March 30, following the “Teach Me How to Bluemix” session. It’s going to be a combination of a sci-fi scenario with real world applications!

Participants are responsible for their own equipment, including computers, chargers and tools needed to make their app. We suggest to bring the following: extension cord, tumblers/water bottle, pen/paper, hoodies and broadband dongle.

Platform and Technology Stacks
Mobile, web or any platform app would do. You may use any programming language you prefer. The only requirement is to use one or more Bluemix services. There’s a perk awaiting those who will use the Watson services!

New & Existing Solutions 
Solutions may be newly created or pre-existing. If submitting an existing solution (developed prior to this competition), the solution must have integrated a Bluemix service.

Demo & Judging
Teams will be given 3 minutes to present on stage and 2 minutes for Q&A. The top 3 finalists will be given a chance to pitch and be awarded at the plenary session of NexCon 3.


  • 1st Place – Php 12,000 worth of Gift Cheques plus Android Smartwatches, Powerbanks, hoodies, and more
  • 2nd Place – Php 7,000 worth of Gift Cheques plus Android Smartwatches, Speakers, hoodies, and more
  • 3rd Place – Php 4,000 worth of Gift Cheques plus Android Smartwatches, hoodies, and more


Judging Criteria 

Judges will give a score of 1 to 10 per criteria per team. 1 being unexceptional 10 exceptional. The judges’ decision is final.

Quality of Idea


Includes creativity, originality, and “wow” factor of the idea.

Implementation of Idea


Includes how well the idea was executed by the developer and the extent to which Bluemix service(s) were utilized.

Potential Impact


Includes the relevance and potential impact of the application on the intended persona group.

Completeness of the Solution


Includes the extent to which the solution is relevant, complete, and functioning.

Intellectual Property Rights

All teams retain full ownership of what they have created during the hackathon. By submitting a solution to the challenge, you do not transfer any intellectual property rights to the organizers. The organizer will have the right to feature all solutions entered in the competition for promotional purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?
Participants should be college or high school students who are currently enrolled in an educational institution.

Where is the venue?
The pre-event venue on March 30 is in Oakwood Ortigas, Joy-Nostalg Center, 17 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City.
The hackathon proper on April 2-3, it will be in Meeting Room 10, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia Complex, Seashell Lane, Pasay City.

What will be provided by the organizers during the event?
Food, Power outlets, food/drinks, tables/chairs, internet access. External monitors, chargers, etc. will not be provided.

What should I bring for the event?
Laptop and chargers. Tools that you need to develop your app, extension Cord. You may also bring tumblers/drinkwares, extra snacks, pen and paper, hoodies/jacket, headphones, pocket wifi/broadband dongle etc. 

What should I wear?
It's highly recommended that you wear comfortable clothing. Shorts and slippers will be allowed. Don't forget to bring a jacket. Since we are holding the hackathon side by side NexCon, we allow cosplayers too!

Can I just be a spectator?
Unfortunately, spectators won’t be allowed. Why be a spectator when it’s more fun to participate?

Do I need to pay any money to register for the Hackathon?
No. Hackathon is FREE! You’ll even get free access to NexCon 3! Free access to Bluemix is available for the first 30 days and a paid subscription will not have a bearing on the chances to win.

What else will you do with my submission?
The organizers will have the right to publicly display your submission on the challenge website. They will also be allowed to publicize your name on the challenge website in connection with the submission and the challenge during the competition and after its conclusion.

1. Be updated for further event announcements:

Follow us on Twitter (@DevConPH) and Instagram (@DevConPH)

Like the DevCon Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/DevConPH

Join the DevCon Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/devconph

2. Registration is FULL!