Organizing HackOn 2.0

How we organized and managed the largest student-led hackathon in India

Aditya Oberai
HackOn Foundation
Published in
7 min readOct 22, 2021


4 months, 10 organizers, 22 speakers, 25 mentors, 35 judges, and 324 volunteers culminated when approx. 8300 technology enthusiasts registered to join us from May 28th to 30th at (arguably) the largest student-led hackathon in India, the HackOn 2.0 Hackathon.

What is HackOn 2.0?

HackOn 2.0 was a global digital hackathon created by hackers for hackers to enable social good around us. Since its very inception, HackOn has always prioritized creating inclusive and nurturing spaces for budding technologists to grow while providing them with opportunities to express their ideas and skills. This year at HackOn, we chose to focus on the impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on all of us over the last year, bringing more attention to problems centred around diversity, inclusion, and mental health. Thus, the 3 tracks we chose to prioritize at this time were:

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • COVID-19 Impact

Beyond that, we also kept up our Open Innovation track to create the space for hackers to experiment with their knowledge and interests, wherever those may have laid.

HackOn 2.0 Tracks

Pre-Hackathon Activities

Even as we began working on this initiative, being all hackers, we recognized the problems that folks new to the hackathon space face as beginners. As a result, we created a plethora of learning and growth opportunities for our participants in the weeks leading up to HackOn via sessions with various domain experts and community leaders, which were conducted via various formats such as YouTube live streams and Twitter Spaces. These sessions were quite well received and saw over 8000 views combined as well. Not only that, but to provide consistent mentorship to our hackers, we also conducted weekly virtual meetups in our Discord server called DevConnects for 8 consecutive weeks before the hackathon. These meetups ranged in content from hackathons and project development to open source and tech communities to academia and research and saw some of the most diversified groups of hackers come together to learn and share. This made DevConnects one of the biggest highlights of the HackOn 2.0 journey.

The 1st DevConnect

Highlights of the Hackathon

With all the pre-hackathon activities having been such a blast, HackOn 2.0 started with a bang. Having achieved 8298 registrants for the plethora of activities we had for the hackathon, we saw 2294 hackers check-in with us on the very first day of the hackathon. The hackathon weekend, in its entirety, saw various technical discussions, fun mini-events, mental health-centric activities, and of course, with a humongous total of 30 prizes up for the taking, one of the most fantastic hacking contests ever!

India’s Largest Student-Led Hackathon

All these amazing feats would not have been possible without the 25 sponsors and 29 community partners who chose to support our initiative and join us in our community to interact with, mentor, and uplift our hackers! We’re especially grateful to our title sponsor Amagi, a global leader in SaaS technology providing end-to-end cloud-managed live and on-demand video infrastructure for TV and OTT platforms, along with some of our major sponsors Elastic, Auth0, Magic, WazirX, GitHub, GraphCMS, QuikNode, HackerEarth, and Major League Hacking, for without their immense support we could not have created such an amazing experience for our hackers.

HackOn 2.0 Sponsors

Winners Showcase

HackOn 2.0 Prizes

HackOn 2.0 saw some amazing submissions, but some of them stood out among the crowd and went on to win prizes at the hackathon. Here they are:

HackOn 2.0 Main Prizes


The Overall Winner of HackOn 2.0 was ApCoBed: Apkeliye Covid Bed, a one-stop solution for every problem the general public faces related to the COVID-19 pandemic, also designated as the “Uber for COVID beds” by our judges.

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First Runner-Up

The First Runner-Up of HackOn 2.0 was Manobal (मनोबल), a happiness buddy assisting people with their mental health, which featured an AR bot that users could communicate with, in real-time.

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2nd Runner-Up

The Second Runner-Up of HackOn was Debately, an AI-enabled solution that creates safer spaces for healthy debates while providing analysis on the content discussed as well.

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HackOn 2.0 Other Prizes

Best of HackOn

The Best of HackOn were the next 7 submissions among our top 10 which we felt were stand-out ideas and solutions at the hackathon. Here they are:

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E Exhibition

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Best Voice Hack

Winner: VoiceFoodStore

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Best Beginners Hack

Winner: BAYMAX — Personal Mental Healthcare Companion

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MLH Prizes

Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key

Winner: Emojo Chatbot

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Best Use of Linode

Winner: Med-Bay

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Best Domain Name from GoDaddy Registry

Winner: MindSpace (

Elastic Prize

Best Hack Built on Elastic

Winner: Project Zone

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Auth0 Prize

Best Use of Auth0

Winner: Baatcheet

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GraphCMS Prizes

Best GraphQL Project

Winner: AIRS WomxnEdu

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Best Use of GraphCMS

Winner: ShopZop

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Magic Prizes

Build With Magic

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SAWO Prize

Best use of SAWO

Winner: Sukoon- Realize, Calm, Heal

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Amagi Prize

Best Women and LGBTQIA+ Team

Winner: Pravesh Aadhar

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Best use of

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GitHub MyOctocat Challenge

GitHub Octocat Challenge Winner

Winning Tweet:

Prizes and Swags

All of these amazing winners received some amazing prizes from the HackOn team as well as our lovely partners. Aside from that. the winners along with our mentors, judges, and top volunteers have also received a HackOn Swag Pack which includes a custom HackOn t-shirt, sticker, badge and thank you note.

HackOn Swag Pack: Can you guess the code?

The Team Behind The Scenes

Any great plan is only as good as the team behind it, and in our case, we had one of the most hard-working and dedicated teams ever. A huge shout out to Mushthaq Ahamad, Apoorv Dwivedi, Paras Gupta, Saish Adlak, Ojasvi Khurana, Siddharth Dayalwal, Khushi Sharma, Shubhangi Gupta, and Rishabh Bansal for being the best possible teammates I could have asked for in this amazing journey.

HackOn 2.0 Team

I’m especially very grateful to Rishabh and Shubhangi for being a part of this journey. The 3 of us have been with HackOn since its 1st edition in April 2020 and HackOn would not have reached the heights that it did without them. It was a privilege working with all these folks and I can not wait to collaborate with them again in the future!


HackOn 2.0 was one of the most impactful initiatives our team had the opportunity to work on. It was a highly educational and fulfilling experience for us, and we can not wait to return with HackOn 3.0 next year!

See you at HackOn 3.0!



Aditya Oberai
HackOn Foundation

DevRel🥑 @ Appwrite📍Hosts random community convos 🤓📍👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Microsoft MVP | Twilio Champion 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦