These are the Official Rules that govern how the Microsoft International Women’s Hackathon operates (the "Contest"). In these rules, "we," "our," and "us" refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of this Contest. “You” and “Yourself” refer to an eligible entrant.




The Contest is designed to recognize the best software application (“Contest App”) built with Microsoft tools and technology that is designed to meet the challenge requirements and can be posted in the Windows Store. Teams can also decide to use other technologies to submit for each challenge. 


The Contest will be conducted at Women’s Hackathon events held around the world.

Participants can form their teams and plan their application ahead of time but cannot code until the day of the event. 




This Contest starts at 00:01 Greenwich Mean Time (“GMT”) on October 11, 2014, and ends at 23:59 GMT on December 3, 2014 (“Entry Period”). 


Please visit or other world time database to determine your local date and time. 




You are eligible to enter if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:


  • You are a student and at least 16 years of age and are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution that grants high-school or college/university (or equivalent) degrees (including home schools) and involved in activities to support more females in STEM and
    • If you are considered a minor in your place of residence, then you must ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Contest.
  • You are NOT a resident of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria; and
    • S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore, residents of these countries/regions are not eligible to participate.
  • You are not an employee or intern of Microsoft Corporation, or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and
  • You are not involved in any part of the execution or administration of this Contest; and
  • You are not an immediate family member of (parent, sibling, spouse, or child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.


If you are a Microsoft campus representative (for example, a Microsoft Student Partner and you meet the eligibility criteria set forth above, you may enter the Contest, but you are prohibited from using Microsoft property or resources, including without limitation: Microsoft networks, hardware tools and technology resources and/or the counsel of Microsoft employees, in connection with the creation or execution of an entry. Very simply, you cannot use any resources which are not also broadly available to all other students. If you have any questions, please contact us.  


This Contest is void within the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.




While you are not required to form a team, up to six (6) eligible students may submit a single entry as a team. Team members may come from different academic institutions and from different countries. We have learned in past experiences that the most effective team number is four.  


  • Each competitor may belong to only a single team within this Contest.
  • Teams are locked at the close of submissions on December 3, 2014, and no further changes to team membership and mentors can be made after that date.
  • As part of the registration process, each team must choose a country/region which it will represent. At least one member of the team must be a legal resident of the country the team is representing.
  • Each team is solely responsible for its own cooperation and teamwork. In no event will Sponsor officiate in any dispute regarding the conduct or cooperation of any Team or its members.




To enter, follow the instructions provided by the organizer of a Hackathon (“Event”) presented in your location. You may be required to register online or in person at an Event. 


You may organize a team and meet to discuss Event logistics in advance of the Event; however, you may not develop any code prior to the Event. You must attend the Event in person in its entirety to be eligible to win. 



  • An Overview Pitch Video or Presentation that explains what your app’s premise is, how it relates to the theme of the Contest, and its key features. You should also introduce your team and explain your interest in technology.
  • A Contest App usable by the judges
  • Contest App Instructions document explaining how to use your app


Detailed requirements for these materials all appear in the challenge description in the Hackathon Toolkit. The registration information you provide and the Contest App and entry materials that you develop will together be called your “Entry.”  




You may submit one Entry per individual or team.  


We will disqualify any incomplete or illegible Entries that we receive. We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for Entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason.




All Contest Apps can be built on any platform but we highly suggest utilizing Microsoft tools and technologies. The application can be developed using at least one product in the Visual Studio family and can be built for one or more of the following platforms:


  • Windows
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows Server and/or ASP.NET
  • Kinect SDK
  • Xbox Indie Games
  • Microsoft .NET Framework
  • Windows Azure


As a student, you can obtain free tools and software at DreamSpark. In addition, all participants will be able to


It is permissible to use open-source development tools and create Android or iPhone applications.  


In addition, all Entries must meet the following requirements:



Overview Video or Pitch Presentation

The Overview Video or Pitch Presentation should depict the functionality of the Contest App and provides an opportunity for your Team to reiterate what you are trying to achieve and why it’s great, as well as to demonstrate some of the key features and introduce yourselves. Video or Presentation production quality will not be scored in the judging process. Your Team should show the Contest App in action. If you are a winning team, we will ask you to record a 2-minute video in which we can give you publicity. 


If you have not captured video of software before, we recommend creating your screen capture using Microsoft Expression Encoder 4 Screen Capture, which is available to students for free at DreamSpark.


The Overview Video, it must be submitted as a WMV, AVI, or MP4. If you submit a Presentation, it must be a PPTX with audio recording file that meets the following requirements:


  1. The content must clearly address each of the Judging Criteria outlined in these rules.
  2. The audio of the video can be in any language, but if the audio is not in the English language, the video must have English subtitles in order to be eligible. If a translator is needed, you are responsible for procuring one.
  3. The video must not exceed five minutes we suggest 2.5 minutes.
  4. The final video file must not exceed 250 MB.
  5. The Contest App exhibited must be fully functional and implemented. Previz, storyboards, concept art, and other mock-ups are not acceptable for the Overview Video.


Disaster Response & Climate Data Challenge 

There will be two challenges in which teams can compete in one of the challenges. The output for the challenge will be an executable application. We need to be able to use your app in order to judge it! The Contest App is defined as an installable and usable app in the appropriate format for your chosen platform(s).


The Contest App must meet the following requirements:


  1. It must be in one of the following formats for installation:
    1. EXE or an MSI file: a standard Windows setup application to install your app on a Windows PC.
    2. ZIP file: this ZIP file must contain your application and all dependencies required to use your app. Judges will extract your app to a local folder on a Windows PC and run the app from that folder.
    3. XAP file: A Windows Phone setup file for deployment to phone devices.
    4. Android, iOS, HTML, HTML5, WordPress, and ASPX files are also permitted.
  2. It must be no larger than 300 MB. No source code is permitted and apps will be disqualified if they are submitted as development projects.
  3. If your Contest App includes and/or requires Kinect support, you must include this as a requirement in the Innovation App Instructions document.
  4. If your Contest App includes and/or requires touchscreen/slate capabilities, you must include this as a requirement in the Innovation App Instructions document.
  5. If your Contest App requires internet access, you must include this as a requirement in the Innovation App Instructions.
  6. The installation process of your Contest App must not require the internet to complete successfully, if you use ClickOnce you must ensure it includes your entire app and does not attempt to retrieve components from online.
  7. It is acceptable to support multiple languages in your Contest App as long as English is one of the represented languages.


Contest App Instructions

The Instructions document is an electronic document that informs the judges and prospective users how to setup and use your application or website or mobile application or game.


The Contest App Instructions must meet the following requirements:


  1. The instructions must be submitted as either a document in DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, or TXT file formats or a graphic image as a JPG file.
  2. It must be submitted in English.




The intent and spirit of the Contest is to test the skills and creativity of the student entrants.  


In addition to the content and technical requirements listed earlier, to be eligible for judging, all Entries must meet the following general standards:  


  • All Entry materials must be presented and/or submitted in the English language unless otherwise specified.
  • The content of your Entry and any supporting materials must be acceptable for all viewing audiences. We will automatically disqualify any entrant that submits any Entry or supporting materials that contain text, sound or images that we, in our sole opinion and for any reason, find vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate for public viewing, or that presents us in a negative light.


By submitting an entry in this Contest, you confirm that, to the best of your knowledge:


  • Your Entry meets the requirements set forth above; and
  • The entirety of the entry is your/your team’s original work; and
  • The Overview Video and Trailer must be solely the work of the team, including but not limited to, the actual filming, editing, graphic design, etc. of the video.
  • You/your teams have obtained any and all consents, approvals, or licenses required for you to submit your Entry.


Important note about copyright: Your team’s entire Entry must only include material (including source code—both open source and third party sourced, user interface, music, video or images) that you own or that you have permission from the copyright/trademark owner to use. Your team’s Entry may not include copyrighted materials (such as source code, user interface, background music, images or video) unless you own or have permission to use the materials. Ownership is not defined as purchasing a CD at a music store for replay, playing a copyright recording on your guitar or repurposing an application’s user interface - your team’s entry will be disqualified if copyrighted materials, including but not limited to these examples, are a part of your Entry without appropriate licensing or permissions. If you do use permissible copyrighted materials, you must include the permissions information by citing the artist/creator and license information as per the respective Contest Rules. Note that even material released under sites such as Creative Commons, common open source code licenses, and other similar licensing may need permission or acknowledgement as per the specific license. Note: your team’s Entry will be disqualified if permissions information is not included as per the requirements in the specific Contest Rules.  


Important note about hardware: This Challenge does not accept projects that require hardware other than standard consumer hardware commonly used for our list of valid platforms such as Windows PCs, Windows Phones, Kinect consoles, etc. If you are considering a project that requires custom hardware such as heart rate monitors, pedometers, or other devices, such projects are not eligible for this Challenge due to the difficulties in supplying custom hardware to the judges.


Important note about connectivity/authentication requirements: If your project incorporates some form of remote connectivity requiring authentication that our judges cannot perform then you should attempt to simulate as much of your functionality as is reasonable to enable the judges to evaluate your software. You should also describe any simulations and omissions in your submission so the judges understand and can evaluate accordingly.


We reserve the right to disqualify or reject any Entry that we, in our sole and absolute discretion, determine does not meet the above criteria. If we do not receive a sufficient number of Entries meeting the entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer than the designated number of winners. The decisions of the judges are final and binding in all matters related to the Challenge.





Each location will select their judges. Their judges will evaluate each entry and will receive a score of 1–100, based on the following criterion.






Team/App Name:



Appropriateness to theme




Not relevant.


Does not qualify.




Acknowledges the challenge



Makes an effort to address the challenge




Addresses the challenge.



Fully addresses the challenge takes other factors or information into account.









Out of 40

User Experience & Functionality




Not really intuitive or clear, sloppy.

Not functional.



Usable but it is not intuitive or requires clear instructions.

Demo Only.




Core feature is functional.



Usable and clear

Core feature is functional.



Intuitive and high depth of functionality.






Out of 20

Originality & Impact





Does not solve problem, no market differentiation.



Minimally solves problem.

Impacts few people.



Solves problem. Useful for many people.



 Innovative concept.

Impacts large number of people.



Innovative solution.

Large scale impact.






Out of 20

Technical Difficulty




No technical challenge.










High technical challenge






Out of 20

Additional Notes









All Entries will be judged by a panel of experts at their local event. The winning teams will submit a 2-minute video demonstrating their application and the completed application to Microsoft by no later than midnight, May 15, 2014. An upload link will be posted on International Hackathon website (challenge post?)  by April 27, 2014. All winners from hackathons around the world will be announced on May 23, 2014, through a blog post at and all videos will be posted on Microsoft Research and US Science and Engineering Festival websites.  




All entrants will receive a certificate of participation. The winning team will be recognized in the following ways:


  • Their entry will be posted on the websites for Microsoft Research and the USA Science and Engineering Festival.


  • If a winning solution is an app for Microsoft Windows 8 or Windows Phone, the winner may be invited to include their app in the Windows Store or the Windows Phone Store, subject to all store terms and conditions. If the winner is not a registered Windows store publisher, the annual fee will be waived.


  • Each team member will receive a $10 Skype promotional Gift Card.





Your odds of winning a prize will depend on the number of eligible Entries received and the level of skill of each entrant.  


If you are confirmed as a winner:  


  • You may not exchange prizes for cash or any other merchandise or services. However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner. If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we may award it to the next highest scoring Team/entrant; and
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
  • If you are otherwise eligible, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, then we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
  • Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer’s warranty and/or terms and conditions; and


We are not responsible for any dispute regarding prize dispersal.




All notifications we attempt to make to you/your Team are subject to the following conditions:  


  • If you/your Team is selected as a winner, we may notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address or mailing address (if any) you provided at time of sign up within the timelines designated earlier.
  • If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable, we may disqualify your Team and extend an invitation to the next highest scoring Team/entrant.
  • If there is a dispute as to the identity of a particular entrant, we will consider the entrant to be the authorized account holder of the e-mail provided at time of sign up.
  • If you are selected as a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability and Publicity Release and W-9 tax form (for U.S. residents) or W-8BEN tax form (for non-U.S. residents).
  • If you are a minor in your place of residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf.
  • If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select the next highest scoring Team/entrant.





Other than what is set forth below, we are not claiming any ownership rights to your entry. However, by submitting your Entry, you:  


  • Are granting us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test, and otherwise analyze your Entry and all its content in connection with this Contest; and (ii) feature your Entry and all its content in connection with the marketing, sale, or promotion of this Contest (including but not limited to internal and external presentations, tradeshows, and screen shots of the Contest Entry process in press releases) in all media (now known or later developed);
  • Agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights you granted above;
  • Agree to assist us and the Sponsors in the creation of case studies or white papers (together "Studies") detailing your Entry or entries. Studies will not include any confidential participant information. Upon your approval of the Studies’ accuracy, you agree to give us and the Sponsors permission to display the Studies including trademarks, logos, and other identifying information contained therein, on our and the Sponsors websites and in other documentation. This documentation may take various forms, including printed materials, online articles, video, audio, and other digital recordings;
  • Understand and acknowledge that the Sponsor may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your Entry;
  • Understand that we cannot control the incoming information you will disclose to our representatives in the course of entering, or what our representatives will remember about your Entry. You also understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your Entry. By entering this Contest, you agree that use of information in our representatives unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law;
  • Understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your Entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules.


Please note that following the end of this Contest your Entry may be posted on a website selected by us for viewing by visitors to that website. We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your Entry by visitors to this website.  


While we reserve these rights, we are not obligated to use your Entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning Entry.  


If you do not want to grant us these rights to your Entry, please do not enter this Contest.  






By entering this Contest you agree:  


  • To abide by the Official Rules; and
  • To release and hold harmless Microsoft, and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Contest or any prize won; and
  • That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Contest; and
  • That, by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use your proper name and state, country, or region of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Contest, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.




This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Contest.  




If someone cheats, or a virus, bug, bot, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and/or integrity of this Contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change, or suspend this Contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.  


If you or your Team attempts to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest, or if we have reason to believe that you or your Team have compromised the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by cheating, hacking, creating a bot or other automated program, or by committing fraud in any way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may disqualify you, and ban you from participating in any of our future Contests, so please play fairly.  




A full list of all winners will be published on on or about May 23, 2014.





Microsoft Corporation  

One Microsoft Way  

Redmond, WA 98052