A Brief History

In 2016, we hosted the first edition of MenloHacks from April 16-17. MenloHacks 2016 saw memorable events from cup stacking to a League of Legends tournament to the timed Menlo School tradition tapé where participants attempt to a roll blue masking tape down the courtyard into our student center. The first MenloHacks also kept participants well fed and energized from French Press Philz coffee to Doughbies Cookies to custom-made crêpes. At the end, hackers demoed their hacks to a panel of world-renowed judges from established industry titan Scott Forstall, the former SVP of iOS at Apple to up and comers like Brienne Ghafourifar, the youngest person to ever raise $1 million in venture capital having done so at age 17. The winner was Uber Scheduler which allowed users to schedule ubers in advance––before Uber implemented the same feature. You can see all of last year’s hacks at menlohacks.devpost.com and check out last year's website at 2016.menlohacks.com.

To get a sense of last year and what to expect this year, here’s the summary video from last year.

What's New for MenloHacks II?

For MenloHacks II, we are focusing on improving the quality of the hacking. We are going to keep what made the original MenloHacks great from fantastic activities to top-notch food, but focus on the ins/outs of hacking. What does that mean? Mentors. For MenloHacks II we are going to focus on saturating the room with mentors. If you want a mentor, you will have a mentor. With that in mind, we are developing a custom mentoring system to facilitate the discovery process of mentors to make sure mentors can find mentees. If you are interested in mentoring, shoot us an email at mentor@menlohacks.com.

We are also going to be hosting even more workshops. Last year saw workshops ranging from Introduction to iOS Development to Java as a server-side language to Introduction to the Afero IoT platform. Expect there to be more workshops in more areas.


Friday, March 17

4:15 PM


5:00 PM

Opening Ceremony

6:00 PM

Team-Forming Session

6:00 PM

Hacking Begins

7:00 PM

Chipotle sponsored by IBM

Saturday, March 18

12:00 AM

Midnight Snack

2:00 AM


7:00 AM


8:00 AM


12:00 PM

Lunch sponsored by Palantir

4:00 PM

Hacking Ends

4:30 PM

Judging and Closing Ceremony

6:00 PM

Go Home and Sleep

The full schedule will be available on the MenloHacksLive website.


Susan Wojcicki
CEO, YouTube

Scott Sandell
Managing General Partner, New Enterprise Associates

Dennis Woodside
COO, Dropbox

Jeff Huber
CEO, Grail

Sameer Dholakia
CEO, SendGrid

Joe Beninato
CEO, Banter


What is a hackathon?

In this context, the word "hack" means to create. A hackathon is an event where people come together for 24 hours to make something using the wonders of technology. But, the goal of a hackathon isn't just to create something: it's also to learn. Hackathons are the time to experiment with new technologies, APIs, SDKs, or even learn to code from scratch.

Who can attend?

Anyone currently in high school is elgible to apply.

How much coding experience do I need?

None at all. Hackathons are a fantastic place to learn and get advice from experienced hackers. We'll also host plenty of workshops and have plenty of mentors so by the end of the 24 hours you'll have a working project even if you haven't coded a day in your life before. We also host a prize for best beginner hack.

How much does the event cost?

A sum total of $0.00. Even meals, snacks, caffeine, sodas, and other drinks are provided. Our goal is to let you hack worry free.

What should I bring?

Bring a form of photo ID (school IDs are fine), a laptop, and a charger. If you don't have a laptop, email hello@menlohacks.com and we'll find something for you. While we will be providing some hardware, if you need something special, also bring that. Also, if you want to sleep, bring a sleeping bag.

How will I get there?

You are responsible for finding your own transportation. Ideally, try and find a ride because we don't recommend driving back for safety reasons after a hackathon. We can help find you a carpool.

What time does the event start?

We are still finalizing the exact times, but the current plan is to open doors at 4:30PM on March 17 for a 5:00PM opening ceremony and then finish at 6:00PM on March 18th. We'll keep the website updated with the latest information.

How big are the teams?

Up to 4 people.

How do I find a team?

All accepted hackers will be given an invitation to a Facebook group which can be used to find teammates. Additionally, the event will feature a team-forming event. Obviously, if you have friends going to the event, you are welcome to just team up with them; however, it is often more fun to code with new people.

When do applications close?

Applications are currently closed.

Last year I heard that each school had to bring a chaperone. Will that be the case this year?

Nope. Because it was our first year last year, we wanted to be cautious for liability reasons. This year everything you'll need to do for liability reasons are part of the application so you won't need to do anything once you are accepted.

Is there a code of conduct?

Yes, there is. Nothing too out of the ordinary though. Generally, be nice to others. If you want the full guide, we are using the MLH code of conduct which can be found here.