Helping Hack Chicago

Make a mobile app that matters.

[Cue dramatic music and movie trailer voice artist]

THIS SUMMER there's a new hackathon in town. And it's a real win-win. Experience the fun, the wonder and the excitement as members of Chicago's tech community team up with a local nonprofit organization to build mobile apps that make a difference.

Ahem. But seriously. It'll be really fun, and we'll be helping make the mobile platform delightful for all kinds of users.

Who should come?

The finished product should be a mobile app, so if you're a mobile developer or a UI/UX designer, this will be right up your alley. All skill levels are welcome – there will be pros around to give you a hand!

Who will we be working with?

It’s a secret. We’ll tell you on Friday, July 10! Our partner organization is very excited to hear our ideas and see what we come up with. They're in it for the love of mobile, too!

How does it work?

The hackathon will start on July 10 promptly at 6pm. (Better show up at 5:30 just to be safe!) We'll have a Q&A with our nonprofit partner organization, followed by dinner and an idea pitching session.

We'll wrap up on Sunday, July 12, around 4pm with final demos at 2pm.

Does someone "win"?

At Helping Hack EVERYONE wins! But we'll also be presenting awards and fabulous prizes to the teams who end up with apps that stand out from the crowd.

Who's behind Helping Hack?

The Mobile Makers Alumni Alliance are co-hosting this amazing event in partnership with Mobile Makers Academy. This is the first of its kind, and we could really use your support. It won't be as awesome if you're not there!


  • Windy City Lab

    We build IoT products and teach what we learn. We offer a digital electronics training program with an extensive workshop curriculum for learning by doing.

  • Max Howell

    Chicago Swift and Objective-C developer. Creator of Homebrew, PromiseKit, YOLOKit and Tech and beer enthusiast. Generally splendid chap.

  • Eight Bit Studios

    User experience, design and development: Creating Chicago's best websites and native mobile apps for startups and national brands. #thefuture

  • Mobile Makers

    Become an iOS developer in San Francisco, Chicago, or Online—now with Swift! We make iOS developers who get jobs. No prior experience required.

  • Don Bora

    Don brings 25 years of professional coding and entrepreneurial experience to the product discussion. From startup to enterprise and in between, there isn’t much he hasn’t seen. Don is passionate about tech, collaboration, and ensuring the Eight Bit dev team is integrated and accessible. Don is an outspoken advocate for women and girls in tech, seeking to bridge the technology gap by exposing the fun and creative side of programming. He frequently mentors students who display an interest in technology and coding.

  • John W Ostler

    Part designer, part technologist and part entrepreneur. John has been developing and founding web, music, and print productions for more than ten years. His work has garnered attention in USA Today, Brandweek, The Daily Beast, New York Times Tech blog, Mashable, homepage of, were featured on multiple CSS design blogs and achieved the coveted 'New and Noteworthy' nod from Apple.

  • Steve Polacek

    Steve knows that great product design starts with empathy and ends with solving a problem. He leads the team down that path through design thinking and collaboration, leveraging over a decade of experience across industries and markets. Past clients include: Aerosmith, AT&T, Britney Spears, Field Museum, Hard Rock, Justin Timberlake, Kraft, MLB, Motorola, MSN, NBA, WNBA.

  • Coder[EXP]

    Venture Development Studio | Partner to Startups. We build web + mobile software applications and accelerate the growth of early stage companies.


  • Mobile Makers

    Become an iOS developer in San Francisco, Chicago, or Online—now with Swift! We make iOS developers who get jobs. No prior experience required.


    VOKAL is an iPhone Development Company headquartered in Chicago, IL. The company was founded by three strapping entrepreneurs with a love for business and a pas

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