Our Story
HackDuke brings together Duke students with the goal of improving meaningful student engagement with the intersection of tech, design, and social good.
Through our annual hackathon and designathon, we unite students across the globe and encourage them to think critically about the role of technology in our communities. Within our Duke/Durham community, we host workshops to promote education for all and partner with local nonprofits to connect and give back.
More about our events
"Do Something New"
It was 2013, and it started out as HackBlue. A group of 3 Duke and UNC students—Dennis Li, Yang Su, and Katie Hawthorne—organized the first hackathon at Duke to get people excited about learning and creating things outside the classroom.
The vision? Create the first university hackathon experience in the RTP area in providing a unique learning experience where like-minded and driven students come together and create interesting hacks in 24 hours. The event attracted ~100 students. Later that year, our organization was renamed to HackDuke and continued to grow.
HackDuke Example
HackDuke ExampleHackDuke Example
For Social Good
In 2014, we introduced the core concept of hacking for social good. Local non-profits like the Community Empowerment Fund and Durham Cares participated as experts to lead discussions and help teams identify community problems and develop meaningful solutions.
This [hackathon] has inspired more students to work on problems that are related to social good. It has also opened the eyes of more non-profits of the potential of technology. HackDuke is not a solution to society's problems. It's the beginning of the journey in identifying them, and exploring the solutions to them.
— Ashley Qian, 2014 HackDuke Co-director (DukeToday)
HackDuke Example
As the hackathon expanded, we continued to engage with the Duke community through new initiatives like HackDuke Education, where we brought speakers in tech and social justice, educational workshops, career panels, and more to the Duke community. By 2016, we no longer just hosted hackathons. HackDuke became an umbrella organization for multiple projects: Code for Good (the OG hackathon), Catalyst (social/pre-professional tech org), and more. We became the face of Duke's tech community, responsible for engaging, educating, and inspiring students with both technical and non-technical backgrounds.
HackDuke Example
HackDuke Example
HackDuke Example
Hello, Ideate!
From HackDuke Education, Ideate was founded by Dorothy Feng and Kiyoon Ko in Spring 2016. The mission of the design thinking and innovation conference is to teach students the importance of design an evolving tech/business world and inspire them to incorporate design thinking as a tool in the problem-solving/innovation process. The conference has introduced so many students to the world of design, inspiring them to pursue design as a career (including this here author).
Moving Virtual
Of course, we can't forget 2020. Despite being scattered across the globe, our planning teams were able to successfully organize our annual events online. In July 2020, we hosted our first virtual Ideate, welcoming students from India, South Korea, Philippines, and Puerto Rico. (Durham who? jk we love our city). In December of the same year, we hosted yet another successful Code for Good hackathon.
HackDuke Example
HackDuke Example
What Now?
So, that's a brief history of HackDuke! We are so proud of our organization and the growth that has happened the past 8 years. From 100 participants from RTP to over 1000 from across the globe, HackDuke's impact has tremendously increased. As an organization, we want to continue our growth, to stay true to our core values of community through education and innovation for social good, and, of course, to have fun through it all.
We can't wait to see where we go! Come along for the journey—you won't regret it.
HackDuke Team
Join the team!
Sound like something you want to be a part of? More information on spring recruitment will be released soon! Join our mailing list to get notified when applications are released.
Join our team