Recap: AthenaHacks 2019

3 min readApr 12, 2019

AthenaHacks returned on April 6–7 for another successful hackathon this year full of Yerba Mates, RawRev bars, midnight boba, cup stacking, and motivated female hackers! With over 400 attendees from universities all over California, Missouri, and even Indiana, USC’s Tutor Center Ballroom lit up with laptop screens and caffeinated college students to create impactful projects in under 24 hours.

We kicked off the weekend with our opening ceremony which included speakers from Microsoft, MLH, Neudesic, and our Keynote speaker — Morgan Mercer. Allison from Microsoft proclaimed the importance of being our most authentic self because standing out is not a bad thing. Neudesic’s Rachel Phillips encouraged us to push our limits and go outside of our comfort zone. Andrea from MLH reminded us of our value and put on an epic game of cup stacking later that night! Keynote speaker, Ms. Morgan Mercer motivated us to live a life worth writing about and that every no is one step closer to a yes.

Hacking began promptly after the ceremony and passion undoubtedly filled the room giving everyone the drive to keep going. Thank you to our sponsors Google, Activision, Zynga, Facebook, Microsoft, Lyft, and Raytheon for putting on workshops for our hackers. Some of our favorites included, Intro to iOS, Life at Lyft, and the Cybersecurity Panel.

Two brains are better than one, shoutout to our mentors and volunteers for providing a helping hand to our hardworking hackers and organizers! A happy hacker is fueled with good food and drinks, which could not have been possible without our food sponsors and caterers. Midnight boba from the boba truck was another hit this year (seeing you girls run after hearing the word boba was a real life hunger games) and so were the Yerba Mates, after all what’s a hackathon without an overload on caffeine and sugar?

And lastly, a huge congratulations to our winners — HER2Her, Translation Nation, Recycling Rewards, and Autism Care (check out a list of all the winners and the 74 submissions here)!

We were all truly inspired by your projects and we hope to see them in the app store one day :) Can’t wait to see all of your beautiful faces back in sunny Southern California next year! Fight on!

For more pictures

And for our video made by Lindsay Huang ’22




Southern California's premiere hackathon for marginalized gender identities