Drexel's Annual Hackathon: Philly Codefest

Philly Codefest 2020, A Virtual Hackathon Presented by American Water

September 23 to November 22, 2020

Philly Codefest 2020, presented by American Water, will focus on generating real world tech innovations to support environmental sustainability efforts in the greater Philadelphia region. Registration is free and open to everyone – no coding experience is necessary!

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns and in order to ensure the health and safety of all Codefest attendees, this year's Philly Codefest will be held entirely online. All Eventbrite registrations for Codefest’s April dates will be honored for the upcoming event. You can find the latest updates and more detailed information on Drexel University’s response to coronavirus at drexel.edu/coronavirus.

The deadline for registering for Philly Codefest has passed. Philly Codefest participants must submit their projects via the Philly Codefest Devpost site by Sunday, November 22 at 11:59 p.m. EST. 

Follow Philly Codefest on Twitter

Philly Codefest Workshops & Events

We record our virtual workshops and you can view past workshop recordings here

What to Expect at our Online Hackathon?

  • Rather than being a weekend long, in-person event, Philly Codefest 2020 will be completely virtual and run between September 23 and November 22, 2020.
  • Projects will be limited to software, no hardware projects or challenges as we’ve conducted in previous years.
  • Over the eight-week long virtual hackathon teams will have the opportunity to build polished applications, rather than prototypes.
  • Attendees will be able to participate in exclusive networking opportunities with sponsors and attend virtual workshops on industry trends and information sessions on specific challenges.

Philly Codefest 2020 Theme: Environmental Sustainability

Sustainability isn’t just an environmental issue, but it’s also a human issue that affects everyone. As climate change makes Philadelphia hotter and wetter, and sea level rise threatens our waterfronts and low-lying communities, Mayor Jim Kenney and the City of Philadelphia have committed to reducing Philly’s citywide carbon pollution by 80 percent and achieving a 100 percent carbon-free electricity grid by 2050.

In its eighth year, Philly Codefest 2020 aims to bring together students and professionals from all backgrounds to develop novel, creative solutions to support the region’s sustainability and climate goals and help make our region a safer, healthier place to be for generations to come.

Suggested areas of focus for hacks include:

  • Water (e.g., clean water access, wastewater management, stormwater/flood management)
  • Agriculture & Food (e.g., agricultural pollution/runoff management, green farming, food security)
  • Transportation (e.g., green transportation technology and incentives, reducing emissions, public transportation infrastructure)
  • Waste (e.g., litter, trash and recycling management, composting)
  • Energy (e.g., renewable energy, energy consumption reduction technology, clean air)

What Is A Hackathon?

A hackathon, also called a codefest, is a collaborative programming competition that brings together students and professionals for a short period of time to build websites, apps, or hardware. This year's virtual Drexel hackathon takes place over the course of eight weeks. Philly Codefest is a hackathon Philadelphia tech professionals and students alike are eligible to compete in, and it brings together coders, programmers, developers, and designers of all different skill levels. 

Read more about Philly Codefest's history

View a Video Recap of Philly Codefest 2019

What Happens At Our Hackathon

Presented by the College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), Philly Codefest is a free software and hardware hackathon in Philadelphia that encourages students and professionals from all experience levels and backgrounds to work together to develop innovative solutions to help solve real world challenges.

With no coding experience required, Philly Codefest is open to everyone, regardless of coding experience – just bring your creativity to Drexel CCI's annual hackathon! Attendees will form teams to work on projects, and then will present their final creations to a panel of judges – comprised of Drexel faculty, sponsors and respected members of the Philadelphia tech community – for a chance to win awesome prizes.

Philly Codefest's mission, to make the world a better place through technology, echoes CCI's commitment to forge and foster lasting relationships among students, professionals, tech leaders, start-ups and corporations. Drexel's annual hackathon leverages the already strong tech community in the Greater Philadelphia area to create one of the largest and most dynamic hackathons in the region.

Philly Codefest 2020 Sponsors

American Water 


Brick Simple Vanguard

Clinton Foundation - Clinton Global Initiative University - Call for Code - IBM Call for Code Founding Partner

Sponsor Philly Codefest

Our Virtual Hackathon welcomes industry sponsors and partners. In addition to exciting industry-focused virtual workshops, sponsors receive significant branding and recognition leading up to, during and following the event. We are happy to work with sponsors to create packages that are most effective in meeting your company’s needs. Join the Philly Codefest team today!

To learn more about sponsoring Philly Codefest 2020, please contact Kate Duncan at kbd53@drexel.edu or Brian Frankowski at bmf68@drexel.edu