What is this event?

The TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon is a bit of a bonus event we like to throw before each of our big Disrupt conferences. At a Hackathon, hundreds upon hundreds of coders and designers come together into self-picked teams to build the best thing they can scramble together in just shy of 24-hours. At the end of the day, each team has 60 seconds to pitch their project in a battle for fame, glory, and a bunch of crazy prizes. Building and competing in the Hackathon is free.

How do I get tickets?

We release batches of tickets in posts on TechCrunch. We generally do this on different times and on different days each time to allow people with all sorts of schedules a fair shot at tickets.

What does the Hackathon provide?

We’ll bring the WiFi, power, food, beverages, and, of course, the prizes. We’ll also have a bunch of amazing API workshops lead by engineers from some of the biggest companies in the world, which we’ll announce in just a few weeks.

What should I bring?

All your normal coding/designing gear, and any hardware you want to hack on. Bring a jacket, as these venues always tend to get a bit cold (especially if you keep coding through the night.) You might want to bring an Internet tethering device just in case the network gets wonky.

What should I build?

Something awesome. We’re not too worried about whether your Hackathon project has some potential business model built-in. While that can’t hurt, our judges will be focusing on creativity, cleverness, and that deep-down sense of “Whoaaaaaaa“.

What Should I not build?

Anything that breaks our rules, or goes against our events-wide anti-harassment policy. Also, you probably shouldn’t just make a fast clone of an existing concept and call it a day — those never get anywhere near the winner’s podium.

What can we win?

The top team of the day (as determined by our judges) wins $5,000 to split amongst themselves as they see fit. We also have a bunch of incredible sponsor prizes in the works, which we’ll be announcing soon. In the past, sponsor prizes have included everything from a suitcase full of cash to all-expense paid trips to Vegas.

Is it true we can win tickets to the Disrupt conference, too?

Yes! It’s a little different this time. We used to give two tickets to every team that made it through the night and presented a hack. This year, we’re raising the bar a bit; we’re only giving two tickets to each of the Top 50-or-so teams (the number will vary depending on how many teams enter) — so build something amazing!

I have another question.

Shoot us an email at hackathon@beta.techcrunch.com and we’ll try to help.