Hack Cardano! Hosted by CardStarter

4 min readJul 13, 2021

Opportunity for Challenge!

CardStarter Labs is thrilled to announce Hack Cardano! — a hackathon event which gives our community members a chance to gain exclusive access to the Cardstarter Accelerator Program and showcase their projects! This hackathon will be hosted by CardStarter and brings focus to the blossoming ecosystem of new projects building on Cardano. The hackathon consists of three phases beginning on July 29th,2021.

Hackathon project submissions will be judged by a panel of experts, and winners will be chosen for technological excellence and creativity. We believe a hackathon is an excellent way to drive interest in producing Cardano-bound projects while inviting the passion and creativity of our community members to the forefront.

Six finalists will be selected for this event. Teams compete for a grand total of $220,000 in seed funding will be awarded to podium finishers. A grand prize of $100,000 will be presented to the team with the most outstanding project submission and presentation. Second and third place finishers would also receive $70,000 and $50,000, respectively. Nonetheless, all six finalists will be enrolled into the CardStarter Accelerator Program (CAP) where they will be given project nutrition for the best chances of success. Recruited CAP teams are granted access to CardStarter’s robust development resources to support them in branding, fundraising, marketing and project launch. As an added bonus, finalists are given early access to Alonzo testnets.

Phase 1

Project Proposal Round

In this initial round, we will accept project proposals from prospective teams. Each submission should include a comprehensive pitch deck outlining a project’s development roadmap, token utility, use cases, team background, business model and go-to-market strategy.


Entries from Phase 1 will be evaluated by a panel of experts — Nebojsa Vojvodic (IOHK), John MacPherson (Cardano Foundation) Aatash Amir (CardStarter Labs), and Ran Neuner (CardStarter Media Department). Selected entries from this round will be announced on the following day, and will be entered into the technical round.

Phase 2

Technical Round

Here, the competition gets more fierce for the coveted win!

Chosen Phase 1 applicants are given the time to perfect their whitepaper, showcasing the technology and methodology behind their project.


Phase 2 applicants will be judged by a panel of experts — Nebojsa Vojvodic (IOHK), Lars Bruenjes (Plutus Pioneers Program), Ben Hart(MLabs) and Aatash Amir (CardStarter Labs). Six teams will be selected to progress to the third and final phase. These finalists will be announced(TBA).

Phase 3

Final Round

The six finalists from Phase 2 will be required to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) and submit their code on Github.

Demo Day

Demo day will bring all participating judges to the stage in one judges panel. This portion of the hackathon will involve the live participation of the judges, as each team is given the chance to showcase their MVP. Hours are TBA, as we navigate timezones!

After the Demo Day, expert coders from CardStarter, MLabs and external auditors dig into the code to assess vulnerability, structure, alignment to best practices, and, most importantly, the requisite functionality.

Hack Cardano! marks an important milestone in the public working relationships between many important organizations devoted to Cardano’s success. Ultimately, this event serves as a proof of concept and a glimpse into the collaborative support that we can offer promising developers and visionaries in Cardano’s DeFi ecosystem.

Registration form for Hack Cardano!

Hackathon participants please visit the official Hack Cardano! Discord for any other questions

Mainnet, here we come!


The CardStarter Hackathon is a competition where projects will be evaluated by judges on their technological merits without consideration of legal viability. Participants in the Hackathon will create software solely for purposes of evaluation by judges as part of a competition and not for commercial deployment or release as part of the Hackathon.

All participants must comply with applicable laws and regulations when releasing any software that they develop as part of the Hackathon. The Hackathon ideas and developer resources that CardStarter, Ltd. (“CardStarter”) provides are for educational and inspirational purposes only. Cards does not encourage, induce or sanction the deployment of any such applications in violation of applicable laws or regulations.CardStarter does not encourage, induce or sanction the deployment, integration or use of any such applications (including the code comprising the Cardano blockchain protocol) in violation of applicable laws or regulations and hereby prohibits any such deployment, integration or use. This includes use of any such applications by the reader (a) in violation of export control or sanctions laws of the United States or any other applicable jurisdiction, (b) if the participant is located in or ordinarily resident in a country or territory subject to comprehensive sanctions administered by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), © if the participant is or is working on behalf of a Specially Designated National (SDN) or a person subject to similar blocking or denied party prohibitions, or (d) in violation of the Commodities and Exchange Act, the Securities Act of 1933, or Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The participant should be aware that U.S. Export Control and Sanctions laws prohibit U.S. persons (and other persons that are subject to such laws) from transacting with persons in certain countries and territories or that are on the SDN list. As a project based primarily on open-source software, it is possible that such sanctioned persons may nevertheless bypass prohibitions, obtain the code comprising the Cardano blockchain protocol (or other project code or applications) and deploy, integrate, or otherwise use it. Accordingly, there is a risk to individuals that other persons using the Cardano blockchain protocol may be sanctioned persons and that transactions with such persons would be a violation of U.S. export controls and sanctions law. This risk applies to individuals, organizations, and other ecosystem participants that deploy, integrate, or use the Cardano blockchain protocol code directly (e.g., as a node operator), and individuals that transact on the Cardano blockchain through light clients, third party interfaces, and/or wallet software.