Santa Cruz SBDCAptos, CA

Santa Cruz Works: Z Hacks 2020

Santa Cruz Works: Z Hacks 2020

Saturday, September 19, 2020 (All day) to Friday, September 25, 2020 (All day)

A Hackathon For Everyone

Until now, you needed to be a coder to participate in a hackathon.  To code, you needed the benefit of a good education.  You needed to be able to afford a computer, software, and broadband. And you needed a passion for coding.

Not anymore.  


At Z HACKS, your project entry can be code, OR any form of ART: a dance, a song, a poem, artwork, a short story, a sculpture, just about anything. Why? Because you care about inclusivity.  

Why Z?

Z is for Gen Z.  Z is for Zentreprenuer.  Z is for Zeitgeist.  You are the change needed in the world for our most pressing challenges.


 Social Justice 

From wealth to education, housing to homeless, your project will increase the awareness of disparities for underserved communities.  How do we address police brutality? Democracy? Affordable housing?


Our oceans are polluted with plastics, our air unbreathable, our drinking water has lead, our housing is not energy efficient.  How can we inspire and help entire communities to reduce our emissions? Reuse? Recycle?


COVID 19 is not our first health crisis, nor our last.  How do we help those at high risk? How do we create vibrant supply chains, fast vaccine testing, better PPE designs, better signage and solutions for restaurants, stores, etc. How do we help small businesses and performers stay afloat during Shelter-in-Place?


The purse is expected to grow to more than $50,000 (Become a Sponsor).  The exact amount will be announced on September 18, 2020. Winners will choose a non-profit organization to donate the majority of the purse, and keep up to 10% to fund their next brilliant project.  Attend a Clinic (see Resources) to get an extra point towards your final score.  The following non-profits are designees but not limited to:

Black Lives Matter -  a decentralized movement in the United States advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against African-American people. 
Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay - addresses affordable homeownership in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. In our coastal region, there is a growing gap between house prices and what the local workforce can afford. One in three households spends more than 50% of their income on housing.
Digital NEST - a youth workforce development and empowerment center located in Watsonville and Salinas, CA, has moved all of their in-person classroom curricula online and has found new ways to support a community in need.

Santa Cruz Works

Apply Now

It all starts here. Complete the application and submit your request. A member of the SBDC will follow up with you and help you achieve your small business goals -- at no cost to you.


As concerns continue about coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re here to help you navigate available resources, answer your business questions and be a trusted partner for your business
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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or HSU Sponsored Programs Foundation.