As students head back to campus, this trio is working to ensure that this school year is filled with success.

Black Tech Ventures, United Negro College Fund (UNCF), and Zillow have joined forces to hold an inaugural hackathon for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

In a seven-day virtual competition, students will develop and pitch game-changing strategies that go hand in hand with Zillow’s mission to help citizens with the homebuying process.

“Zillow is proud to sponsor this hackathon because we best serve our customers when we can recruit and retain some of the best talent in the world — the kind of thinkers and doers incubated on the campuses of the country’s historically Black colleges and universities,” said Zillow Chief Technology Officer David Beitel in an official statement shared with AfroTech. “Our goal is to strengthen our recruiting pipeline through engagement with HBCUs and encourage students to consider careers in the tech industry and, of course, at Zillow.”

What Is The HBCU Hackathon?

Zillow’s HBCU hackathon will be open to students all across the tech spectrum. Students with advanced computer coding experience and those with little to no experience are welcome to participate in the event.

Thanks to the collaboration with the UNCF and Black Tech Ventures (BTV), Zillow’s HBCU hackathon will equip students with the skills that they need by way of hands-on activities, mentorship, teamwork, and workshops.

“The UNCF is proud to partner with Zillow and Black Tech Ventures on this wonderful initiative for our students,” continued Dr. Chad Womack, senior director of National STEM Programs and Initiatives at UNCF. “UNCF is excited to leverage its reach across HBCU campuses to engage our students and market the HBCU Housing Hackathon challenge opportunity.”

Who Can Participate?

Despite being open to HBCU students from all degree programs, teams must consist of one member enrolled in a computer engineering, computer science, or related program and can be made up of up to four people.

Following the week-long event, finalists will present their findings to a panel of judges. The team that places first will receive a $20,000 cash award to be split among its members along with a $25,000 donation from Zillow to fund its school’s computer science program.

Second and third place winners will receive $12,000 and $6,000 cash awards. Students from the top three teams will receive AfroTech World 2021 conference tickets, new laptops, and textbook gift cards. 

Lastly, eligible hackathon participants who have an interest in working for Zillow will be granted the opportunity to interview for an internship.

Registration for the event is now open. Click here for more information.