Hack Day Paris

Come build something brilliant.
November 4-6, 2011

Hack Day Paris is a 40-hour marathon of hyper-intensive design and development followed by a lighting round of presentations and demos. The result is the exchange of ideas, community, and invention not realized during the normal pace of work and play.

Check out pictures, videos and the hacks on the Hacks page.

The Event

The event will take place at La Ruche in the 10th Arrondissement of Paris starting on the evening of Friday, November 4, 2011 where individuals and self-organized teams will begin their projects and the competition. Development will continue through 2 nights until noon on Sunday when the demos begin next door at Le Comptoir General and our carefully selected panel of hackers, designers, and entrepreneurs will judge winners in various categories, including the overall ultimate hack. Anything goes as long as it is created during the competition and can be presented onsite on Sunday!

Entry for the weekend is €10 and includes food, drink, and snacks throughout the competition. The facility, La Ruche, will be open during the entire event for hacking, letting loose, and (if you need it) sleeping. Admittance is strictly limited to participants so that we can accommodate as many projects as possible. There are no special requirements (coders, designers, clothiers, boulangers - indeed, we'd love to see some edible hacks!), only that you come to create and build something new. If you are member of the press/media, you can contact us separately for entry into the final judging session or restricted visits during the competition.

What is Hack?

hack |hak| verb [ with obj. ] to cut or shape by or as if by crude or ruthless strokes

The original English meaning of the word "hack" reflected an urgency in creating something - minimal, crude, but clever - to solve a problem of the moment. Somewhere along the way we lost this meaning, perhaps to the media and to Hollywood, who hijacked it to glamorize the way criminals and pirates created similarly fashioned software tools for personal benefit, often at the expense of others. At Hack Day Paris we reclaim the original meaning as makers, coders and inventors come together to build something new, ruthless and brilliant.

Past Inspiring Events

Hack Day Paris may well be the first of its kind in the French capital, but it is inspired by a long history of events around the world and locally. Check out some of these event which have shaped our vision for this event…

Competition & Prizes

Grand Prize: €1500

The main prize will be awarded by our core jury of experts from the industry. There is no given theme, the winners will be judged for their innovation. In addition to the main competition, our sponsors may also offer side prizes on specific themes.

What will you hack?

The theme of Hack Day Paris is Build Something Brilliant. There are no restrictions on entries except that it can be built and demoed onsite during the 2-day event. No API requirements, thematic restrictions… you don't even need to hack in code. With the possibilities so broad, how will you decide what to build?

We recommend you build something you're passionate about. A novel idea you've never had time to try out? A solution to an everyday problem? Perhaps you want introduce your favorite technology to a space entirely new to you.

What does a brilliant hack look like? We'll suggest some of the winners from previous similar events:

Looking for ideas or a team before the event? Join the discussion on our Google Group.


Matt Rolandson

Matt Rolandson

Matt has spent the past 10 years using customer experience design and brand strategy to help businesses show up in ways that make people care. He leads engagements that set the stage for creating great brands and products and works with design teams to execute strategy. Matt has worked with executives at Disney, Target, Apple, Gap, Coca-Cola, L.L. Bean, Cingular, DirecTV, Motorola, HP, Autodesk, Kohler, Shangri-La, and Four Seasons. Prior to Ammunition, he was President of MetaDesign and a Strategist at frog design leading design and innovation programs.

A native San Franciscan, Matt is a graduate of UC Berkeley where he studied sociology and architecture, and is also the namesake for Bianchi’s commuter bicycle—Rollo—the highest quality, lowest priced bicycle ever produced by the venerable Italian brand.

Gaël Duval

Gaël Duval

Gaël Duval has created Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva Linux) in 1998, a popular Linux distribution and co-founded MandrakeSoft. Since 2007, he is the Chairman and CTO of Ulteo, an Open Source application delivery and virtualization solution for corporates.

Olivier Ezratty

Olivier Ezratty

Olivier Ezratty is a freelance digital media strategy consultant helping startups and large organizations shape their solution, ecosystem and business strategies. He is involved in many startup and innovation communities: teaching, coaching and doing startups due diligences for investors, and also working with corporations in the telecom and media industry sectors. He shares his in-depth industry analysis and creative common licenced reports on his blog "Opinions Libres" (free opinions, http://www.oezratty.net) including a Digital Economy Startup Guide (15th edition) and a thorough 240+ pages report on the Consumer Electronics Show every year since 2006.

Stephan Ramoin

Stephan Ramoin

Born in Nice in 1971, Stephan Ramoin, graduated with a Masters Degree in Marketing and Management. In 1995, he began his professional career as Sales Manager at VIVENDI UNIVERSAL PUBLISHING GROUP. At that time, he assumed the development of over 100 publishers overseas. In 2000, Stephan joined the French start-up MULTIMANIA S.A, as Partnerships Director. Once LYCOS Europe Gmbh acquired Multimania, he then contributed to the restructuring of the BU’s organization as its European Managing Director.

The combination of his experience in the field of Domain Names, his seeing the potential for the development of such an industry, and his curiosity for new challenges led him to be interested in the acquisition of Gandi in 2005. Today, thanks to his visionary leadership and strong managerial skills, he oversees the ongoing development of Gandi Group with the objective of maintaining its position as the alternative provider of domain name and Cloud Hosting services.

Sam Hocevar

Sam Hocevar

Sam graduated from École Centrale Paris in 2002. Since then, he has worked as a research engineer and manager, working on projects as various as video-on-demand appliances, computer security, train simulators, and embedded image processing software. He is currently an R&D engineer at DONTNDO Entertainment, working on this young French game studio's first title for HD consoles.

Sam is very active in the opensource movement, having been part of the core VLC development team in the late 90s and early 2000s, and a long-time Debian developer. He was Debian project leader from 2007 to 2008 term. He is also a contributor to various projects such as Wikipedia or GNOME.


We've lined up some generous sponsors to help us make sure there is enough food, wifi, space & prizes for everyone.

Premier Sponsors

  • Viadeo
  • 3scale

Supporting Sponsors

  • Danone Communities
  • MongoHQ

Organizing Sponsors

  • La Ruche
  • Joshfire

Media Partners

  • Silicon Maniacs
  • FrenchWeb
  • L'Atelier

L’équipe Hack Day Paris

We're just some Parisian hacks who want to see this happen. If you can make it to Paris, we want you at the party.

Join the discussion on our Google Group or on twitter.