SUU Hackers and Hustlers 27-hour Secret Build Challenge

Published: November 30, 2023 | Author: Mary Amateis | Read Time: 2 minutes

Competition participants sitting in a classroom

The Dixie Leavitt School of Business and Miller Center for Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Professional Sales and the School of Engineering, were thrilled to host the first-ever “Hackers and Hustlers: 27-Hour Secret Build Challenge”. The competition allows students to develop their teamwork, sales, and creativity skills while also offering a chance to win a cash prize. The 27-Hour Secret Build Challenge requires students to collaborate with peers from different majors and circumstances, assemble a team, build something they can sell and market the finished product to a panel of judges from various professions. The prize money was sponsored by The Larry H. & Gail Miller Center for Entrepreneurship and Professional Sales. Alex Meisner Construction kindly donated money for meals and our local Papa Johns fed the hungry hackers and hustlers. 

“We wanted to help give students a place where they can make new friends that they might not have made outside of this competition,” said Spencer Huff, Miller Center student engagement specialist. “We wanted to also help students see how their skills can be used to build and grow businesses.”

Student teams were tasked to build a game of their choosing– board game, card game, etc. The theme was not announced beforehand, ensuring all student teams had to rely on each other's innovation, collaboration and quick thinking to get the project done. They had 27 hours to not only build their product but come up with a marketing strategy to sell the product as well. 

Along with first, second and third place, judges' choice awards were given to select teams. Some of the most notable were Best App Concept, Best Mechanism, Best Craftsmanship, etc. 

The teams were awarded as follows:

  • 1st Place: Word Vomit- $2,000
  • 2nd Place: Wizards of Wonk- $1,000
  • 3rd Place: The Interns- $750
  • Best App Concept: Bop- $450
  • Most Strategic: Naval Warfare- $200
  • Best Craftsmanship: Against All Odds- $200
  • Artisan Award: Pirate Escape- $300
  • Best Mechanism: Clockwork- $300
  • Most Difficult: Mysti-Cube- $200
  • Best Business Plan: NEXHUB/Batteries Not Included- $300
  • Most Intense: Shadow of the Enigma- $450

The Hackers and Hustlers event was put on by the Larry H. & Gail Miller Center for Entrepreneurship, and Professional Sales. Timothy Christiansen, President of the Entrepreneurship Club helped market the event through student engagement club activities. Both the Miller Center and Professional Sales are committed to enriching students' lives with opportunities to develop skills that will help them succeed in the workplace, while still providing fun and involvement amongst peers. To be involved with next year's “Hackers and Hustlers”, contact Tyler Stillman, director of Entrepreneurship and professor of marketing at

Tags: CurStu Professional Sales School of Business

Contact Information:

Nikki Koontz