CubStart 2018 FAQ 

Some Handy 👋 Links  

Link to CubStart Application (make sure to login or signup if you haven’t yet!) 

The Program

Quick bits: CubStart is a UC Berkeley-only beginner hacker program that consists of three workshops over three weeks. Dates are 10/13, 10/20, and 10/27 from 2-4pm, and attendance for all three workshops is mandatory. Participants in CubStart get guaranteed acceptance to Cal Hacks.

First things first… what is CubStart?

CubStart is a beginning hacker program to help hackathons be less intimidating and more accessible for everyone. We provide a mentorship program for team building, ideation, basic hackathon skills, and technical workshops to encourage those with little or no CS experience to try out hackathons and coding. Additionally, participants have guaranteed acceptance into Cal Hacks.

CubStart consists of three workshops held once a week in the three weeks before Cal Hacks (specifically, 10/13, 10/20, and 10/27 from 2-4pm), with small (and enjoyable!) homework assignments between each week. These workshops are designed to help beginners form teams, learn ideation and iteration techniques, prepare for the hackathon, and gain exposure to helpful frameworks and technology specific to their project.

When and where will CubStart be this year?

CubStart will be on Saturday 10/13, 10/20, and 10/27 from 2-4 pm.
The venue is currently being finalized, but we are anticipating it to be in Jacobs Hall.
Attendance is mandatory for all workshop dates.

What does the program look like?

The program is a combination of workshops, mixers, talks, and mentoring sessions. A basic schedule of the program can be seen below:


What will happen

  • Team formation, Introductions, Ideation + Brainstorming
  • Team meetings with mentors, finalizing + finessing your idea, worksession
  • Various workshops based on skill level and project


Quick bits: We’re looking for UC Berkeley students who are looking to attend Cal Hacks and have limited or no hackathon experience. You can make a team within CubStart or have members outside of CubStart (however, acceptance into Cal Hacks is not guaranteed for external team members) 

Who can apply?

Our program is targeted towards students who have had limited or no hackathon experience and are looking to participate in Cal Hacks. Due to logistics, our program is only for UC Berkeley students (but we are looking into expanding to other schools in the future!)

When are applications due?

Applications close on 10/8 at 11:59pm (the same time as the general Cal Hacks application closes). You can find the application on our portal at

What if I’ve never been to a hackathon before/what if I’m not an EE/CS major/what if I don’t know how to code or I’m a beginner?

It’s absolutely fine if you haven’t! This program is designed for beginners, and you don’t need prior coding or hackathon experience at all. Technical portions of our program will be structured so that people of all technical or non-technical backgrounds will learn.

What if I don’t have a team for Cal Hacks yet?

That’s perfectly fine — in fact, most of our applicants don’t have teams. We host a team mixer at our first session so participants can meet each other and form teams for the hackathon.

Can I apply to CubStart with my team?

Our application reviewing process accepts individuals on a person-to-person basis. There is no guarantee that all team members will get into CubStart

What happens if part of my team is not in CubStart?

Participants have the option of forming a new team within CubStart or staying with their current team. If participants decide to stay with their current team, the guaranteed acceptance to Cal Hacks is not extended to external team members. However, external team members are welcome for some portions of CubStart that are team-specific, such as one-on-one mentoring sessions.

If I’m applying to CubStart, do I also need to submit a Cal Hacks application?

For CubStart acceptance, a CubStart application on its own is sufficient. Acceptance to CubStart also entails Cal Hacks acceptance, regardless of whether or not a Cal Hacks application was submitted. However, if the applicant is rejected from CubStart, Cal Hacks acceptance is based solely off submitted Cal Hacks applications, if any. Because of this, we highly recommend CubStart applicants also submit a Cal Hacks application. 

Can’t find your question here? Let us know at 📧