Top 8 Hackathons That Data Scientists Should Participate In

Data science hackathons

Hackathons are sprint-like events to enable participants to define problems in a limited time period. These are aimed at developers, data scientists, graphic designers and project managers, allowing them to find the best solution to a given problem. They form a test-bed for machine learning professionals and data scientists.

Data science hackathons can be challenging to crack for beginners. However, one need not be an expert in the field to participate in one. In fact, competitions or hackathons are a great way to master one’s skills, add badges to one’s resume, find solutions to difficult problems and ultimately, make some money in a fun way. Platforms and data science communities including Machine Hack, Kaggle, DataCrunch and DataHack offer multiple hackathons and competitions to enable participants to compete with leading data scientists and machine learning experts to win, practice, learn and build their portfolio. 

Today, we list top data science hackathons that one should participate in: 

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Get Ready for the Year’s Most Prestigious Hackathon Presented by Genpact

Dare in Reality 

Professional services company Genpact has collaborated with Envision Virgin Racing– Formula E racing team and digital hackathon platform MachineHack of Analytics India Magazine to launch Dare in Reality. It is a two-week advanced-level hackathon directed towards data science professionals, artificial intelligence practitioners, machine learning engineers and other tech enthusiasts. The hackathon will encourage participants to showcase their skills by building an ML model that can predict the Envision Virgin Racing drivers’ lap time for qualifying sessions that ultimately helps decide the positions that they start the race in. 

One must have the knowledge and skills in multivariate regression, big dataset, underfitting vs overfitting, and optimising RMSLE to generalise well on unseen data. The first prize is $7,000, followed by $5,000, $3,000, iPad Air 128 GB and Apple AirPod. 

You can participate in the Dare in Reality hackathon here

Shiv Nadar University Delhi-NCR Launches An Annual Championship To Recognize Future Business Leaders In Data Analytics

Data Analytics Olympiad 2021 

The Academy of Continuing Education at Shiv Nadar University in Delhi-NCR, in association with MachineHack, launched the intermediate-level hackathon, Data Analytics Championship 2021, to further strengthen the data science community in India and mark a way for innovation in business analytics. 

For the hackathon, participants have to build an ML model and predict the sales of each product of each outlet of mega marts. They would also be needed to use the model to analyse the properties of the product in the stores and figure ways to increase the sales.

NeurIPS 2021 Deep Racer Challenge 

The NeurIPS 2021 Deep Racer Challenge provides participants with an opportunity to apply their deep learning expertise on real-world Deep Racer cars on a real-world track. Participants will train a reinforcement learning agent, that is, an autonomous car, to make it learn driving by interacting with its environment, a simulated track and by taking actions. The focus is on developing a model that can complete a lap as fast as possible without going off its track or crashing into other objects. 

Deep Chimpact: Depth Estimation for Wildlife Conservation

Hosted by Mathworks, the Deep Chimpact: Depth Estimation for Wildlife Conservation hackathon focuses on using ML to automatically estimate the distance between an animal and a camera trap in a series of camera trap videos provided to them indicating when animals are visible in each camera trap video. To complete the challenge, participants will have to predict the distance between the animal and the camera at each point in time. The first prize is $5,000. The top solution participants will get to co-author a research paper outlining the solutions published in NeurIPS 2021. 

Optiver Realised Volatility Prediction

Optiver Realized Volatility Prediction is a three-month-long hackathon to build models that predict short-term volatility for hundreds of stocks across different sectors based on the financial market volatility. Participants will be provided with hundreds of millions of highly granular financial data rows to design their models forecasting volatility over 10-minutes. The models will then be evaluated against real-market data collected in the three-month evaluation period after training. 


A hackathon solely designed for the underrepresented genders, Technica is hosted by the students at the University of Maryland. For this year’s hybrid hackathon, the topic is ‘Welcome Home’ to promote meeting new people, learning new things and receiving support. 


Hack4Retail is organised by the Fozzy Group and McKinsey & Company. The hackathon is directed towards data scientists, analysts, product managers and designers as individuals and as in groups. Candidates are allowed to use external data sources during the hackathon. The prize money is $15,000. 

IBM Z Student Contest 

IBM Z Student Contest by HackerEarth is powered by IBM Z Xplore to combine one’s data science skills. In this solo hackathon, one will progress through several technical challenges to uncover the parts of an escape vehicle. Towards the end of the challenge, once all the vehicle parts are collected, contestants will zoom out of the digital city and track engineers scattered throughout to help with assembling the vehicle. The grand prize is $1,500.  

Debolina Biswas
After diving deep into the Indian startup ecosystem, Debolina is now a Technology Journalist. When not writing, she is found reading or playing with paint brushes and palette knives. She can be reached at

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