The BSides Las Vegas Innovation Challenge

The BSides Las Vegas Innovation Challenge
Aka “The Science Fair”
Produced by: A.P. Delchi

Remember the heady days of the science fair? Demo parties? People coming together to show off the amazing bits of awesome that they had made in their basement? It’s time to revive this tradition and bring it to the modern day security conference. From an open call to the world, twelve teams representing hackerspaces and maker groups will be selected to come to Las Vegas to compete in four categories in front of a panel of  judges to demonstrate what they have accomplished. Awards will be based on cash and hardware provided by sponsors and donations from across the industry.

Get your hackerspace, maker group, or team of friends who tinker in your basement and prepare your best projects and innovations to be presented to the BSides Las Vegas conference. This is an open call to groups that have established themselves, or are up and coming and ready to amaze the world. Submission methods are up to the group, but videos, pictures and live demonstrations are suggested. The call for submissions will be seeking entries for the following categories:

Category One: Things that make things.

Did your group build a 3D printer, laser cutter, CNC device or some other piece of awesome that helps you make other things? What did you do with it after you built it? For example some folks have built 3D printers and used them to fabricate parts from skateboard wheels to carrying cases. Show us what you built, and what you built with it!

Category Two: Biohacking

Has your group experimented in gene splicing, implants, aeroponics, automated hydroponics, biofuels or other such biologically inspired projects? Bring your beakers and your Jacobs ladders to the people who rarely hear about such things. Innovations such as a kit to test food to see if it contains GMOs, Innovative home farming methods using automation and chemistry are what we are after.

Category Three: Vehicles

Get out of the garage and in front of the people! Have you turned your ordinary car into a hackmobile? Converted an old school bus into a rolling data center? Does your car have more storage space than your home computer? We are talking more than just thumpy bumpy sound systems – we want to see your home made Batmobile. Atomic engines to power! Nessus scanners active, rolling Wi-Fi hotspots activated! Make it so!

Category Four: Demos

From the good ‘ol days of demo parties, show us what you’ve got! You will have your moment on stage to display your awesome. Remember the talent show scene from Revenge of the Nerds? We now have EL wire and wearable MIDI. Take us on a magic carpet ride of awesome that shows what your team can do. Unlike the other categories, you will perform at the awards party and no one will know until it’s over who will win this category. Clap your hands everybody, and everybody clap your hands!

Open submissions start NOW. Submissions can be anything from photographs, videos, live streaming or wherever your imagination takes you. send your YouTube links or other submissions to: [email protected]

Six months out from the event a panel of judges will select three submissions from each category for a total of twelve groups who will be invited to come to BSides Las Vegas and make their presentations. From there a second panel of judges hand-picked from the old , new, and weird school will judge the submissions with the winners being announced at an open party during the conference.

Prize packages will be determined based on sponsor and donor contributions. At this time hundreds of trained squirrels are working to contact potential sponsors and contributors to make the rewards the best we can muster. As this develops we will keep you updated.

In each of the four categories, the prizes will be :
1st place : Amazing package of stuff and things, to further your awesome and make your innovations come true.
2nd place : A not as amazing as first place but still enough to give you toys to take back and build, innovate and make things happen.
3rd place: Guaranteed entry into the competition next year without having to go through preliminary judging.
Prizes for the first three categories will be awarded at an awards party to be held after judging. The demo competition and awards will happen as part of that party. Plans for live bands, DJ’s and sponsor demonstrations are in the works!

Does the idea of a show of awesome and supporting hackerspaces & maker group innovation make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Do you want to donate hardware from your company, or sponsor the event in other ways?  Let us know! We will be reaching out in every way we can to ensure that the sponsors and donors as well as the participants are recognized in the forward march of human driven innovation. Security BSides Las Vegas, Inc. is a registered Nevada non-profit educational and charitable organization and the contest organizers are ready to work with you to help make this an amazing competition.



1. All submissions must be made by teams representing a hackerspace,
maker group, workshop club , or similar social group seeking to create
such a space.. No individual submissions will be accepted.

2. Submissions will be accepted via email at
[email protected] until a date six months prior to
the competition at the Security BSides Las Vegas event. At that time a
panel of judges will determine three groups from each of the four
categories to invite to compete at the event, and three alternate
groups to be considered should any of the initially chosen groups drop
out or become disqualified. Groups chosen to compete will be notified
by email, and must accept within ten days of being notified.

3. Submissions can be made in any reasonable media that the
preliminary judges can view, such as papers, photographs, or
audio/visual demonstration of what the group intends to show at the

4. Submissions will be limited to the four categories : Making,
Biohacking, Vehicles, and Demonstrations.

5. Participants are wholly responsible for the legality of their
presentations, and agree to hold Security BSides Las Vegas, and it’s
staff harmless from any legal issues raised from their presentations.

6. In all presentations the primary concern will be safety. If at any
time the staff of Security Bsides Las Vegas , it’s event host, or any
legal entity feels that a presentation is endangering the safety of
the event it will be stopped and an opportunity to correct the issue
will be made available. Refusal to follow any instructions in so far
as safety or legal compliance will result in disqualification. No
pyrotechnics will be allowed, and any hazardous materials needed
should be disclosed in the proposal and must be reviewed by the
Security BSides Las Vegas staff prior to acceptance and again prior to

7. All groups are responsible for all financial aspects of their
participation , including but not limited to submissions,
transportation, lodging, equipment transportation and other expenses
related to their presentation.

8. The decision(s) of the judges in both the preliminary and final
contest are final. The demonstration competition will be judged by the
audience reaction to the presentation, as interpreted by the panel of
final judges.

9. Prizes will be awarded to a designated member representing the
winning groups in each category. The groups and individuals are
responsible for any transportation, fees, taxes, or other
responsibilities incurred by accepting the prizes.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from IT Security, Windows Scripting and other matters authored by James.Costello. Read the original post at: