ETHDenver 2020 Judging Overview

ETHDenver is the largest BUIDLathon in the world (hundreds of teams will be competing for only 20 finalist spots!), so we designed the judging process to be as fair and efficient as possible, given the enormous variety of BUIDLer skill sets, Judge backgrounds, and project types we’ll see. We’re also making a huge change this year by getting the community involved throughout the judging process! If you’re a team looking to win, you’ll need to follow the next few sections carefully to ensure your project is on point. We will of course remind you during the event of the details and have lots of Stewards onsite available for questions. We hope having this handy guide will ensure a smooth, fun, and exciting experience.

Click Here for ETHDenver 2020 Official Bounties

Click Here for DAO Submission Instructions

Judging Map

Judging Process Improvements

We are making further improvements to the judging process this year to build upon our successful changes from last year. Our high level goal this time around is to increase the “science fair” feel and activities, and experiment with cool decentralized tech! Changes include:

  • Increasing judging duration from 2 hours to 3 hours.

[NEW!] DAO Community Voting

ETHDenver attendees will earn XP in the ETHDenver BuffiDAO throughout the event by participating in challenges, interacting with sponsors, and completing other activities. This XP can then be used to vote on project submissions as part of the judging process! In the first round, professional judges and community members will have equal voting power, but in the second round of judging (on the main stage), community members will have nearly 100% say in determining the ultimate ETHDenver finalists!

[NEW!] Advance Colorado Track

We’re excited to announce the Advance Colorado Track in partnership with the State of Colorado. Bounties and prizes offered in this track are focused on building prototypes for specific use cases that benefit the State of Colorado and its citizens. To participate, you must first submit your project to the Open or Impact track, and then also submit it to the Advance Colorado Track alongside any bounties your project qualifies for.

[NEW!] Exploration Track

We’re also excited to announce the Exploration Track, a competition for everyone and anyone, in-person or remote, to share your idea with the community and receive feedback and support from industry leaders. This track is for those who:

  • Came all the way to ETHDenver and for some reason were not able to finish the hack

Unlike the Advance Colorado Track, competing in this track is not part of general Open/Impact track project submissions, bounties, and judging. It has its own judges, awards, and criteria, so click here to learn more about it and participate! A special thank you to CryptoChicks and team for putting this track together.

Judging Criteria

All projects will belong to either the Open or Impact track. In addition to their core track, projects can also submit to the Advance Colorado track and complete bounties. Similar to last year, we are strongly promoting diversity and impact projects, but that doesn’t mean you can’t snag a sweet prize with some sick engineering or user experience. We designed the following criteria to reward strong projects without favoring any specific type (e.g., dApps vs developer tools).

All projects in the Open Track will be judged by the following criteria:

The Impact Track will not only be judged by the Open Track criteria, requiring great engineering and user experience, but also on the following additional categories:

Judging Schedule on Sunday, February 16th

Submitting Your Project

Submitting your project can take up to 30 minutes if you aren’t familiar with the platform, so please begin submitting your project at least 1 hour before the deadline to ensure you have time to connect with the ETHDenver team in case you have any questions about the submission process. Please remember: you will need to submit it multiple times — once for the Open or Impact track and again for the Advance Colorado Track and each bounty you incorporated.

The DAOstack blockchain-powered submission portal will be linked from the page when ETHDenver begins on February 14th and not before. Submission criteria will be finalized at that time, but you can plan to submit approximately the following:

  1. Project name

How Teams Win

Judging will be broken up into two rounds. In the first round, each group of Open or Impact Judges will review their assigned projects and vote for up to 5 projects to advance to the final round. Although each judging group will consist of 2 judges, each judge can vote independently. Concurrently, all ETHDenver community members can also walk around, or watch YouTube submissions, and vote on their favorite projects. They can also vote for up to 5 teams. Bounty sponsors will have their own Bounty Judges reviewing projects that have completed their bounties and will circulate independently of Open and Impact judging groups. The same applies to Advance Colorado Track Judges.

The projects that advanced to the final round will then publicly present on stage to a panel of Celebrity Judges and a crowd of community members. The top 5 Open and Impact projects are called Finalists, and they will be decided by community voting through the DAO. Celebrity Judges will give out additional awards to their favorite teams, but do not decide the finalists!

Please Review the Full Details Below:
First Round — Team Guidelines

  1. Projects must be submitted by 8:00am on Sunday, February 16th.

First Round — Community Voting and Judge Guidelines

  1. All Judges will be assigned to two-person judging groups by 9:30am based on:
  • Their self-identification as “Business/Operations/Investing/Design” vs “Technologist/Engineer/Developer” (to keep the same proportions between each group) and

2. At 9:30am, Judges will be assigned their teams and XP, and obtain their judging packet from the organizers with judging forms for each team.

3. Starting at 10:00am Judges will see up to 15 teams, spending a maximum of six minutes per team. For example: Greeting (1 min), Presentation (3 min), Questions (2 min).

4. Also starting at 10:00am, community members (including BUIDLers) are strongly encouraged to see other projects and vote for their favorites. The community as a whole, has equal voting power to the total voting power of the professional judges, and we encourage you to use it!!

5. At the end, each community member and Judge votes independently for up to 5 teams via the DAO. Each team the Judge or community member determines deserves to move on to the main stage will get the full weight of that person’s vote. This is a binary decision so no need to worry about giving a percentage score!

Final Round:

  1. The Top 20 teams will be notified of their presenting order and must be waiting in the green room located directly right of the Rainbow Stage (Floor 1) when they are one of the next three teams to present. Teams will again have six minutes to provide their full presentation.

Bounties — How to Win


During the first round of judging, Bounty Judges will circulate separately to projects that have fulfilled their Bounty. If you completed a Bounty, please do not vacate your table until you are seen by the Bounty Judges.

Bounty Guidelines

  1. If no one is present at your table when the Bounty Judges arrive, your submission will be forfeit from Bounty Judging. We cannot predict how long it will take for Bounty Judges to get to your table, as it depends on how many entries each Bounty receives, so please be patient and take turns keeping at least one person present.

Bounty Judge Guidelines

  1. Bounty Judges will either utilize the Open/Impact judging criteria or deploy their own to judge their Bounty submissions. Bounty judging criteria are listed in each bounty.


The ETHDenver team has been incredibly impressed with the quality of projects we’ve seen before, and picking a “winner” quickly becomes a game of inches and preferences. This is why for the second year in a row, we have chosen to split each track’s prize pool equally among the Top 5 teams in their track. For example, if there are 13 Open teams and seven Impact teams in the final round, the Top 5 Open teams will split the Open Track prize and the Top 5 Impact teams will split the Impact Track prize.

Celebrity Judges
Celebrity Judges will not be deciding the Open/Impact track finalists, but will be selecting their favorite team to receive a recognition award and accompanying monetary prize. Going home with the “Vitalik’s Choice” award would be an honor to us, and, we hope, to you.

Bounties will have a huge variety of prizes including swag, tokens, cash, and more, and will give you the opportunity to be announced on the main stage!

Photos & After Party

Whether your team wins an award or not, we want to recognize every team’s efforts. At 5:00pm, immediately following the closing ceremony, music will start playing and food, beer and wine will be served. It’s time to celebrate a weekend of making new friendships and BUIDLing! Be sure to get your team together with our photographer at the photo backdrop near the entrance anytime throughout the Experience Colorado Afterparty (5:00–10:00pm), and we’ll add you to our event album.

BUIDLing Your Team

If you don’t have a team yet, don’t stress! There are several ways you can connect with other BUIDLers right now. Join our Discord and start chatting with others looking for projects in the #find-a-team channel, hop in our Telegram group, meet people at #BUIDL Week activities, or consider attending a blockchain meetup near you.

If you arrive at ETHDenver and still don’t have a team, there will be an “icebreaker” session during the day, prior to the opening ceremonies on Friday, February 14th, where you can meet teams looking for more members or connect with other solo hackers looking to partner up. If you bring an idea along, you’ll have the opportunity to share it. We’ll also have one final icebreaker session at 8:00pm, immediately following the Opening Ceremonies, at the same time #BUIDLing begins.

Team Guidelines

  1. You need at least two people to form a team. ETHDenver is not a solo sport; collaboration is key. The max for any one team is four people. Any mix works, but a sample team might have: back end coder, front end coder, UI/UX designer and business/project manager.


Our continued experimentation and evolving judging methodology is an integral part of making ETHDenver 2020 the best out there. We sought to maximize community involvement, set fair judging criteria, recruit a diverse set of talented Judges, and establish clear guidelines to get the very best projects discovered and rewarded. We’re confident you’ll have a great time and look forward to seeing you all next month!

If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to our Judging and Bounties Stewards, Viktor Bunin and Gregory Rocco, at

If you still haven’t applied to ETHDenver 2020, join us by APPLYING today. Applications are still being accepted based on availability.