Unchain the Frame


Master blockchain, machine learning, industry APIs and open source technology while competing in a four-month virtual hackathon with more than $50,000 USD in prizes!





Prizes Still to be Given Away

Challenges and Prizes

Teams will be asked to participate in a series of three challenges focused around rapidly growing technologies… all connected to the IBM Z mainframe.

Phase III: Maximize the Mainframe

  • Must leverage a tool from two of the three technology categories
  • The winning projects will be showcased at IBM think in Vegas, so we’re looking for teams and solutions that are ready for the mainframe mainstream!
  • First place will receive $15,500 USD + a $2,500 travel stipend to come to Vegas for IBM think 2018
  • Second place will receive $7,500 USD + a $2,500 travel stipend to come to Vegas for IBM think 2018
  • Third Place will receive $5,000 USD + a $2,500 travel stipend to come to Vegas for IBM think 2018
  • November 8, 2017: Phase III Submissions Due (11:59pm PST)
    ○ Phase III Submissions reviewed by IBM and AngelHack Experts
  • November 14, 2017: Phase III Virtual Demo Day!
    ○ The Top Teams will pitch virtually to panel of 4 illustrious judges
    ○ Judges will deliberate and select the top 3 winning teams

How do you prevent a missed opportunity?
You get ahead of the game. Look beyond, look at the bigger picture.
Unchain the Frame.

The Unchain the Frame Virtual Hackathon is your key to unleashing early success. That’s because this challenge is focused on some of the most rapidly growing technologies in the marketplace, including Blockchain, Machine Learning, and Open Source technologies, combined with Industry APIs and the most scalable and secure platform. The IBM Z mainframe. Yes. The mainframe!

Mainframes sit behind the scenes, quietly, securely and efficiently running thousands upon thousands of processes every single second delivering high quality experience while meeting stringent compliance requirements. Continuous innovation ensures they have the highest security rating, fastest throughput with zero downtime.

But did you know that they also collect data? Lots and lots of it. It’s estimated that the majority of the world’s corporate data resides or originates on mainframes, and this includes things like transactions that generate that data. For example, processing more than $7.7 trillion USD in credit card payments annually, 29 billion yearly ATM transactions (an additional $1.7 trillion USD), not to mention the number of airline reservations … that’s a lot of transactions. In fact mainframes generate more than 30 billion transactions a day, more than the number of daily Google searches. And the newest generation of mainframe processes 12.6 billion transactions per day…against fully encrypted data!

What better way to experience this technology than a hackathon?!


What Can I Win?

Over $50,000 in prizes and trips!


Who Can Participate?

Developers, Designers, Entrepreneurs. In other words: ANYONE.


What Kind of Experience Do I Need?

The best part? You don’t need to learn a single new coding language to participate and utilize the technology categories.


Can we have a team? Will you help us form them

We’ll host team formation on the hackathon Slack just before Phase 1. Teams can be up to 5 participants



Blockchain with Hyperledger Composer and Hyperledger Fabric on IBM Z

Hyperledger Project, an open source collaborative effort to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies, is hosted by The Linux Foundation®. Create chaincode for blockchain using the LinuxONE Community Cloud, Hyperledger Composer and Hyperledger Fabric. Learn more.


IBM Machine Learning + Core Banking/Retail API’s

Infuse continuous intelligence into your enterprise using machine learning + Core Banking/Retail APIs. Leverage high quality self-learning behavioral models to extract hidden value from enterprise data securely, in place and in real time. Unlock valuable systems-of-record assets to access business-critical data via RESTful APIs exposed through IBM API Connect. Create innovative applications utilizing API calls to business operation processes running on a core banking system and simulated retail system on IBM Z. Learn more.


Open Source Cloud Native Workloads on IBM Z using Docker

IBM Z systems are engineered for secure data serving and modern applications, capable of massive transaction volumes, unprecedented scale and built not to fail or crack – ever. Docker is the leading software container platform that makes it easy for developers and sysadmins to package applications inside Linux® containers. Combine these two technologies along with the increasingly popular MEAN (MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, Node.js) stack to Unchain the Frame. Learn More.

Judging Criteria


Use of IBM Technology (Max 6 points)

Did the team integrate IBM technology into their solution? Two points for each IBM technology (from the ones presented) integrated.


Functionality (Max 5 Points)

Was a working, functional prototype (for round 1, is there a clear roadmap to functionality) demonstrated? How well does the solution perform and meet the purpose described?


Scalability (Max 5 Points)

Does this solution have the potential to have an impact at scale, globally?


Creativity (Max 5 Points)

How creative was the team in developing a unique and innovative solution for the challenge?


Design and Usability (Max 5 Points)

Rate the UX/UI, functionality and ease of use of the solution. For round 1, is there a clear consideration of design and usability.


Teams of up to 5 participants are allowed. All team members must have completed the participation agreement to compete.
You may not begin your project until the competition officially begins. Please don't come in and build on top of previous projects if you want to win.
You may enter the competition during any of the three phases.
Teams have full ownership of everything they build at our events and are free to do with it as they wish.
Winning teams will be subject to a code-review at some point following the event or immediately before winning.