Network for Information and Digital Access


Coordinating Organisation IMAGINE XYZ, Costa Rica
Organisers/Type of Organisation Research and technology development business
Initiative Type Digital design and prototype, FabLab, 3-D printing, robotics, Internet of Things, Big Data, Machine to Machine, start-ups
Field of Science Involved Science and technology (Computing, Electronics, Mechatronics, Robotics, Design, etc.)
Target Audience(s) Designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, hardware and software enthusiasts and different professional profiles, etc.
Reach National

Main Objectives

To develop new technological ideas, projects and prototypes able to generate a culture of innovation.

Description of work

Hardwarethon is a contest but more importantly a collaborative inventor’s space. It was initiated in 2014 by six Costa Rican engineers who wanted to empower people to create start-ups utilising all the maker trends and, in this way, help promote social and economic development in their countries. 

Whether individually or in a team, Hardwarethon consists of a 48-hour challenge where people from different careers develop projects and transform their ideas into real and valuable products and/or services. They are looking for real solutions through a technology focus on Internet of Things (IoT). However, the process starts one month before the contest. In this month, Imagine prepares the ‘Hardwarethoners’ in a number of different topics, such as: Business Models, IoT and Rapid Prototyping. The four-day weekend is used to complete their project.

At the end of the contest, all the participants have the opportunity to present their projects to a commission of experts and the best ideas are awarded. All teams interested in the continuation of their projects can eventually receive opportunities to be followed by professionals and start a new business.


In 2016, 18 teams (with 2 - 5 persons each) participated in the event, which was held at Museo de los Niños in San José, Costa Rica.

The winning projects were:

  • 1st place. ColorCode Interpreter. IoT spectacles that recognize objects through color code for blind people. Team Members: Dayana Mendéz, Jonathan Chaverri, Edwin Vásquez, Juan Sánchez and Cristian Navarro.
  • 2nd place. Amalgama. An IoT shirt for monitoring vital signals to prevent sleep apnea problems. Team Members: Genuar Núñez, Eduardo Castro, Jeiner Alvarado, John Umaña, Daniela Feoli.
  • 3rd place. The grid. An IoT prototype for a smart traffic signal. Team Members. Carlos Jenkins and Carolina Aguilar. Website:

In 2017, Hardwarethon was held at Museo de los Niños in San José, Costa Rica.

The winning projects were:

  • 1st place. Careable: a wearable that works with AI as an assistant for elderly people. User-friendly and controlled by voice. Team members: Eduardo Oviedo Blanco, Daniela Cordero Oviedo, Mariela Gamboa Oviedo and Pablo Douglas Castañeda.
  • 2nd place. B+. An automatic control device that helps water distribution companies with the chlorination and purification of water sources. Team Members: Abraham Arias Chinchilla, Anthony Fernández, Graciela Camacho, Iza Camacho, Álvaro Dehais Córdoba.
  • 3rd place. Roadlife. A device attached to the bicycle to prevent accidents. Team Members: David Marin Soto, Silvia Alpizar Rivera, Noel Pérez Caceres.

The next appointment is for Hardwarethon Nicaragua, that will be hosted from the 11th to 13rd of December at the Universidad Tecnológica La Salle in León.



Contact Details
Principal Contact Hugo Sanchez, Mechatronics Captain
Address San José, Costa Rica
e-mail Hugo Sanchez
Social Media Facebook
Twitter - @Hardwarethon
Hardwarethon 2017 (YouTube)