AGCO is exploring how modern technology can solve real problems in agriculture and help our nation's farmers be more innovative and productive through The AGCO Accelerator Hackathon on January 31 and February 1 at the NCSA.  

This 24-hour build session on innovation in agriculture, will bring together student tech talent and community engineers, developers, and designers to focus on break-through technology. We have a few, specific challenges in mind.

  • Challenge 1:  As the world’s food producers, we use many pieces of high tech equipment to produce food for the world.  When our equipment is broken or is out of use for scheduled service, it costs us thousands of dollars/hours in lost revenue and puts the quality of our food at risk.  We challenge you to use our crop and livestock equipment data to help us develop optimized maintenance programs/applications that prevent breakdowns and identify the precise time our equipment needs serviced so we can increase revenue and produce the highest quality food possible.

  • Challenge 2:  Producing the world’s food is a tough job and it is becoming increasing difficult to find people to work on our farms.  We challenge you to look at our equipment data to help us benchmark and optimize our farms performance and then develop programs/applications that will 1) replace human labor with optimized automated controls or 2) provide less skilled labor with the tools needed to optimize equipment operation performance or 3) on large operations create equipment operator score cards that reward performance based on benchmarked performance KPI’s.
  • Challenge 3:  As the world’s food producers, nothing is more important to us than the land and animals in our care.  However, we are often accused of using unsustainable practices to produce the world’s food.  We challenge you to help us identify the environmental factors that are considered the most critical for environmental sustainability and then recommend hardware and software solutions that could be used on our equipment that will measure these factors. This will allow us to improve and report on our environmental impact specific to these identified sustainability benchmarks.

Attendees keep all of their own IP, and prizes include Nintendo Switches, Apple Watches, and iPads and we'll also have multiple drawings throughout the event for other goodies! 

To learn more, visit

Hackathon Sponsors


$4,000 in prizes

First Place

Option to select from Nintendo Switch, Apple Ipad, Apple Watches!

Second Place

Option to select from Nintendo Switch, Apple Ipad, Apple Watches!

Third Place

Option to select from Nintendo Switch, Apple Ipad, Apple Watches!

Best use of AWS Technology

Best use of AWS Technology - Amazon Echo Prize

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


This event is open to student tech talent and community engineers, developers, and designers. You must be at least 18 years old to participate. 


We couldn't possibly fathom the solutions you'll come up with, so we're keeping a very open mind with whatever you create. There are virtually no rules as to the nature of the solution you submit. We will consider both fully-functional solutions and not-yet-fully-functional solutions. You must be willing to demo the event to the judges at the conculsion of the event. A presentation is required. 


Misha Shah

Misha Shah
Site Manager, AGCO Acceleration Center

Paul Thornhill

Paul Thornhill
Product Development Manager, AGCO Corporation

Ryan Jelle

Ryan Jelle
IT Lead II

Cooper Thompson

Cooper Thompson
Department Lead, SmartConnect

Judging Criteria

  • Idea & Use Case (25 points)
    * Creativity: How creative or innovative is the idea? (15 points) * Viability: How “usable” is the idea? How relevant is the solution to the business problem(s)? Can it be used in real life effectively? (10 points)
  • Experience (25 points)
    * Intuitiveness: Is the user experience intuitive? Does it make sense? Can others easily understand your business solution and how to use it? (20 points)
  • Implementation (40 points)
    * Feasibility: Does it actually work? Could this solution scale as a real option with multiple users? (20 points) * Uniqueness: How unique/outside the box and creative is your solution? (20 points)
  • Presentation (10 points)
    * Pitch: Did the team present a solid, persuasive presentation? (10 points)
  • Best use of the AWS Technology
    This is a prize specific criteria for the Amazon Echo Show 8 - HD 8" smart display with Alexa. More details on how to win this prize will follow!

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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