Catalyst Hack

An all-female hackathon to inspire the next generation of girls in STEM
Spring 2019 | London, UK
Sign-ups coming soon

What is Catalyst Hack?

Catalyst Hack is an all-female hackathon for anyone aged 18-24 who identifies as female/non-binary. It is a unique community initiative organised by Rolls-Royce engineers to encourage young minds to focus their creativity and ingenuity to use tech to help solve a social issue - the STEM gender gap.

The challenge is to design a concept for a video game that will inspire the next generation of girls in STEM. Over the course of 27 hours, participants will work in teams to showcase and code their novel game ideas. But most importantly, you don't need to be experienced or a coder to participate. We will have mentors and workshops throughout the day to support you in making your ideas a reality.

Our mission is to accelerate change in closing the STEM gender gap. This is the first ever Catalyst Hack but our aim is to make this an annual event with a new challenge every year.

Let's change the game for girls in STEM

Every team needs…

The artist

A graphics designer with an eye for aesthetics to make your game a pleasure to play

The Game Designer

Someone who has the intuition and knowledge to tap into player psychology and make innovative games that are fun and inspiring

The techie

An aspiring tech whiz who can code your ideas into realities

The strategist

Someone with business sense, planning skills and a knack for marketing to make your game go viral

female engineers in the UK (the lowest in Europe)
years (at least) to close the gap in computer science & physics
increase in UK's labour value by increasing women in STEM

The STEM gender gap

Girls and young women have long been missing in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The stark disparity has sparked many prominent debates about why this is the case – but one thing is for certain – only a fraction of girls pursue STEM studies and even fewer continue to pursue careers in these fields. Engineering & technology will experience the highest growth in the coming decades. – failing to include half the population will stifle innovation in helping us solve the challenges that society faces.

Tech prizes
and an opportunity for the best game idea to be developed with the support of Rolls-Royce & Bossa Studios
workshops & mentoring to develop your tech, business and design skills



8:30 AM   Doors Open

9:30 AM   Opening Ceremony

10:30 AM   Let the hacking begin!

11:30 AM   Workshop 1: Designing an award-winning app (Bossa Studios)

12:00 PM   Lunchtime

05:30 PM   Women in STEM - Careers Panel


7:30 AM   Morning Yoga Sequence

8:30 AM   Breakfast

12:00 PM   Lunchtime

01:30 PM   END Hacking


How much will Catalyst Hack cost me?

There are no fees to register or participate in Catalyst Hack. All food, swag and prizes are completely free. For participants travelling from outside of London, you can get a reimbursement of up to £50 for travel and accommodation.

Who can attend?

Anyone aged 18-24 years old and identifies as female/non-binary may attend.

We expect every attendee, from participants, mentors, organisers to judges to be respectful. Harassment and abuse are never tolerated. If you are in a situation that makes you uncomfortable during the event, please let the organisers know.

Catalyst Hack is all about inclusivity. Everyone has the right to hack in a safe and welcoming environment.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behaviour are expected to comply immediately. Sponsors, judges, mentors, volunteers, organisers and anyone else at the event are also subject to this anti-harassment policy.

What should I bring?

You should bring a valid ID, laptop, chargers, and other devices you may want to use.

Wear something comfortable to sit in on Saturday since you'll be hacking away (maybe not pyjamas though, there may be potential recruiters about).

Dress smart casual on Sunday for your pitches to the judges.

Do I need to have a team beforehand?

Nope! You can form teams during the hackathon. Each team can have 3 to 5 individuals.

If you are joining as a team, please make sure to include your team members' names in your applications. This will make it easier for us to organise everyone on the day.

Do I need to be good at coding?

Not at all! You don't even know how to code to participate.

We're looking for creative teams with innovative ideas, a solid plan and a drive to learn.

Throughout the hackathon, there will be workshops and mentors to help you, and you can also learn from other participants.

How can I get involved as a mentor, judge, panellist or sponsor?

Please email us at catalyst.hack@rolls-royce.com, we would love to have you!

Have you ever wanted to get a taste of entrepreneurship, app development, or game design?
Be the change you want to see.

“Women need to shift from thinking “I’m not ready to do that” to thinking “I want to do that- and I’ll learn by doing it.”

Sheryl Sandberg ─ COO, Facebook

“If we do not share our stories and shine a light on inequities, things will not change.”

Ellen Pao ─ FOUNDER, Project Include

Women in STEM panel

Roberta Lucca

Roberta Lucca

Serial Entrepreneur | Founder | Chief Evangelist

Our keynote speaker is a co-founder of BAFTA-winning Bossa Studios (multi-million $ revenue games Scaleup) and BOLDR (part game, part AI virtual coach in exploration mode). In the past 15 years, she has built and launched over 20 games and mobile products. She has been featured in the Forbes Top 50 Women in Tech, Inspiring Fifty UK, Top 30 Women in games and Top 35 Women under 25 by Management Today. Check her out @ https://betalucca.com/

Our sponsors & partners

This event would not have been possible without the contributions and volunteers from the following organisations:

Our Headline partners
Improbable   Bossa Studios

Community Partners


Coming soon!

London, UK

Need a place to stay?

We’ve partnered with some local accommodation to offer discounts. When your application has been accepted and confirmed, you will receive a discount code.