The Terminal hasn't changed much since the 1980s. Every other aspect of your workflow is radically different. Especially in the last decade, we’ve seen companies transform industries with the advent of collaborative software: Figma (collaborative design), Github (collaborate code), G Suite (collaborative Word and Excel) and more.

We expect real-time collaboration to dominate future markets as the pandemic runs its course and forces people and businesses online en masse. An entire frontier is now wide open to ambitious engineers.

What, then, is next? We believe is ripe for innovation.

What would this look like in multiplayer mode, built for teams? Surely there's an easier way to manage SSHing to AWS/GCP. How about chat, CMD+R across the team, and other plum integrations (Stack Overflow, Ruby docs, GPT-3)?

At the very least, reimagining the engineer’s command center is an interesting experiment. And if successful, your work has the potential to fundamentally change the work of every developer on the planet.

We’re excited to announce our second Pioneer Challenge: Build a New Terminal.

How It Works

This challenge has three distinct parts. Here's an overview:

Phase 1: The Hackathon. A 48-hour hackathon anyone can join, starting August 7th.

5 winners are selected from the hackathon and are incorporated for free into companies, if they'd like. No equity is exchanged. (All participants receive free credits.)

Phase 2: The Prototype Month. The 5 companies spend a month building out their prototype. Weekly progress videos are shared on Frontier.

Phase 3: The Championship. After a month, the winning team is selected both by popular vote and our team. The winner is awarded Pioneer Gold: $20,000 in exchange for 5% of the company.

To get started, register with your name and past projects here.


  • If you refer the winning team to us, we'll grant you 0.5% equity in the company. You'll need them to register with a unique link you can generate for yourself here.
  • There might be extreme circumstances where we can't grant you the equity (depending on the country you're in, for example). We'll attempt to exhaust all reasonable legal options to make good on this.


How do I know what to build?

Spend time talking to other developers, asking them about their problems, and build a product around it. Get creative. Here's a video to get your wheels spinning:

If I win the Hackathon, must I compete in the Challenge?


Where will the Hackathon take place?

All submissions will be hosted through Frontier. You are not expected to post on Frontier until Friday, August 7th.

Can we start hacking before the Hackathon begins?

No. All participants will start hacking on Friday, 12:00pm PT. Finalists will be required to share their code with the organizers to confirm they did not start coding before the event began.

What are the judging criteria for the Hackathon?

Judging criteria & prizes for the Hackathon and Challenge winners are outlined here.

Who’s judging the Hackathon & Challenge?

The Pioneer team will select 5 Hackathon winners. The top 3 projects in the Challenge will be chosen by popular vote. Pioneer will choose the winner from those remaining 3.

Can I incorporate and not participate in the Challenge?

In order to incorporate your company, you must commit to joining the 4-week Challenge.

Do I need co-founders?

No! You can get started alone. Our introductory audio-only call might be a fun way to meet others in a low-key fashion, if you'd like. Our Slack Group is another chance to connect.

How do you keep track of competitors' progress during the Challenge?

On Tuesdays and Fridays, the five competing teams will provide progress updates on Frontier. These updates are in addition to an internal WhatsApp group dedicated to more casual, frequent conversation.

I'm already in the Pioneer Tournament, how does this interact with winning the normal tournament?

Dual victory conditions is a bit of a non-goal. We recommend that you either (a) continue in the normal tournament, working on anything you'd like or (b) completely shift to trying this challenge. Doing both simultaneously would be hard.

What if I have more questions?

Email us at