Electronic Products & Technology

Canada’s largest hackathon comes to U of Waterloo

September 18, 2015  Stephen Law

Following the success of last year’s Hack the North, the University of Waterloo will once again host Canada’s largest international hackathon.

Working in partnership with Waterloo Engineering, the event is organized by Techyon, a nonprofit organization made up of University of Waterloo students. It will bring together 1000 exceptionally talented students from across the world and encourage them to learn new technical skills, collaborate with each other and solve problems using technology all in one weekend.

These 1000 undergraduates were accepted from a pool of 4600 brilliant applicants to participate in this year’s Hack the North. Attendees will consist of students from over 100 schools, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, University of Toronto and McGill University as well as schools in Australia, India, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Algeria, and Argentina. During the hackathon, they will have 36 hours to work together in teams to build mobile applications, web platforms, robots and more with mentorship from some of the largest tech companies in the world such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft. They are in a perfect space for cultivating young talent and bridging the gap between industry veterans and emerging leaders.

At the end of the event, teams will present their projects to an expert panel of judges including Qasar Younis, COO of Y Combinator, Steven Woods, Engineer Director of Google Canada and Mike Kirkup, Director of the Velocity entrepreneurship program at the University of Waterloo.


“It’s a test of grit, perseverance, and a labor of love, all of which goes into the creation of amazing hacks. It’s a place to meet some incredible people and share ideas. Hack the North was easily one of the best weekends of my life. For a firsttime hacker all I wanted was the experience. Never in the wildest of dreams did I expect to win.” said Karan Bir, one of the winners of last year’s event.

On Saturday Sept. 19, Hack the North, in partnership with Y Combinator, will host a panel on “Doing Things That Don’t Scale.” This talk will feature founders of Teespring, Bannerman, and Detroit Water Project, as they share their experiences of solving hard problems using technology.

“I’ve only been here for 12 hours and I’m just super impressed,” said Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, at last year’s event. “I think I have a little better sense about why the University of Waterloo works as well as it does for training potential founders and engineers.”

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