in case you're confused

What is Hack the North?

Hack the North is Canada's Premier Hackathon, held at the University of Waterloo. A hackathon is an event where teams create meaningful projects from scratch in just 36 hours. We enable teams to make something great with our wide array of mentors, sponsors and hardware. Come join 1,000 students and industry leaders from around the world for a weekend of building, learning and fun.

Who can participate?

Any university undergraduate student from anywhere in the world is eligible to attend Hack the North. If you want to learn some new technologies, build something awesome and work with some of the brightest young minds out there, we want you at Hack the North. If you’re a high school student, give us a shout anyways- we might just be able to work something out for you too.

What if I’m new to this?

No worries. It’s definitely a plus to have prior coding or technical experience, but it’s not a requirement. We’ll have talks, mentors and workshops to help you with your project; hackathons can be a great place to learn new skills in a short amount of time. Just come eager to learn, excited to meet lots of awesome people and most importantly, come ready to build.

How much will Hack the North cost me?

Admission to Hack the North is completely free. We’ll also be feeding you for the entire event and will be helping out as much as we can with transportation!

How do I get to Hack the North?

We will be providing several buses from schools within driving distance of the University of Waterloo, as well as from nearby airports. For students who would need to fly to Hack the North, we are also working hard to subsidize as much of your plane ticket as possible, assuming you don’t try to fly first-class on us. More details on that coming very soon!

I don’t have a team or an idea!

Don't worry! We will be providing students many opportunities to connect with each other at the event to form teams, and hacking solo is allowed too. To help you with your idea, we will also be holding workshops and hosting several talks from inspirational people in the industry to help you come up with your idea; there’s always something cool to make.

How many people can be on my team?

Up to four people can be on a single team and your teammates do not have to come from the same university as you. Flying solo as a one-person team is also an option, although in our experience hackathons are more fun when you work together!

What should I bring?

A laptop, cables/chargers and your student card are the essentials. If you have a hardware hack in mind, bring along the needed components too! You can also bring your sleeping bag and toiletries. Toothbrushes will be provided, however.

What about hardware?

If you have specific hardware in mind, bring it with you. We will be doing our best lend out hardware at the event and enable you to work on your dream hack. More details about that will be provided closer to the event.

Can I start working on my hack before the event?

No. Students should not be working on their projects before Hack the North begins and we do not encourage participants to work on pre-existing projects; feel free to use third-party APIs and libraries though. If you really can’t wait and are just itching to get started, you can prepare by familiarizing yourself with the specific tools or technologies you intend to use in your project.

How does judging work?

A panel with some of the biggest names in tech will rate hacks based on creativity, technical difficulty, design, and usefulness. The top 10 overall projects will go to a final round of judging, where teams will demo what they built in front of all of Hack the North. New judges will be announced on a rolling basis on Twitter and Facebook, so make sure to follow us!

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