Hack Western is Western University's annual student-run hackathon, allowing students to innovate, build and create amazing technologies.

Hack Western is one of Canada’s largest annual student run hackathons and will be taking place at Western University. Hack Western 7 will welcome more than 600 students from November 20nd to 22nd, 2020. Participants will collaborate in teams of up to four to build web, mobile, and hardware projects, while participating in workshops, learning from mentors and competing for prizes. Our sponsors are central to Hack Western’s success, and allows the event to be free of charge for all students.

Hack Western's theme this year is building anything, anywhere! Despite these difficult times, we want to encourage everyone to keep discovering their interest in tech. No matter where you are, we want you to take the first steps in building your side project or billion dollar startup.

View full rules

Prizes

$15,458 in prizes

First Place Overall

Hack Western will provide each member from the first place overall team with their choice of an Xbox Series S or PS5 Digital Edition. Winners will also be awarded with tickets to Pinnacle (https://pinnacle.us.org/).

Note: Winners that choose the PS5 should be aware that of possible delays until they are back in stock. Hackers have the options to wait, or receive Amazon gift cards as an alternative prize.

Second Place Overall

Hack Western will provide each member from the second place overall team with their choice of a Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch or an Apple Watch SE.

Third Place Overall

Hack Western will provide each member from the third place overall team with their choice of Apple AirPods or Google Pixel Buds.

Fourth Place Overall

Hack Western will provide each member from the fourth place overall team with their choice of a one year Netflix subscription or a one year Disney+ subscription

Fifth Place Overall

Hack Western will provide each member from the fifth place overall team with $75 Amazon gift cards

Best Fintech Hack

Scotiabank will provide the each member of the winning team an iPad with Apple Pencil

Best Health Hack

Sun Life is awarding $100 Amazon gift cards to the team with the Best Hack showcasing how technology can help all of us live healthier lives.

Making the Mundane Fun!

RBC is looking for the best tool that will make mundane activities fun for their end users. What better way to reward your work with some CASH! Our prize is $500/per person based on a team of 4 people. The winning team will have demonstrated originality which offers a sleek design for our end users.

Best Machine Learning Hack for Government

The Hack Western Organizing Team will be providing four (4) $100 Amazon gift cards for the team with the best machine learning model using any Canadian government’s Open Data. For example, opendata.london.ca is London’s data portal with hundreds of potential datasets, but teams can use data from any Canadian city, Province or the Federal Government. The winning model will be the one which if implemented at scale could provide the most value to the government or citizens, uses machine learning best practices and is feasible to implement given appropriate resources.

Best hack to improve CRA’s service to Canadians || Meilleur piratage pour améliorer le service aux Canadiens

Using the emerging technologies of Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence, improve Canada Revenue Agency’s service to Canadians. Winners are guaranteed an interview for a student position at CRA and the opportunity for a mentorship session with a Director General at the Information Technology Branch

Améliorer les services offerts par l’Agence du revenu du Canada aux Canadiens au moyen de nouvelles technologies de l’apprentissage machine ou de l’intelligence artificielle. Les gagnants bénéficieront d’une entrevue pour un poste d’étudiant à l’Agence et auront la possibilité de participer à une séance de mentorat avec un directeur général de la Direction générale de l’informatique

FuturFund: Women in Financial Literacy

FuturFund is looking for the best tech-based solution aimed at improving money management and financial literacy skills in young Canadians. The winning team with be awarded AirPods!

To be considered for the “FuturFund: Women in Financial Literacy” prize, teams must be gender balanced (ie. teams of four have at least two female identifying members, teams of three have at least one female identifying member, etc.). Submissions will be judged by female professionals in the financial literacy sphere, and will be judged based on the following criteria: impact, creativity, presentation, and variety of skills used.

TELUS Leverage Technology to Manage/Improve any Mental Health Related Issue (2)

At the end of the hackathon, TELUS looks forward to your projects tackling the issue of mental health that our society faces, across all generations. Feel free to be creative and explore the area of mental health or go with TELUS' sub-theme of Cyber-bullying.

The first place team will be awarded a $200 Amazon Gift Card per participant.

The second place team (Best Pitch) will be awarded a $50 Amazon Gift Card per participant.

Winners will also be given priority during job applications.

Perfect Pitch

Students must pitch their ‘hacks’ to Deloitte judges, groups will be judged. Hackers will be “judged” on Presentation Skills, Business Model, Technology Complexity and Wow Factor. Winners would be able to pick between JBL 500BT Sound Isolating Headphones or a Google Nest Mini

Best Domain Registered with Domain.com

Register a .tech, .space, or .online domain name using Domain.com during the weekend. Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. Each winning team member will receive a PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger & Domain.com Backpack.

Best use of Google Cloud

Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. See full list of products here: g.co/cloud. Each winning team member will receive a Google Nest Mini.

Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key (2)

Using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator, build a hack for your chance to win a Grove Beginner Kit, with Arduino Uno R3 included. 1 prize for each winning team member with 2 winning teams per event!

Best use of DataStax Astra

Leverage DataStax Asta's powerful cloud database service in your project this weekend for a chance to win YubiKey Security Keys. Getting started in minutes with 10 GB free, no credit card needed.

Build the best AR/VR application using the echoAR platform

By creating a project with echoAR you will enter to win:
1. A $50 Amazon gift card (per team);
2. 1-month free Business Tier Access (per team);
3. Selected projects will be featured on our “Inspiration Page”.
Participants MUST use the echoAR platform as part of their project to be eligible for a reward.

1517 Prize for Most Novel Hack

$1K grant, $10K of AWS credits, and mentorship from 1517 for the most novel hack we see during Hack Western 7. At least one member of the team must be in undergrad or high school. Team must be interested in continuing to work on their project post-hackathon.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

Eligibility

Any student (must be a current student) who has been ACCEPTED to participate and hacked at Hack Western is eligible to submit a project. Teams can consist of 1-4 members. Please see Rules for further guidelines.

Judges

Gamaliel Obinyan

Gamaliel Obinyan
Scotiabank

Daniela Ferrari

Daniela Ferrari
Scotiabank

Annie Wu

Annie Wu
Scotiabank

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
  • Technical Difficulty
  • Polish
  • Usefulness
  • Demonstrates Learning