Gather with 1,000 students from around the world and industry leaders at the University of Waterloo to collaborate and bring your ideas to life in 36 hours.
Hack the North aims to empower students like you who are eager to learn and create by providing an environment for you to explore and build with workshops, mentorship, and hardware. Let us take care of travel, food, and the details, so that you can grow your ideas beyond a vision.
Watch the recap video
The University of Waterloo is home to Canada’s largest engineering school — a pipeline for engineering talent for the world’s leading companies. Ranked among the top 50 engineering schools in the world, the school’s reputation for excellence is built on the foundation of co-op education and a bold history of innovation.
Chamath Palihapitiya is Founder and CEO of Social Capital, whose mission is to advance humanity by solving the world's hardest problems. Social Capital invests in and starts breakthrough companies in areas including healthcare, education, financial services and enterprise. Before founding Social Capital, Chamath was a member of the senior executive team at Facebook and a key driver behind its rise to become one of the most important and impactful companies in the world. Prior to Facebook, Chamath held leadership roles at Mayfield Fund, AOL and Winamp. He was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Canada, and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo. Chamath is also Owner and Director of the NBA's Golden State Warriors.
Hack the North is Canada’s biggest hackathon, where 1,000 students of different skill levels come together from around the world to experiment and create unique software or hardware projects from scratch. We empower and enable teams to make something great in only 36 hours by providing an abundance of resources like workshops, mentors, sponsors, and hardware components.
Students of any education level from anywhere in the world are eligible to apply for Hack the North!
Admission to Hack the North is completely free. We also provide food and accommodation for the entire event and help out as much as we can with your transportation to and from the University of Waterloo!
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 need to fly to Hack the North, we subsidize as much of your plane ticket as possible.
You can form teams of up to 4 people. There are no restrictions for team members, so you can team up with hackers of any school, country, or experience level. Teams can be formed before or during the event.
Hack the North welcomes students of all skill levels. In previous years, 30% of students have attended Hack the North as their first hackathon. 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 be eager to learn, and excited to meet lots of awesome people.
No. In the interest of fairness, students should not be working on their projects before Hack the North begins and we do not allow participants to work on pre-existing projects. However, you can familiarize yourself with all the tools and technologies you intend to use beforehand! Hardware will also be provided to hackers who fill out hardware request forms made available after they have been accepted to the event.
Previously, we’ve held workshops and talks for a range of skill levels from beginner to advanced like Intro to Web Development and Virtual Reality. We’ve also had introductory workshops to various programming tools such as APIs, databases and platforms. Activities like team finding sessions, meetups, and even karaoke happen throughout the weekend. Whether it’s for relaxation or health, novelty or competition, our team has something exciting prepared for you!