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Colin Schmidt
Created: November 17, 2016

We had a good discussion and brainstorm on organizing our first event, a hackathon, but it now requires further discussion from the group


We need to seed the startup culture, as it is currently next-to-non-existent. We are not going to do that with incumbent companies for the most part, so we need to get fresh blood into the system and focus on UFV, and perhaps the high schools as well. The whole point of such an event is to create positive press for the industry in Chilliwack to create awareness, having participants and observes alike concluding that it is feasible to start a tech company in Chilliwack. We need some of those students to be inspired and take the next steps, even if it takes some time to see the fruits from the effort.

In his book, Startup Communities, Brad Feld talks repeatedly about the largest issue most communities have within their local university: a lack of cooperation between the business department and the tech department(s). This event needs to bring business students and tech students together.

Finally, there must be a carrot, a value incentive for the students that goes beyond just the experience.

Suggestions Thus Far

  • Target both UFV and High Schools, but they compete in different divisions
  • Don’t limit the ideas, as long as they are tech-something, but also provide a list of problems to try solving for those that don’t already have a problem/solution in advance
  • Use a panel of three judges: Perhaps Tony Edgar, Brian Coombes, and Raymond Szabada
  • The judges will use a pre-published point criteria so the scoring and results are transparent
  • Business students work on the business and pitch, tech students work on the prototype/mock-up
  • Each team gets a fixed number of mentor minutes that they can spend as they choose between the different mentors. Mentors are available for a limited number of hours.
  • Depending on the number of entries, the Downtown Business Centre is willing to host the event at no charge. If there are too many teams for the DBC to support, we will need to talk to other facilities.


  • Target the UFV Reading break in February
  • Welcome and Introductions Friday 4PM
  • Hack Friday 5PM to Saturday 5PM
  • Presentations and Awards on Saturday 5PM to 7PM


  • We need one or more carrots, from one or more institutions
  • Additional carrots can come from sponsors

Next Steps

Please share any critiques and additional comments you have on such an event in the comments bellow. You will need to log in in order to comment. Note that once you’ve replied the first time to this post, you will get email notifications after that when others reply.


November 18, 2016 | Wim Kerkhoff

Thanks for writing this up. How do we go about getting some feedback from students & staff at UFV and the high schools to test the concept and gauge interest?

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