Startup Hackathon

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be part of a hi-tech startup?

How do you test ideas, prototype the technology, get buy-in, and start a company?

What resources and support systems are available for hi-tech startup companies operating in the Fraser Valley? The Startup Hackathon is the place to not just learn, but experience all of this in one highly compressed 24 hours from 5pm to 5pm.

Information here is from our 2024 event. The tentative dates for 2025 are May 16-17.

Final presentations are from 3pm to 5pm on Saturday, and are open to the public with free admission. Come cheer on these teams, and teams invite your friends and family.

Join us to be part of the 2024 Canadian Innovation Week! Use the hashtags #CIW24 and #ChwkTech to help spread the word.







Questions, and Answers

Who is this for?

This event is targeting business, user experience, and technology college and university students in the Fraser Valley but is open to anyone over the age of 18 who wants to get involved.

When and where is this happening?

It starts at 5PM on Friday, May 17, 2023, and wraps up at 5PM the next day. Yes, it is an overnight event!

The event is happening in Building A at UFV Chilliwack, in the common areas for the main work, and in The Gathering Place for the introduction session and the pitches and demos.

Parking in Lot 6 during this event is free!

What type of projects are expected?

There are no limits on the projects as long as it is driven by technology. Some examples would be software, video games, hardware, robotics, internet-of-things, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrencies. With that said, no equipment is provided, and technical participants are expected to bring the tools they plan to work with. Projects using hardware and robotics may work partially offsite outside of the education and mentorship hours to access equipment if needed.

What if I don't have any ideas, or a team?

No problem! We will start the event off by playing matchmaker between people and teams, and teams and business ideas. If you have an idea you want to explore, bring it to the table. If you have an existing team, you are more than welcome to enter as a team. Ideal team sizes are typically 3 to 5, but existing teams may be any size.

What level of experience do I need? Who is going to help guide us during the Startup Hackathon?

Any and all levels of experience are welcome. Everyone will learn from the experience.

Although each team will be allowed to follow its own path, you will be given a recommended process to follow. This process is based on the first parts of the Market Validation program, as run by various venture accelerators in BC.

We have also put together a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, business development experts, and technical experts to help you throughout the event. These mentors will be available Friday evening and Saturday morning. The confirmed mentors so far are:

What are we actually expected to do? What does the schedule look like?

Can we build any of our solution ahead of time? Any limits on the tech used?

Since it is perfectly valid to build solutions on top of existing open-source material, it is also valid to start building on top of an existing code base that one or more team members may bring to the table. However, the whole point of the Startup Hackathon is that teams use this time to pivot and iterate the business plan and the technology. Whatever you start with, isn't likely to remain the same by the end of the event. Competitive teams may not already be in business (have revenue); see Existing companies header below.

Experience and learning is all great, but are there prizes?

You bet! The first placed team will win:

Who will judge the teams, and how do they choose a winner?

We have a panel of all-star judges to select the winning team, plus input from our mentors. Each judge has a different business and industry background, and have been selected to apply the judging criteria to each team. The judging criteria closely match the expected outcome from the recommended process described during the education block and will be detailed to participants during the education block on Friday. The confirmed judges so far are:

Existing companies, join the fun

This category is for team building and is non-competitive. Each existing company (has a revenue stream from any existing product(s) or service(s)) will be given the opportunity to present their project to the public during the final presentations to raise awareness, gain valuable feedback, and potentially attract local investment. If you have formed a company but are still pre-revenue, you can compete with the other teams.

Final presentations and awards are open to the public

Invite your family and friends to be the first to see what your team created! All members of the community are welcome to come and cheer on all teams, and potential investors are encouraged to chat with the teams after the awards.

Great! How do I register?

Registration is right below: Don't delay; register today! Registration costs $15 plus GST, and includes snacks and drinks throughout the event. Bring your own meals, or order them in. Please do encourage your friends to join you, and if you are bringing a team, please be sure that all of them have signed up :)