September 13-15, 2019
Vanhacks
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Hacking and caring with

VSW Logo ViDIA Logo

About VanHacks

VanHacks is an annual hackathon organized by TTT Studios and
VSW dedicated to helping those helping our community. We call
you, hackers of Vancouver, to join us over a weekend to
create tech solutions that solve challenging issues faced by
our community's not-for-profit institutions whose aim is to do
social good. With your help, we can work towards building a
better, more unified Vancouver.

VanHacks is designed around the mantra of acting local and
thinking global. All hacks are encouraged to be published
open source so that an organization in Vancouver can benefit
just as much as a similar nonprofit on the other side of
Canada or the other side of the World.
VanHacks is an annual hackathon organized by TTT Studios and VSW dedicated to helping those helping our community. We call you, hackers of Vancouver, to join us over a weekend to create tech solutions that solve challenging issues faced by our community's not-for-profit institutions whose aim is to do social good. With your help, we can work towards building a better, more unified Vancouver.

VanHacks is designed around the mantra of acting local and thinking global. All hacks are encouraged to be published open source so that an organization in Vancouver can benefit just as much as a similar nonprofit on the other side of Canada or the other side of the World.

Groups we’re serving in 2019

At Vanhacks 2019, we are trying something new that allows you hackers to be more creative. In past years, we’ve limited the groups served to five organizations who provided very specific asks. This year, we’ve decided to give you free reign over the group you’d like to hack for.

Use the list below to aid in your search for the non-profits that do amazing work around Vancouver, and think about how you can contribute to their cause.

Please reach out to any of these groups directly (or a nonprofit of your choice) and ask if there are any digital assets you can create that can power their mission.
Find your group
How this works
1
Look for a Vancouver NPO you want to hack for.
2
Reach out or do research to find their technical needs.
3
Team up or build your group at the Team Formation Social Friday.
4
Let the hacking begin.

Schedule


Friday - 9/13

6:00 PM

Team Formation Social

@TTT Studios

If you are already on a team, this event is optional. Those not on a team are required to come and learn each other's challenge ideas and form teams.

Saturday - 9/14

8:00am

Participant Registration

@BCIT Downtown Campus

Each participant will check-in at the entrance. Information on how to set up and make themselves at home will be provided.

9:00am

Opening Ceremony & QA Session

Participants will be informed of the challenges for the hackathon, available APIs to work with, what kind of applications they are expected to realize, sponsors, judges, judging criteria, mentors, rules and any other information.

10:00am

Start Hacking

The challenge begins! Vanhacks will come around and register teams and their chosen challenge. Mentors will be available throughout most of the hackathon to lend advice on how to tackle problems.

1:00pm

Lunch

Lunch will be served between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

7:00pm

Dinner

Dinner is served between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

Sunday - 9/15

8:00am

Breakfast

Breakfast will be served between 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

12:00pm

Lunch

Lunch is served between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

2:00pm

Demos to Judges Begin

With around 20 teams participating, each demo will be limited to 3 minutes.

5:00pm

Closing Ceremony

Winners are announced and presented with prizes: Prizes to be determined.

Sponsors

Founding Sponsors

Interested in getting involved? Get in touch, or download the PDF below to learn about sponsorship opportunities.

Download sponsorship package

Judges

Kyle Campbell - CEO, CTO.ai
Kyle is the founder of CTO.ai, a developer operations platform that helps developers customize their DevOps experience. Previously, Kyle founded Retsly, a backend-as-a-service for the real estate industry, that was acquired by Zillow after only 8 months. Kyle stayed on as a Group Manager at Zillow while also acting as a core contributor at the popular open source project; FeathersJS through 2018. In 2019, Kyle began angel investing in enterprise SaaS, PaaS and developer centric business models.
Ozge Uncu - Senior Manager, KPMG Vancouver Lighthouse Lead, KPMG
Ozge Uncu is a Senior Manager leading KPMG Vancouver Lighthouse, a team that focuses on business transformation through data & analytics, innovation and technology. He developed and led the development of descriptive, diagnostic, predictive to prescriptive analytic models for numerous public and private sector organizations that inform strategic and operational decisions, catalyze growth, improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Khurram Virani - Head of Education, Lighthouse Labs
Khurram is a software developer turned entrepreneur and educator. With over 15 years of experience as a software developer, he has worked at various startups and enterprises, not to mention a few failed ventures of his own. Today he focuses primarily on delivering the best possible software development Education as Head of Education at Lighthouse Labs.
Jose Hernandez - CEO, TTT Studios
As CEO, Jose is TTT’s captain, and strategic leader. Jose brings with him a wealth of experience from a wide range of areas. This includes establishing and managing successful sales teams, and bringing digital products from inception to maturity.
David Hobbs - Founder, TTT Studios
With over 20 years of tech experience as both a developer and an entrepreneur, David possesses the perfect combination of technical expertise and business acumen. He is experienced as a senior-level operations management professional with a proven ability to manage risk, cost, and growth.
Andy Wong - Software Engineer, Realtor.com
Andy is a Mobile Engineer focusing on Android and Flutter. He is self-taught and also a mentor for others. He was part of the winning team at VanHacks 2018, and his latest achievement is being crowned one of Canada's Developer 30 Under 30 winners.
Max Lytvyn - Co-Founder & Head of Revenue, Grammarly
As the Head of Revenue, Max is focused on identifying and expanding new market opportunities for Grammarly’s product portfolio. Prior to Grammarly, Max co-founded MyDropBox, a plagiarism-detection company, and then served as the Director of Product Strategy at Blackboard Inc. after its acquisition of MyDropBox. Max holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and received a bachelor of business administration in management information systems from International Christian University in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Yan Hong - HackHub
As a tech entrepreneur and hackathon enthusiast, Yan led his team to develop an all-in-one hackathon management SaaS platform, HackHub. Over 50 large-scale hackathons worldwide are currently using HackHub as their event management tool including VanHacks. Yan also performs as an educator and mentor to teach the latest UI/UX design and software development skills to university students and helps them to land their first job.
Ross Hailuk - Product Owner, Mogo
Ross believes that those who can – should, and that success without integrity is a failure. He is passionate about building great products and has solid experience launching successful tech, business & community initiatives. Ross is currently a Product Owner at Mogo transforming the way Canadians manage their finances.
Vivian Chan - Co-Chair, Vancouver Startup Week
Vivian has been working in the Canadian startup ecosystem for the last 10 years. She now runs her own consulting business, working with multiple local organizations and also currently serves as Co-Chair of Vancouver Startup Week.

Hosts

Vivian Chan

Host

Chris Hobbs

Master of Ceremonies

Pauline Lee

Host

Katty Wang

Host

Yan Gao

Host

Pranay Jain

Host

Mentors

Interested in mentoring?
Sign up by filling out this form.

Info

Rules

Registration

Online registration ends at 11:59PM on September 12th 2019 or when maximum event capacity is reached. Capacity is 125 participants.

Team requirements

Teams may be composed of minimum 3 and a maximum 5 participants.

Team formation

Participants may arrive with a pre-established team. Time will be provided on Friday night for solo participants to form teams. People are expected to know their teams by Saturday morning when they register them at 8:00 am. You will be required to select a team name and designate a team spokesperson. Individuals may only participate and register with one team. Each team is solely responsible for its own cooperation and teamwork.

How long is it?

Teams may begin working at 10 AM on September 14th until demo time at 2 PM on September 15th. All technical designs, developed code, and production assets for each entry must be created during the VanHacks event.

Languages & tools

Participants are expected to bring the necessary hardware and software tools to build their competition entry. Teams are permitted to use open source tools and/or code.

No outside development

All solutions must be developed during the course of VanHacks. Development occurs between the start and end times of the hack. Participants may consult remote resources via mobile phone, VoIP, chat, etc., to answer technical questions, but remote resources (such as outside people sending code) are not allowed to develop or produce assets used in competition entries.

Code, design, SFX, music

To ensure a level playing field for all contestants, all code, design, art, music, SFX, and assets must be created during the duration of VanHacks. We want to ensure that all participants start off on the same footing and preserve the true nature of a hackathon. You are, however, free to make plans, create wireframes, and brainstorm prior to the event.

Code of conduct

VanHacks is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, previous hackathon attendance or computing experience (or lack of any of the aforementioned). We do not tolerate harassment of VanHacks participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate at VanHacks. VanHacks participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the hackathon without a refund at the discretion of VanHacks organizers.

Ownership

Ownership of the solution created by participants for VanHacks is owned by the participants and the not-for-profit institution they hacked for. TTT Studios, VSW & Sponsors do NOT have any rights to code created during VanHacks.

Open source

VanHacks judges will award 5 points to each project that is licensed as open source. This is done in the spirit of "Act Local, Think Global..." where as a local organization such as the Vancouver Food Bank may have similar challenges as the Calgary Food Bank. By open sourcing the projects we extend the usefulness of the code to the rest of the world.

Judging

A judging panel of community personalities from a range of industries will score competitors on innovation, design, quality and impact. Teams will have a maximum of 3 minutes to present and demonstrate their prototype to the judging panel. The winning team will be announced on-site at 5:00 PM on September 15th. A maximum one entry per team may be submitted. Event hosts are not responsible for any dispute regarding prize dispersal or use.

Press release

By participating as a competitor in VanHacks, participants grant organizers and participating members of the media rights to publicly disclose competition event information, review and describe applications developed and presented during the event, and rights to display event- related photos, screen shots, and links to publicly available demonstrations of contest entries. Participants may be photographed and/or videotaped during the Hackathon event. Participants agree that the VanHacks hosts and sponsors may use any photographs or videos obtained in this manner for promotional purposes, during or after the hackathon, in any media.

Demos

Functional demos of the solution must be done live and not through a powerpoint or prototype presentation.

Rule changes

VanHacks reserves the right to make rule modifications prior to the start of the event. By participating each team member agrees to abide by these Official Rules.

FAQ

Do I need to be a developer to attend?

To be a participant you need to be either a developer or a UI/UX designer.

Do I need a team to register?

No you don't need to be part of a team to register. We will be hosting a Friday night social at TTT Studios where team-less participants must attend to meet and form teams. On Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, we will officially register all the teams.

What should I bring?

Generally, you’ll need to bring your computer, a charger and any other devices that will contribute to the application's creation. As for food, we have you covered but if you want anything in particular there is a kitchen to make tea and prepare small bites.

Can I stay the night?

BCIT closes at 10pm so all hackers will be heading home for the night. Doors open at 8am the next morning.

How does VanHacks work?

Participants spend 28 hours working in teams of 3-5 people to build an application that will benefit groups from the Vancouver community. It is up to the participants to take the challenges NPOs are facing and find ways to solve them through the applications they build over the weekend. In addition, mentors will be present to guide and advise participants on any difficulties they have when designing or building their applications. At the end of the 28 hours, each team will demo their working application to a panel of judges. The judges will then choose the top three projects.

Will there be a resource guide with helpful links to APIs, SDKs and datasets?

Yes. Here is the VanHacks API and SDK Resource Guide.

When is the last day to register for VanHacks?

The closing date for registration is 11:59PM on September 12th 2019 or whenever we reach capacity. Capacity is 125 people.

How much is it to register?

Tickets are $36.50 each until September 5th 2019, after that tickets will cost $52.

What are the judging criteria?

At the end of the 28 hours, you should have a working application that can be demoed in front of the judges. Projects will be judged on how well the application solves the chosen problem and how well the solution works at demo time. A list of criteria will be given at the beginning of the hackathon to help keep hackers on track. Extra points are given to those who agree to open source their project after the hackathon.

Will there be prizes?

Yes there will be cash prizes. Amounts to be determined.

At the end of VanHacks, do we give our projects to the not-for-profit organisation we choose to hack for?

Preferably yes. At the end of the hackathon, you are encouraged to give a copy to the organization or upload it to a repo, like github, for them to download.

How do I find a team?

If you are coming in solo and want to work with others, our Friday social is a great opportunity to meet other designers and developers and form teams. Our goal is to have everyone on a team by the end of Friday night so we can quickly register the teams on Saturday morning.

Do I have to come Friday?

If you do not have a team. Yes. If you do have a team, the Friday social is the only optional part of the weekend. The social will allow you to get more familiar with the not-for-profit organization challenges that need solving. It will also give you a little more time to discuss ideas and best ways to approach your project so you are ready to run on Saturday morning.

Is there an age restriction?

Yes, we only allow participants ages 18+. If you are younger and really want to participate, contact us.

I have another question!

Send us an email here.