Tech Retreat invites high school students from across Ontario to the University of Waterloo for a day of learning and hacking. Students will learn how to apply different software or hardware technologies and meet current Waterloo students, professional engineers and startup founders. Most importantly, no experience is required.


Only current high school students or graduating high school students who were officially accepted may participate in Tech Retreat. Teams must consist of 1-4 team members.


Only a demo of your project will be judged! No Slidedecks or Powerpoints! Please include the name of your app, how you created it, any APIs/hardware/libraries used and a photo of your hack in action!

At 6:30 PM, the hacking period will end, and we'll be transitioning to the Hackathon Showcase.

During this time, there will be 2 teams of 4 judges. One team of judges will come by to your team, and you can present your hack to them for 3 minutes. This is going to be done science-fair style, so you'll just be demoing at your table. The judges will be focusing more on the technical side of your project, rather than a business pitch.

After all the projects have been presented, each team of judges will come up with a list of their top 3 teams. The combined total of 6 teams will present to everyone, and the entire panel of 8 judges, at the closing ceremonies.

After all teams have presented, the panel of 8 judges will determine the top 3 teams.

API Prizes will be judged and presented by the Sponsor awarding it.

Hackathon Sponsors


$1,456 in prizes

First Place

- Automatic Admission to Hack the North for all team members (Sep 18-20)
- Up to Two Fitbit Flex Wristbands
- Up to Two Sony SRS-X11 Bluetooth Speakers

Second Place

Google Chromecast for each team member

Third Place

Anker Portable Power Bank for each team member

Best Intel Edison Hack

Intel Edison module with Arduino Expansion Board for each team member

Best Muse Hack

One Muse Brain-Sensing Headband for the team

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Submit your hack through ChallengePost. Be sure to provide a link to your portfolio as well -- you are free to use any major repo-hosting service of your choice. If you do decide to use your own, please ensure that it works as intended and is easily accessible.


Alroy Almeida

Alroy Almeida
Co-founder of Voltera

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys
Managing Editor of BetaKit

Kartik Talwar

Kartik Talwar
Director of Hack the North

Rachel Bartholomew

Rachel Bartholomew
Managing Partner at Cybernorth Ventures

Ryan McKay-Fleming

Ryan McKay-Fleming
Co-founder of Chalk

Shane Creighton-Young

Shane Creighton-Young
Lead Android Developer at Hack the North, RelateIQ Developer and Google Developer

Valentin Tsatskin

Valentin Tsatskin
Software Engineer at Indiegogo, UI/UX designer at Mozilla and Hack the North Co-founder

Wes Worsfield

Wes Worsfield
Associate Director of Velocity Garage

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Difficulty
    The pure difficulty of the your implementation of the project. When judging this we'll take into account the usage of an API to implement the core feature of the project and how complex the project looks. 35%
  • Creativity
    The originality of your idea, approach, implementation, and/or design of the project. 25%
  • Usefulness
    The value of the real world applications that can result from your project. This will be measured in the genuine difference it will make in everyday life. 25%
  • Overall Impression
    Extraneous things about your project (like design and potential business applications) that stand out. 15%

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