47 million people live with dementia worldwide – 750,000 in Canada alone – with global numbers expected to reach 75 million by 2030. Much effort goes towards the search for a cure that may be decades away, but millions today face overwhelming, heartbreaking challenges daily. The point of DementiaHack is to create products that improve lives today.


Saturday November 7 to Monday November 9, 2015

George Brown College Waterfront Campus | 51 Dockside Dr, Toronto, ON





Calling all developers, designers, health professionals, marketers, entrepreneurs, and others motivated by the cause:

Register ASAP so we can match you with mentors! The next (and last) team matching is at our Toronto Tech Social on Monday, October 26! (see below).
Missed the pre-hackathon panel? Watch it here.

You want to win, right? Fill out this easy form and we’ll connect you with the best mentor/potential customer ever to give you relevant feedback on your ideas. Don’t wait. Schedules fill up fast.





“Voices from the Field” Workshop + Team Matching


MaRS, Room CR3

101 College St, Toronto

Sat, Oct 3 3:00pm – 6:30pm

HackerNest Tech Social + Team Matching


Entertech Systems

Suite 202, 109 Atlantic Ave, Toronto

Mon, Oct 26 8:00pm – 11:00pm


“Voices from the Field” Panel Oct 3 Recap



DementiaHack Hackathon


George Brown College Waterfront Campus

51 Dockside Dr, Toronto

Sat, Nov 7


Sun, Nov 8

DementiaHack Finals


George Brown College Waterfront Campus

51 Dockside Dr, Toronto

Mon, Nov 9 7:30pm – 9:00pm


Traveling to Toronto? Supplementary info here.





Grand Prize


travel and accommodations for a UK business trip to pitch at a major health conference; intros to potential customers, investors, and acquirers galore + lunch with TechCrunch East Coast Editor John Biggs

Note: participants must be available to travel between Saturday, November 28th to Friday, December 4th.

Facebook Prize


travel and accommodations for a trip to visit Facebook in Silicon Valley + lunch with Facebook Canada Managing Director Jordan Banks

Challenge Set Winners (x4)


  • Diagnosed Individual
  • Family Caregiver
  • Institutional Caregiver/Clinician
  • Researcher/Scientist
substantial cash prizes, dinners with investors & health industry decision-makers, 10 hours of free legal consultation with a corporate commercial lawyer from Goodmans LLP [1]

  [1] Always read the fine print! Legal consultation (i) is subject to law society professional rules (including clearance of conflicts and client identification) and (ii) includes the lawyer’s time but not any third party expenses that may be incurred in, for example, setting up a business.


…and much more! Stay tuned for updates.






DementiaHack is presented by:



Supported by:





Hosted by:



Produced by:




Platinum Challenge Set Champions:





Gold Industry Champions:







Media Partners:





Special thanks to:





Interested in sponsoring, partnering, or volunteering?

Media inquiries








Monday night – final demonstrations for top teams that make the cut. Get an extra day to craft the story and demo of what you built to a massive audience across the tech and healthcare ecosystem.



John Biggs


East Coast Editor



Jordan Banks


Managing Director




Aaron Zifkin


Country Manager – Canada



Dr. Zahra Moussavi


Director, Biomedical Engineering

University of Manitoba



Movie Star




Shooting Star




…more announced soon!





1. Demos must be functional demos: no slideshows/pure design mockups.

2. Fresh code only. APIs and libraries are fine…but not if you wrote them. Don’t be sneaky. Winners will have code reviewed; Facebook engineers are pretty sharp.

3. Teams can have up to 5 members.

4. Have excellent personal hygiene.

5. Don’t be unpleasant.


We reserve the right to eject anyone for violation of any of the rules above, especially #5. Just be sunshine and rainbows. Easy!


Note: there will likely be media at all the events, so if you’re not comfortable being on camera and having your likeness show up in noncommercial DementiaHack videos, wear a large hat. <3  




‘Dementia’ describes the various neurodegenerative conditions characterized by reduced cognitive function and memory loss. Today, no treatment exists to cure or stop it.

The World Health Organization estimates that 47+ million people live with dementia worldwide[1] (over 750,000 in Canada[2]), a number that is expected to increase to 75+ million by 2030. This poses a serious threat to the world’s economies as the funds needed to care for the growing population of those with dementia reaches epic proportions.

Significant effort and funding goes towards the search for a cure, but that may take years, even decades, to come to fruition. Dementia can be overwhelming; not only for those diagnosed, but also their families and caregivers.

Today, millions of our rapidly aging populations and their loved ones face staggering, often heartbreaking challenges in their daily lives with dementia.

Our focus, however, isn’t pity: it’s practicality. We partnered with some of the world’s leading dementia experts[3] to distil relevant challenge sets to guide participants towards the most impactful outcomes. These are ordered by beneficiary to clearly answer the question: “Who am I helping?” – and will be featured in the most perfect environment for demonstrably effective innovations to emerge: DementiaHack.

Our mission isn’t just to raise awareness, it’s to enable the development of life-improving products that’ll make the world a little lighter for those affected by dementia — today.

[1]   [2]   [3] Created in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Alzheimer’s Societies of Canada, Ontario and Toronto; Mount Sinai Hospital and its Cyril & Dorothy, Joel & Jill Reitman Centre for Alzheimer’s Support and Training; the Heart and Stroke Foundation; the University of Waterloo and its Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program; the University of Toronto and its Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases; and Baycrest Health Sciences and its Centre for Geriatric Care.




These are some of the most common and endemic challenges faced; solve them and you’ll improve millions of lives. That said, these are suggestions, not restrictions: fit the theme, pick a beneficiary, come up with a working solution – and you’ll get to demo.

Diagnosed individuals need help with:

  • Cueing everyday tasks in a simple and sequential order
  • Emergency broadcast alerting and notification systems for things like falls, extreme temperature changes, etc.
  • Multisensory and cognitive brain stimulation and training to help keep people alert and perhaps active in the workforce longer

Family caregivers need help with:

  • Easy management of knowledge and data reporting to healthcare professionals
  • Emergency alerting and notification systems within the household (e.g. notification when appliance is turned on, a shower runs for over an hour, etc.)
  • Understanding where the person they’re caring for falls in the acute vs. chronic spectrum of dementia, what to expect, and finding support/best practices/coping strategies on how to manage

Institutional caregivers/clinicians need help with:

  • Keeping up-to-date with the medication dispensing history/program in a multiple-caregiver-multiple-patient setting
  • Tracking and monitoring movement of patients within a healthcare facility
  • Safely and comfortably preventing bedsores

Researchers need help with:

  • Collecting and having access to ‘real-life’ cognitive and memory processing data
  • Connecting to patients, family and institutional caregivers within the broader community
  • Finding participants for studies/trials

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