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Our team at the City of Toronto has worked with HackerNest in engaging the tech community in Toronto. Their platform, insights and connections to the grassroots of the community have been invaluable in helping us reach this audience and develop resources to meet their needs.
I and the team of the British Consulate-General in Toronto have collaborated on a number of high impact tech based events and campaign. HackerNest’s tech, social science & community skills coupled with their global platform has enabled the British Government to deliver innovative outcomes in dementia research & co-operation between Toronto, London and other global cities.
In my previous capacity as a science diplomat for the UK government, I worked with HackerNest on two hackathons (DementiaHack 2014 and DementiaHack 2015). Both of these were unorthodox projects testing new ideas, and in both cases the HackerNest team proved to be highly capable, agile and professional. In my judgment, we would not have been able to deliver either project without HackerNest’s involvement, and they made both events far more successful than we had hoped.
I have not had the opportunity to work with HackerNest in my current capacity as a life sciences specialist for the City of Toronto, but they would be my first choice of partner for any technology-related project. While I would rate their sector knowledge, management skills and logistical organisation as good as or better than anyone I’ve worked with, for me their real value is in their trustworthiness. This isn’t about appropriate use of resources, though they do use resources appropriately; it’s about being able to wholly rely on them to do something. When I contract services or work with a project partner, I need to be able to trust that my partners will do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it, and raise any issues immediately. This, in my experience, is HackerNest’s strongest asset – they deliver, no matter what.
CourtHack 2016 Feedback
CourtHack was amazing. I loved the creativity that each team brought to the challenge sets. We, as court leaders, often fall into the trap of conceptualizing problems the same way. These hackers brought different perspectives to the issues and solved small problems (which is all they can really do in 24 hours!) in ways that we typically don’t think of or prioritize. But, in so doing, they opened our eyes to new possibilities. As a mentor, it was especially rewarding to watch their ideas evolve. I was impressed with their intellectual curiosity and their ability to rapidly adjust their designs to accommodate legal and operational realities that the mentors helped them see. Had this hackathon been in Southern California, I would have instantly offered paid internships to half a dozen impressive young coders.
CourtHack was one of the most well thought out and organized hackathons I have ever been to. Over the years, I have attended various hackathons covering an array of objectives and subjects, but none that truly made an impact on the industry that was sponsoring the event. We would work on a project, present after a day or two and then get free food. That was it.
CourtHack, however, exceed my expectations in every way possible. One of the minute details that CourtHack thought of was WiFi and power supplies. So many other hackathons forget these details, but not CourtHack! The second part of their impressive execution was they were a people of their word. If they said we were having food every 4 hours, then we ate EVERY 4 hours. It was a breath of fresh air to know that HackerNest and the NCSC were on top of the overall flow of the event and how smoothly it went for us as participants. They didn’t just throw gummy bears and soda at us, but had an array of beverages, energy drinks and catered food for the event. This allowed the teams to always stay refreshed and alert as they were constantly nourished. I believe because participants didn’t have to worry about the details, we were able to focus on the products and produce exceptional results.
The CourtHack event was the first time I’ve gotten to see court administrators and judges working closely with scrappy software engineers and dynamic product teams to solve major industry problems. I sit in between public and private sector stakeholders, and was amazed to see the two come together and create some excellent ideas over a 24-hour period at CourtHack. HackerNest and the NCSC did a great job of getting the right people in the room and I think we need to see more of this type of collaboration of ideas and skills to break down barriers in this industry.
DementiaHack Toronto 2015 Feedback
Facebook is proud to have been the presenting sponsor of DementiaHack 2015. It was an honor and a privilege for me, as Chair, to have helped guide the event towards such a positive outcome. Anyone can run a hack event, but it is an entirely different thing to produce the world’s foremost dementia hackathon, which is why we chose to partner with HackerNest. Their experience, dedication, and enthusiasm helped ensure DementiaHack 2015 ran smoothly and it was a pleasure working with their team.
My name is Phyllis Fehr. I am a person who is living with a dual diagnoses of mixed dementia, in the form of early onset Alzheimer’s and Lewy body dementia. Back in early September I was asked by the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario if I would speak to a group about living with the disease. I was informed that it would be to a group that was participating in a hack for dementia. I had been involved in a hack for health previously so it should not be too overwhelming.
On the day I arrived I was amazed at how well organized it was. There did however seem to be a large number of people showing up so an overflow room was quickly set up. It was not just myself speaking, there was a panel of six people, that included doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists and rehab therapists, if I remember correctly. We each discussed our role and explained it in depth, I had worked for twenty five years as a nurse, so this also helped.
I was also asked to be a mentor to two teams. Part of the mentoring was done at the three day actual event. During the event any team could ask questions to anyone. I was also asked to represent people living with this disease on the final judging panel.
If I remember correctly there were over 350 participants, 75 teams, 55 mentors and this does not include the sponsors, volunteers or attendees.
Upon arrival at the three day event I was overwhelmed by the size of the venue and the line up for the registrants. Once the event started the air in the room felt electrified, there was a feeling of sheer excitement and everyone was pumped. I thought that on the second day, this atmosphere would have dwindled, but it didn’t. If anything, it had increased.
The number of sponsors and dignitaries in attendance just helped to heighten this feeling and the amazing prizes did not hurt.
I would like to finish by saying that this was one of the greatest events I have ever attended. I was on a personal high for days after this event. It has made me personally strive to do better in the work I do for Alzheimer’s. If ever I was asked to participate again, I would jump at the chance to do so. No matter where or when, I would go just to experience this totally awesome experience again. I would also recommend to anyone asked to participate to say yes – this is something that I feel everyone should do at least once in a lifetime. As an off-note, my granddaughter attended and she was so amazed she has since decided to change her major in university. No matter what your age or your ability, this is an event to participate in, your youth returns while you are there and for a few days following. It definitely changes the way you see things.
— Kevin McGurgan (@KevMcGurganFCO) November 10, 2015
— John Tory (@JohnTory) November 10, 2015
— Dr. Eric Hoskins (@DrEricHoskins) November 11, 2015
— Amanda Wilson (@amandawilson817) November 10, 2015
— Alzheimer Ontario (@AlzheimerOnt) November 9, 2015
And now, the news!
6th: FACT SHEET: The Opportunity Project – Unleashing the power of open data to build stronger ladders of opportunity for all Americans, The White House Office of the Press Secretary
30th: Grindr Announces Hack4Equality Winners, LGBT Weekly
20th: Can Grindr Make a Dent in LGBT Homelessness?, The Advocate
19th: Grindr partners with White House to run hackathon for LGBTI equality, Gay Star News
16th: Grindr wants tech people to combat LGBTQ inequalities, TechCrunch
13th: Employers turning to hackathons to find tech talent, Toronto Star
11th: Hack4Equality: Spark Change for the Global LGBTQ Community, Centre for Open Data Enterprise
9th: 9 Key Lessons Learned by Women in IT for Women in IT, codementor
29th: Grindr Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Hackathon To Combat LGBT Inequality, NewNowNext
7th: Facebook’s Carolyn Everson on Connecting at Scale, Strategy+Business
2nd: HackerNest Launches in Peoria, Prairie Entrepreneurship Notes
11th: Hackers share drinks over Peterborough’s tech future, Peterborough This Week
13th: Coding for good: The rise of charity hackathons, CharityVillage
11th: Social aimed at techies set for Tuesday, The Peterborough Examiner
7th: Tech nerds unite in Peterborough for HackerNest on April 12, Peterborough This Week
6th: Hackers Unite to Improve Utah State Court’s Technology, StateTech Magazine
31st: TranQool provides platform for Torontonians seeking therapy outside of clinic hours, StartUp HERE Toronto
25th: CourtHack in Salt Lake City With The National Center For State Courts, Open Law Lab
10th: Community-builder’s mission is to tackle poverty, one event at a time, StartUp HERE Toronto
9th: CourtHack Recap Video, Jared R. Cook Productions & David Geist
7th: Utah hosts first ‘CourtHack’ event, seeking solutions to court technology issues, American Bar Association Journal
2nd: CourtHack: Tech comes to the courts, The Center for Innovative Justice and Technology
10th: Toronto joins cities around the world in celebrating Open Data Day 2016, Yonge Street Media
10th: From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk, The Globe and Mail
20th: full DementiaHack Toronto 2015 recap video, FVC Media
16th: The Norm Show, Toronto Life
15th: Hacking Memories: the journey to finding suitable technology for dementia patients”, Ryerson Journalism
6th: Dementia is not an individual’s disease, it’s something that can tear families apart, CBC Spark Interview
17th: U of T students take Facebook prize at #DementiaHack, win invitation to Silicon Valley, University of Toronto
— Alzheimer Ontario (@AlzheimerOnt) November 10, 2015
— John Preece (@jcpreece) November 10, 2015
9th: 1-minute recap video of the DementiaHack hackathon weekend, FVC Media
5th: Toronto Hackathon Seeks New Solutions To Help Dementia Patients, The Globe and Mail
There's a hackathon aimed at helping dementia patients happening in Toronto this weekend https://t.co/ByP89idPr1
— The Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) November 5, 2015
22nd: DementiaHack comes to Toronto, Reuters
21st: Startup reimagines boring satellite images into stunning colour, The Globe and Mail
16th: “Hacking” Dementia, Hull & Hull
4th: Hacking dementia: Facebook invites tech nerds to combine brain power, Maclean’s Magazine
28th: HackerNest Toronto September Tech Social 2015, HackerNest presents award to Councillor Kelly:
— Norm Kelly (@norm) October 2, 2015
26th: DementiaHack 2015, World Young Leaders In Dementia
12th: In Depth: DementiaHack, the IT Nerd
31st: City of Toronto Councillor Norm Kelly gives HackerNest a radio shoutout, 102.1 the Edge
(We’re up around 3:04 – thanks @Norm! ^_^)
28th: In Depth: HackerNest Tech Social in Toronto, The IT Nerd
24th: In Depth: HackerNest, The IT Nerd
15th: FBI busts hacker nest dedicated to Android and Facebook exploits, Mashable (we have nothing to do with this)
7th: Economic development through technology proliferation, Let’s Talk Good Business
6th: Hackatón cívico en colima: ¡Convocatoria!, Don Chambitas
2nd: HackerNest names energi PR as Agency of Record, energi PR
4th: Interview with HackerNest KW organizers Amaris & Melina, TSP Weekly
26th: Biggest Developer Recruiting Mistakes, Stack Overflow Careers
22nd: Is the Hiring Process Built on Lies?, Recruiter
21st: Project Diversity, THIS
13th: How Marketing Buzzwords Can Ruin Your Tech Job Listing, Stack Overflow Careers
10th: Make Airport Time More Productive, LifeHacker
5th: 7 Ways to Supercharge Your Productivity, Inc Magazine
2nd: HackerNest partners with Deloitte Canada on their first-ever hackathon, Disruption By Design; awesomeness ensues
Stuff that happens when @HackerNest runs @DeloitteCanada‘s 1st-ever hackathon, #DeloitteDisrupts, Exhibit “A” pic.twitter.com/fgMUotPyAH
— Shaharris (@Shaharris) May 3, 2015
— Shaharris (@Shaharris) May 3, 2015
1st: HackerNest’s Tech Social Promises Friendship, Not Networking, TechVibes
30th: HackerNest helps Vancouver techies – radio interview, CBC Early Edition
25th: Shaharris hangs with Toronto Mayor John Tory at the PAYE reception, Toronto City Hall
— HackerNest (@HackerNest) March 26, 2015
9th: Hackers and dementia, Brifrischu
24th: How to organise a hackathon, Management Today
21st: Video: Ignite Guelph, Amaris of the Nest debunks networking, Ignite Guelph
24th: Hackathon weekend fun!, HackerNest
19th: JJ Beh nominated as Top Ten TOTech Contributor, TOTechBash
17th: The ultimate life-hack: Start your own SDN hackathon, TechTarget
14th: How a wearable computer mouse can help people with dementia, Alzheimer Society
8th: We ran the very first HackerNest Job Fair and the 1300+ registrants thoroughly exhausted our 35 very happy exhibitors
29th: DementiaHack: Dementia Hackathon 2014, UK government Foreign & Commonwealth Office
22nd: Handy hacks that make life easier, The Independent (UK)
17th: Operation HackerNest, The Ant Daily
Wikipedia mention: DementiaHack is world’s first hackathon dedicated to people with dementia and their caregivers, Wikipedia
29th: 5 things to know in Toronto for Monday, Sept. 29, CTV News
23rd: Who got seen at WebInno, BostInno
18th: Hackathon at Ryerson tackles dementia, the Eyeopener
18th: Interning Is The New Volunteering, the Atlantic
18th: Photos from the Dementia Hackathon, Alzheimer Society
14th: A wee mention, The Skinny
10th: DementiaHack London, MedCity
8th: DementiaHack, MeU Blog
5th: British Consulate’s Toronto Dementia Hackathon, Computer Science University of Toronto
5th: Actor Seth Rogen Wants You to Attend DementiaHack, TechVibes
8th: Toronto dementia hackathon: 12-14 September, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, GOV.UK
28th: Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly attends Tech Social, gives us an award!, Toronto City Hall
— Norm Kelly (@norm) July 29, 2014
27th: Booming ticket resale market drives high prices for concert fans, CBC News
6th: Hack. Play. Create., Trendy Techie
4th: Forget Silicon Valley, Here Comes Toronto!, Wall Street Journal
27th: HackerNest x Ryerson Fashion Zone, MeU
26th: BlackBerry Sponsors Toronto HackerNest At Ryerson University, BlackBerryOS
21st: HackerNest launching with Techkatha meetup, README
4th: UOIT Computing Science student finding success at hackathons, UOIT News
3rd: Student Success At HackerNest Construct, School of Computer Science, University of Guelph
3rd: What a hackathon can teach your company about agility, IT Business Canada
26th: HackerNest Construct Takes Over the DMZ, DMZ
26th: Rundown of how HackerNest Construct: Mind and Motion, went down, Wearable Wednesdays Toronto
18th: HackerNest hosts Toronto’s biggest hardware-focused hackathon, HN Press Release
14th: Mind & Motion hackathon, wearable tech, betakit
16th: HackerNest: Women in Tech , Bitmaker Labs
4th: Why Dallas for startups and entrepreneurs, Dallas News
25th: Tech Social, featuring Women in Technology, in multiple HN cities internationally. All happening on Monday, Nov 25th!
21st: View from the ‘Loo: HackerNest builds tech communities, one beer at a time, Communitech
30th: HackerNest: Taking Tech Social To Foster Community, MISC Magazine
29th: Video of HackerNest Toronto at Bitmaker Labs, Bitmaker Labs
2nd: Coding Academy Bitmaker Labs Hosts HackerNest Tech Social,TechVibes
17th: HackerNest partners with the MARS Energy Hackathon, using the Green Button open API to help consumers better understand, access and manage their electricity consumption.
9th: Cool mention about the KL Tech Social in CC Food Travel’s blog.
31st: HackerNest international expansion hits Asia. First stop, Kuala Lumpur.
10th: HackerNest partners with BattleHack, a Paypal developer hackathon series.
3rd: Blog post: HackerNest Kitchener-Waterloo Tech Social. Daniel Gillis, School of Computer Science, University of Guelph.
25th: Mobile Institute’s Mobile Biz Dev Bootcamp panel discussion with Shaharris
Post-event recap by CodeProject
15th: CodeProject interview with JJ Beh
30th: Post-event recap by Girls in Tech
29th: HackerNest Tech Social featuring Girls in Tech Toronto.
Toronto’s HackerNest splinter cell – 3rd largest Technology Professionals and 5th largest Software Development meetup globally.
22nd: Oanda sponsors HackerNest Toronto, Forex Lab Notes
18th: Vancouver runs its first HackerNest Tech Social!
Spent it recovering from the holidays! 🙂
12.12.12: HackerNest officially incorporates as a Canadian federal nonprofit corporation.
6th: Startup TO – Interview with Toronto Hackathon Organizer JJ Beh, Ashley Huffman /[email protected] in Huffington Post
1st: HackerNest runs Canada’s largest hackathon with 67 demo teams and 430 total attendees.
HackerNest evolves: Coworking put to rest, tech community development becomes our raison d’être.
11.1.11: HackerNest is born.