Imprint reporter Hacks The North

This past weekend, the halls of E5 were turned into a hive of collaborative thinking. A swarm of hackers hailed from far and wide to join the University of Waterloo for its first major hackathon, Hack the North.

The 36-hour event went from Friday to Sunday and had spectacular results. With over 1,000 hackers in attendance; technical workshops; some face time with high profile speakers including Sam Altman, president of the Y Combinator; Chamath Palihapitiya, founder of S23P (The Social-Capital Partnership); and investor Jason Calacanis, the event attracted great ideas.

The event was incredibly stimulating, so much so that walking down the chaotic halls of E5 felt more like walking through a technological wonderland that was one part job fair and one part amusement park. The building was packed full of hackers and event planners, and even sponsors that had technology and swag readily available. Companies such as Apple, Big Viking, Bloomberg, Facebook, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Yelp had representatives engaging with the sleep deprived code monkeys.

The event opened with a chat from Palihapitiya and Calacanis, featured a fireside chat with Altman, and had various speakers from the big name list of sponsoring institutions. Most speakers stressed the importance of practicality, determination, and innovation for successful startups, even sharing common problems and how to deal with them. One common theme throughout the weekend was to not only love what you’re doing, but to also believe in it as well.

With the closing of the event on Sunday, submissions were displayed for judging that ranged from highly imaginative to useful social tools and everything in between.