The City of Waterloo is committed to being an open, transparent and accountable government. Hosting a hackathon is just one of the ways we can achieve this goal. Open data is available - make it useful! Code your Waterloo in a weekend at Waterloo Codefest this Oct. 24 and 25, 2015.

Come out and build something! Either by yourself or with a team of up to four members.

The hackathon will begin at 7 a.m. on Oct 24 and will end Oct 25 at 10 p.m. This 36-hour event will include an awards ceremony for the top 3 applications developed.

Please register at

In July 2015, we asked the community to share their ideas about what data sets could be used at Waterloo Codefest to create potential mobile apps. In addition to existing available data sets, coders will have access to brand new data sets including: city facilities, detailed park information, places of worship, bike lanes, roads, trails, historical street names, heritage buildings, and more. Please visit Waterloo Codefest for details.  

Civic hackathons are becoming very prominent and common around the world with major hackathons occurring at the White House and around cities such as Guelph. We feel that we are a diverse and talented community with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College inspiring the most talented individuals from across Canada to further their entrepreneurial dreams. We are confident this event will spearhead more entrepreneurial ventures and allow for collaboration to occur at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) building and foster a sense of community building.  

This event also supports international mandates such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to accountable and transparent governance bodies at all levels of government across the world. We are calling on the community to continue to work with us to improve our services for you and help us continue to provide accurate, accountable and transparent information.

Please share this event with anyone you think may be interested in working with local data and/or developing our open data community!

Get your brand in front of the tech mecca of Canada. Become a sponsor today!

Limited sponsorship available. 

Please contact Raj Sian, Business Development Specialist at City of Waterloo at

Sponsored By


You are not required to make any purchase or pay any fee to enter or win a prize at the hackathon. 

You may only enter the hackathon if you are an individual and, at the time of entry you are at least 18 years old.

City of Waterloo employees and their immediate families (i.e., their spouses, siblings, children, spouses’ parents, and the spouses of any of those individuals) and their household members (related or not), and anyone otherwise connected with the hackathon, are not eligible to enter the hackathon. 

City of Waterloo may at any time in its sole discretion disqualify any entrant who:  does not meet the hackathon’s eligibility criteria, fails to comply with these rules, attempts to enter the hackathon in any manner or through any means other than as described in these rules, attempts to disrupt the hackathon or attempts to circumvent any of these rules.


All submitted ideas must include the following information:

  1. What does it do?
  2. How complex is it to build?
  3. What is the educational benefit of building an app like this?
  4. What makes it unique?
  5. Will it require building a back-end system to support the mobile app, or are APIs already available?
  6. Is part of it already built? Is there a website or code repository where we can view it? (Please keep in mind we would like to mainly build something new)
  7. Would it be an iPhone, Blackberry, Android app, or all three?
  8. Does the application address a community need as identified at Waterloo Codefest?

Reasons you should participate:

You should participate in the hackathon whether you are new to hackathons or a seasoned developer. All are welcome.

  1. The #1 reason: It's fun!
  2. You will meet great people. 
  3. You might find someone you work with really well, and great things can come out of that.
  4. You will learn how to build an app, and have the hands on experience. There's no better way than to get your hands dirty (for beginners).
  5. We may have professional iPhone, BlackBerry and Android mentors helping out on our project. Free training and experience from the pro's. Many of whom are senior developers in local companies. 
  6. Free stuff (we'll have swag, and food covered).

Some other good reasons:

  1. For sponsors it shows your company is a member of the local development community.
  2. You get the experience of helping drive the focus of a large scale community project.
  3. You get recognition for participating, looks great on a resume.
  4. If you are looking for a job, recruiters and VCs may be watching what kind of work you produce since they will be at the event.
  5. Show off your skills (that's for you Rocky Balboa coders out there). 
  6. Update your resume.

Hackathon Sponsors


$10,000 in prizes

First prize

*This prize includes both monetary and in kind components*

2nd Prize

3rd prize

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Mayor Dave Jaworsky

Mayor Dave Jaworsky
Mayor, City of Waterloo

Kartik Talwar

Kartik Talwar
Director, Hack the North

Amaris Gerson

Amaris Gerson
Lead Organizer of HackerNest KW

Geoff Sullivan

Geoff Sullivan
Director, Business Development Cloud-A

Sarah McMullin

Sarah McMullin
Director of Emerging Technology, SAP

Bryan Peters

Bryan Peters
Director, Product and Marketing, Miovision

Stephen Watt

Stephen Watt
Dean of Mathematics, University of Waterloo

Dr. Chinh Hoang

Dr. Chinh Hoang
Professor, Physics and Computer Science, Wilfrid Laurier University

Judging Criteria

  • Technicality
    What type of technical challenges did the group deal with? How technically did they dive here?
  • Originality
    How unique and innovative is the demo?
  • Practicality
    How useful is this demo based on the problem they are trying to solve? Issues/problems that were identified by the public on Open City Hall.
  • Aesthetics
    How good is the visual design and interaction experience?
  • Wow Factor
    Are you blown away by what you see?

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