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What is the Aquahacking Challenge?


Each year, over several months, the AquaHacking Challenge engages with rising gen hackers, engineers and marketers from various universities to create multi-disciplinary teams and develop clean-tech engineering, web and mobile solutions to water issues affecting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Watershed Basin.

As our focus is demand-driven innovation, the 4 issues tackled this year are designed and submitted by organisations who also provide expert insight to teams to better understand the issues as well as provide access to relevant data. Each team has access to water, programming, AI, engineering, design, data analysis and business strategy mentors, among others. 

AquaHacking Challenge founding sponsors IBM Canada has also provided Watson APIs, Cloud access and more to competing teams for the duration of the Challenge. For teams moving on from the Semi-final, IBM Canada will provide ongoing access to Cloud and other technologies for the period leading up to the Final.

The expected results are functional, marketable and demand-driven solutions that have a real and measurable impact in solving water issues.

WHAT ARE THE PRIZES?


In addition to cleaning up a vital water source and making our watersheds a better place to live around, here is what the winning teams can win.

  • $25,000
    • Spot at a local* well-known accelerator/incubator
    • Production of a promotional video about developed solution
    • Media coverage


  • $15,000
    • Spot at a local* well-known accelerator/incubator
    • Production of a promotional video about developed solution
    • Media coverage


  • $10,000
    • Spot at a local* well-known accelerator/incubator
    • Production of a promotional video about developed solution
    • Media coverage


  • Incubation
    • Spot at a local* well-known accelerator/incubator
    • Production of a promotional video about developed solution
    • Media coverage
  • Incubation
    • Spot at a local* well-known accelerator/incubator
    • Production of a promotional video about developed solution
    • Media coverage

What are the issues we're tackling this year



Challenge Key steps


Follow the steps and you'll see if you're on track!

21 March

 Launch event & Livestream

  • You can learn more about the Challenge formula, the water issues to tackle, meet past winning teams and engage with mentors.
  • You can choose the water issue you want to tackle.
26 March

Week of introduction to 2018 water issues

  • Thanks to our challenge leader webinars, you'll learn more about the issues: VIEW THEM ON OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL
  • Choose the issue you want to tackle
  • Start building your team or join an existing team
23 April

Info-session - Quebec City


Want to know more about the Challenge and speak with past participants from Quebec City? 

Register now!

27 April

Info-session - Montréal

Participants and partners from Montreal answer your questions on this year's Challenge!

Register now!

30 April

Info-session - Ottawa

Our partners and past winners from the Ottawa region will join us in answering all of your questions about this year's Challenge!

Register now!

1 May

1st Workshop - IBM Design Thinking

  • The 1st workshop can be attended on site and online
  • You're now part of a team 
  • Your team has chosen which of the four issues to tackle and has started working on the solution 
  • Your team is connected to mentors and experts


15 May

2nd Workshop - Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning

  • The 2nd workshop can be attended on site and online
31 May

3rd Workshop - Pitching 101

  • 3rd workshop can be attended on site and online
  • register here
9 June

Semi-final

  • Register here
  • Pitch your solution as a team to jury members that will select the TOP 5
  • Each selected team will receive a $2,000 bursary to help them finalise the development of their solution until the Final
13 July

Lake Ontario Retreat & Expedition

  • All finalist teams will participate in a weekend retreat and expedition around Lake Ontario
  • July 13 to 15 
25 October

Final

How does judging work?


There are two judging phases: the semi-final and the final. 

At the semi-final, the jury panel will judge solutions based on usefulness, innovation, completeness of the solution, sustainability, benefit to society and business potential.

The top 5 projects will move on to the final. At the final, a jury of high-profile entrepreneurs, technology executives, environmental and water experts will rate solutions based on usefulness, innovation, completeness of the solution, sustainability, business potential and the teams’ communications skills. We will be posting more details about our judges closer to the event.

  • Peter Bugg
    Peter Bugg

    ​Director of Innovation, Municipal Market ​- Ovivo​ [Technical Expert Jury Member]

  • Tatiana Lomasko
    Tatiana Lomasko

    Head of Operations and Strategic Partnerships - SOSCIP [Business Expert Jury Member]

  • Alex	Mifflin
    Alex Mifflin

    The Water Brothers [Water Expert Jury Member]

  • Sarmad Ibrahim
    Sarmad Ibrahim

    ​Technology Evangelist | Watson / Bluemix Architect - IBM Canada [Technical Expert Jury Member]

  • Irene Hassas
    Irene Hassas

    ​Director, Strategic Planning and Partnerships - ​Aslan Technologies Inc​ [Business Expert Jury Member]

  • Tyler Mifflin
    Tyler Mifflin

    The Water Brothers [Water Expert Jury Member]

  • Alison Gibbins
    Alison Gibbins

    Director of Tech Community Engagement - RBC [Business Expert Jury Member]

  • Tom Casher
    Tom Casher

    ​Deputy Managing Director - GHD [Technical Expert Jury Member]

  • Roy Brouwer
    Roy Brouwer

    Executive Director - The Water Institute, University of Waterloo [Water Expert Jury Member]

  • Nicole Norris
    Nicole Norris

    Community Impact Projects Liaison - Georgian College [Business Expert Jury Member]

  • Ted	Yuzyk
    Ted Yuzyk

    Water expert & Member of the Forum on Leadership for Water (FLOW) [Water Expert Jury Member]

  • Pierre-Marc Sarrazin
    Pierre-Marc Sarrazin

    VP, Corporate Finance & Treasury - Ovivo [Business Expert Jury Member]

  • Deepali Jadhav
    Deepali Jadhav

    Director Process Automation, Innovation and Delivery - RBC [Technical Expert Jury Member]

  • Pierre Béland
    Pierre Béland

    Biologist & Aqua Forum Board member [Water Expert Jury Member]

  • Brenda Lucas
    Brenda Lucas

    Executive Director - Southern Ontario Water Consortium [Technical Expert Jury Member]

Jury Semi-final

FAQs


Still have questions about the Challenge?

Anyone 18 or older is welcome! We are looking for creative minds, whatever their field of expertise, but especially students, water researchers, developers, digital designers, programmers, engineers, technology enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and people who want to save the world!

This is a Spring/Summer challenge. 

March 21, 2018 is when we kick off. 

3 workshops will be held in May. 

The semi-final is June 9 and the final is October 25.

Check out our Key Dates calendar.

The Great Lakes are under threat. In addition to helping clean up a vital water source and making the world a better place, there’s also $50,000 in prizes to be won, spots at local high-tech incubators and much more up for grabs! See details about the prizes here.

Overall you will also end up connecting with great people and learn to work as a team, develop a functional solution, draft a business plan and learn how to pitch - important skills that could help shape your future!

Admission to the AquaHacking Challenge is completely free.

more FAQ

I have a question that is not listed here. Who should I ask?


Feel free to email us at ap.richardson@fondationdegaspebeaubien.org or reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook.

Ready to get started? You can register here.

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