Waterloo's Hack the North founders wrap-up another successful event

Hack the North co-founders Kartik Talwar, Kevin Lau and Liam HorneA few weeks ago, Canada’s largest hackathon, Hack The North (HTN), invited 1000 students to spend 36 long and exciting hours problem solving and creating something meaningful. The event attracted not only hackers from all over the country, but also over a dozen industry moguls to act as judges. 

The success and popularity of the event can be attributed to the dedicated and hardworking individuals behind the scenes. Pictured above are Kartik Talwar, Kevin Lau and Liam Horne - three co-founders of the event. Not pictured, are seven of the event's other co-founders and contributors - Vishal Mathur, Nima Vaziri, Matthew Kuzyk, Victor Vucicevich, Valentin Tsatskin, Sean Young, and Jean Wu.

This group of 10 University of Waterloo students came together to create an event that would not only allow hackers to practice and show off their skill, but also to meet and interact with their like minded peers. Liam Horne, one of the key co-founders, says that this is his favourite part of the hackathon:

Getting to see them all work together with enthusiasm and helping one another out is what makes Hack The North so unique and special in my opinion.

Hack the North logoLiam Horne studied Computer Science at the University of Waterloo before accepting the prestigious Thiel Fellowship.

Despite the fact that Hack The North is only two years old, the movement is getting some serious recognition. Growing from their first event with 50 people RSVPing and only 15 showing up, to sorting through over 5,000 applicants in preparation for this year’s hackathon, the team is very excited to see where HTN goes next.

Having so many applicants is fantastic but also a challenge; we devote countless hours to looking at every single one trying to identify the students we think will have the greatest impact on the event. It is a tricky balance.

Besides sorting through applications, the team does a whole lot more year-round in order to ensure that things go smoothly come event time. Between the co-founders and the volunteers, a lot of effort goes into the hackathon. Liam signs off with some words of advice -

Follow your passions and try to find other people with similar passions. And never limit the scope of your ideas and make sure you're having fun when you're working.

The team certainly had fun during the hackathon weekend. They speak fondly of taking a step back now that it's done for another year, and appreciating the countless hours that led up to another successful event. 

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