Alberta government, Platform Calgary launching province-wide hackathon

Calgary

Platform Calgary has partnered with the Government of Alberta, and members of the Alberta Innovation Network, to host a hackathon, HackIT.AB, as the finale for Calgary’s Innovation Week.

Taking place from November 26 to 28, HackIT.AB is open to post-secondary students, recent graduates, startups, tech companies, and entrepreneurs where the group with the top-ranked solution can walk away with a cash prize of $5,000.

HackIT.AB participants are asked to develop a solution to help Alberta students in identifying skill sets and education opportunities that could lead to job opportunities. The program also includes networking opportunities and guest speaker presentations.

The hackathon is part of the Alberta government’s “building skills for jobs” strategy which aims to develop a “highly skilled and competitive workforce, strengthen innovation and commercialization of research, and forge stronger relationships between employers and post-secondary institutions.”

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​​”We are bringing together young innovators from across the province to share their skills and expertise while we give them the connections and mentorship to become an active part of our future economy,” said Terry Rock, president and CEO of Platform Calgary.

Calgary’s annual Innovation Week is taking place November 22 to 28, and includes programming and the Startup Launch Party run by Startup Calgary.

In December 2020, Platform Calgary took over the operations of Startup Calgary, in a move to streamline programming and resources for Calgary’s startup community.

Platform is an independently operated hub for startups and innovation. It sprung out of Calgary Technologies Inc., which was founded by the late Alastair Ross almost 40 years ago. It is meant to serve as a community where entrepreneurs and startups can work together, and it officially became Platform Calgary in March 2019.

While operating independently, Platform receives government support; a portion of its funding comes from the City of Calgary. The City is also a minority shareholder in Platform Calgary, with seats on its board of directors. The organizations’ other shareholders and board members include the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the University of Calgary.

The Government of Canada committed a $30,000 investment to Platform, delivered through the government’s Western Economic Diversification Regional Development Agency.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper.