Hackernest, a Toronto-based non-profit movement focused on building “supportive Silicon Valley-like tech communities” in different cities, is ready to host its Mind & Motion hackathon next month. Differentiating itself from many other hackathons will be the fact the Mind & Motion is focused on next generation user interfaces.
The hackathon will be held at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) in Toronto. The organization bluntly explained that the event is “focused entirely on creativity and the innovative use of technology: we don’t give a crap about business plans or commercial viability.”
Founded by “a dozen nerds talking tech around a 6-pack” in 2011, Hackernest built up relaxed, down-to-earth Tech Socials with free beer, which are now Canada’s largest tech meetups in multiple cities, continuing to grow internationally.
Hackernest’s Danielle Smith confirmed that Mind & Motion has lined up some pretty cool devices for people to use, including 27 Raspberry Pi (B) + PIR sensor kits, 10 Kiwi Moves and 17 UbiSlate7C+’s. It’s also going to be quite a plentiful hackathon for those who win. The winner takes home $2,500, the runner up gets $1,337 and several other prizes will be handed out, including 36 Datawind Ubislate tablets and even an Oculus Rift (which hasn’t actually been released yet).
The hackathon takes place Saturday February 22, the same date as the McHacks hackathon at McGill University that is seeking to attract 500 student developers to come to Montreal. Smith said Hackernest is making a big push for student coders too: “Some people still might not want to make the trek out to montreal, so we’re hoping that those who don’t want to go out to McHacks will opt for mind and motion instead.”
The eventbright page for the event cheekily reads, “If you’re a broke-as-hell student, contact us using your school email address and we’ll see what we can do. Ramen ftw.”
A meetup session will also be hosted the Monday prior to the event so that participants can meet each other and collaborate over ideas.
On Hackernest in general, the non-profit with the simple goal of uniting local hacker communities everywhere, Smith said she joined on as a volunteer because of its approach to community-building and what its trying to achieve.
“I really believe that this non-for-profit is going to make a big impact in the tech community, not just in Canada but on a much larger scale. I love their vision and what they’re doing for tech folks who might not otherwise come together,” she said.
Smith also explained that the typical Hackernest meetup, which has already became so popular in several Canadian cities, is all about a non-pretentious air of facilitating friendships and connections. They didn’t grow to becoming Canada’s largest tech social meetup within a year for nothing. She said there’s a “zero-networking policy”.
“Networking always seems to be with the premise that you have this little name-tag that says ‘I’m so and so’, CEO of whoever, it’s a little bit slimy, a little bit sleazy and you’re just trying to work the room to use people,” Smith told BetaKit. “And they’re are against this whole format. They want to unite local tech communities in the most unpretentious, chill and laid back way.”
We think we like the sounds of an event like that. Interested hackers can sign up here.