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COVID-19 UPDATES & RESOURCES

Hack to the future: building a culture of innovation

Published: Friday, October 29th, 2021

Platform Calgary, in partnership with Alberta’s government, is excited to announce the launch of a provincial virtual hackathon event - HackIT.AB.

Over the past two years, Alberta has seen record investment in its tech sector and a doubling of startups over 2019. Technology and innovation play a crucial role not just in diversifying Alberta’s economy, but in preparing students for the future. Protecting the lives and livelihoods of Albertans relies on ensuring they are equipped for and investing in skills for jobs in the future. HackIT.AB helps support both those goals.

As the finale to Calgary’s Innovation Week, HackIT.AB is set to take place online from November 26 – 28. Alberta-based post-secondary students, recent graduates, startups, tech companies and entrepreneurs are invited to register at Alberta.ca/HackITAB.

Hackathon participants will be asked to solve a real-world issue facing Alberta post-secondary students in helping to identify skill sets and education opportunities that lead to jobs in Alberta’s current and future labour market needs.

On the final day of the event, teams will present their proposed solution to a panel of judges. The team with the top-ranked solution will walk away with a $5,000 prize. Second and third-place teams will claim $3,000 and $1,000 prizes, respectively. 

 

“I am really excited to launch the Alberta government’s hackathon together with Platform Calgary. Technology is not just an industry, it is the future of every industry and it must be the future of government. HackIT.AB will help innovators to apply technology to solve problems in new ways and help the government to build a culture of innovation. Our province is rich in talent and I’m looking forward to seeing what solutions Alberta’s tech sector can provide us.” - Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta

 

“The number of tech companies in Alberta has doubled since 2019 and we need as many skilled tech workers as we can get. HackIT.AB will showcase the very best of our tech talent and show the many ways our post-secondary students can become part of our rapidly growing tech sector.” - Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

 

“Much like WorldSkills in trades and skilled careers, HackIT.AB is an opportunity for Alberta students and professionals to shine in a competitive problem-solving event. As a government, we are pleased to support and work with Platform Calgary to celebrate the innovation, creativity and competition in Alberta’s growing tech and IT sector.” - Minister Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

 

“Together with the Government of Alberta, and our many partners in the Alberta Innovation Network, 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. HackIT.AB is a great way to grow and strengthen Alberta’s fast-evolving innovation community. I can’t want to see what participants create.” - Dr. Terry Rock, President and CEO, Platform Calgary

 

“As an Alberta Innovation Network partner, we’re pleased to support this flagship Government of Alberta HackIT.AB event to connect young innovators and seek solutions for future labour and market needs. Alberta’s economy depends on our young talent and this inviting and inclusive hackathon can help with education pathways to future employment.” - Catherine Warren, Chief Executive Officer, Innovate Edmonton 

 

“ASEC supports innovative and dynamic opportunities for students to apply their learning, much like Work-Integrated Learning Opportunities. Events like HackIt enable students to apply their learning and see how knowledge can manifest into productive and useful technologies.” - Liam Hunter, Chair, Alberta Students’ Executive Council

 

Developing professionals

The made-in-Alberta event gives participants an opportunity to show off their skill sets tackling a real-world problem facing the province. 

In addition to presenting their projects to a judging panel, participants will be able to attend online networking events and guest speaker presentations. Government of Alberta mentors will be available to support the teams. 

Judges and guest speakers will be announced on Alberta.ca and on Service Alberta’s social media channels in the coming weeks. 

 

Quick facts

  • Registration is free at Alberta.ca/HackITAB
  • Platform Calgary brings together the resources of Calgary’s tech ecosystem to help startups launch and grow at every step of their journey. It is a hub for a community focused on inclusive tech-led economic diversification, job creation, and increased prosperity for all Calgarians.
  • Platform Calgary and Innovate Edmonton, along with partners in regions across the province, recently partnered to create the Alberta Pre-Accelerator. Both organizations are committed to working together, and with partners in all regions of the province, on initiatives like HackIT.AB to ensure innovators across the province are well supported.
  • HackIT.AB is the finale event for Calgary’s Innovation Week.
  • Participants can register as a complete team, a partial team, or an individual. Individuals and partial teams will have the opportunity to form a complete team during a digital networking event on Friday evening. 
  • Attendees will have the opportunity to virtually attend guest speaker presentations. Speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. 
  • The Alberta 2030: Building Skills for Jobs strategy is a transformational vision and direction for Alberta’s higher education system, which will 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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