An insider scoop on 2022 nwHacks

An insider scoop on 2022 nwHacks

Well, we just wrapped up Western Canada’s largest hackathon! 

On January 15 & 16, TTT Studios sponsored the nwHacks event, hosted by nwPlus, a student-run tech club based at the University of British Columbia. Starting off the new year as a Platinum sponsor for this amazing event was a great experience! We were thrilled to meet so many talented hackers and have meaningful conversations with motivated students.

What is nwHacks?

nwHacks is Western Canada’s largest hackathon. It is a student-led event that caters to aspiring programmers, project managers, and designers across Canada and the US. It provides them with hands-on experience to solve problems with technology in a collaborative and competitive environment. 

The nwHacks challenge

nwHacks challenges students to develop and present a new creative software idea by joining forces with old and new friends, all in 24 hours! The projects are then evaluated by a panel of judges, and the most innovative idea wins. In between all the hacking, participants gain new skills, make lasting connections, and attend workshops led by industry professionals from the local community.

The sponsor challenge “Get Unique with Unity”

As event sponsors, we had the opportunity to create a special sponsorship challenge. Given our membership in Unity's Certified Creators Network (CCN), we asked hackers to develop an interactive experience using Unity tools in a challenge called "Get Unique with Unity.” As Unity developers ourselves, we understand the value of Unity’s frameworks to build custom solutions and thus wanted our challenge to communicate those benefits.

If you'd like to get a taste of what 900 virtual participants achieved, you can watch the 2022 nwHacks Twitch stream of here.

nwHacks 2022 event recap

We started Saturday morning with our sponsor booth, where we connected 1-1 with some enthusiastic hackers. For us, these personal interactions with the students highlighted their genuine interest in who we are, our processes, and what we aim to achieve as a company. They were eager to ask questions, and we were more than happy to answer. We were also pleased to learn about their keen interest in our full-time and co-op opportunities at TTT.  

nwHacks 2022 virtual event.
nwHacks 2022 virtual event.
nwHacks 2022 virtual event.

Despite the hackathon’s shift from in-person to online, nwPlus did a fantastic job of providing an immersive experience. One could still feel the determination and the positive spirit that everyone brought, even to a virtual event.

During the opening ceremony, sponsors had the opportunity to address the audience with a keynote speech. The speeches were a great way for successful companies to introduce themselves and what they do.

By noon, the hacking had begun, and teams launched right into their projects. Fun activities and skill-building workshops were hosted for hackers to join throughout the 2-day affair. With the competitive nature of a hackathon, mini-games brought an atmosphere of relaxation and connection for the attendees. 

Our Co-founder (and VP of Design), Josephine Wong, was also involved in the action where she served as a mentor to the hackers. As a seasoned UX designer, Josephine was available to guide the participants regarding any technical/design related questions via Discord. And she said…

“I was impressed with the amount of work the organizers had put in. The onboarding process for a mentor was seamless. I could see they had put in a lot of effort to make sure students' questions were answered while making the whole experience fun.”

We all agree, Jo.

Winning teams of the 2022 nwHacks event

Sponsor prize winners

It was amazing to receive so many creative submissions. It was evident that a lot of effort and thought went into them. It was tough to narrow down the submissions to only one, however, in the end, we were all happy to choose our winner: CovidRun! The idea of CovidRun stems “from the current global pandemic we are grappling with and the importance of getting vaccinated.” A gamer’s goal is to avoid Covid spikes and collect vaccines in a fun, engaging school environment. Check out the game’s demo.

As part of the sponsor challenge, the winning team received a gift card valued at $200 for a VR game night to Evolve Virtual Reality, plus our comfy and stylish TTT merch.

Final hackathon winners

After completing 24-hours of hacking and with all the projects submitted, the event's three-panel judges: TTT’s Co-founder and VP of Operations, David Hobbs, Microsoft’s Anjul Garg, and Covalent’s Emmanuel Oaikhenan, reviewed all the projects to determine the final winners. We’d like to congratulate the top three winners listed below!

Final thoughts

With hackathons fostering creative development and a growing tech community, we’re so honoured to have participated in this year’s nwHacks. It was an excellent opportunity to laugh, network, collaborate, and learn from one another. 

Next in our calendar of events, we’re looking forward to sponsoring nwPlus’ next hackathon, happening in March, cmd-f. This is an all-women hackathon where women and gender minority students will come together to hack. Expect more details closer to the event date!