uOttaHack is Ottawa's largest hackathon and this year will be its more exciting iteration yet! To commemorate this special milestone, uOttaHack 4 is expanding the hacker experience with new initiatives to create an unforgettable weekend for its hackers, VIRTUALLY!

COVID-19 has brought the greatest medical challenge that world has seen in our generation. For uOttaHack 4, we are bringing hackers together to help build solutions for issues our local community is facing due to COVID-19. After reaching out to multiple local businesses such as hospitals, nursing homes and hotels, we have created challenges that will help the city of Ottawa recover.



    • Teams must be a max of 4 members
    • Teams should be made up exclusively of students (or recent graduates within one year of having graduated) who are not organizers, volunteers, judges, sponsors, or in any other privileged position at the event.
    • Countries: Anywhere in the world! However restrictions may apply for shipping of prizes overseas.


COVID-19 Challenge

This year, uOttaHack is tasking hackers with tackling the biggest problems faced by society, communities and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The uOttaHack team conducted real world research to determine where the biggest impact could be had by hacker projects.

Hacker projects should tackle one (or a mix) of these broad areas:


Investigate anything from preventative/hygiene behaviours, supporting frontline workers, treatment and diagnosis development, virtual healthcare, and more.


Produce innovative and creative solutions to combat the negative impacts on mental health and promote safe ways to be social within our communities.


Look at creative methods of delivering remote learning to students of all ages and aiding teachers/schools in the process.


Assemble a solution revolving around anything from the supply chain, e-commerce, retail logistics, and more.

IMPORTANT: These 4 areas are descriptions and guidelines for the COVID-19 challenge and not strict tracks/ categories on their own. Hackers are welcome to pick whichever area (or a mix) they feel they want to build their project in, alternatively if you have another idea that still fits within the theme of resolving the side effects felt during the pandemic you are welcome to go for it! You can always message the organizer team to see if your idea falls within guidelines.



Hackathon Sponsors


$CAD5,450 in prizes

1st Place Overall

1st place overall project at uOttaHack

Prize: $1000 CAD split among team members

2nd Place Overall

2nd place overall project at uOttaHack

Prize: $750 CAD split among team members

3rd Place Overall

3rd place overall project at uOttaHack

Prize: $500 CAD split among team members

Deloitte - Help international students make Canada their home

Challenge Statement: Develop a solution to improve international student retention in Canada post-graduation and encourage students considering international education to view Canada as a destination of choice

Context: Immigration is a key part of Canada’s plan for economic recovery. In November, the Minister of Immigration announced increased target immigration levels for 2021-23 – looking to increase from 300,000 to 401,000 in 2021. Student Visas and Post-Graduation Work Permits represent key pathways to Permanent Residency and Citizenship for many newcomers to Canada. The Minister of Immigration recently announced changes that would allow people who hold a Post-Graduation Work Permit to extend their stay and transition to an open work permit. Your challenge is to think about how to encourage graduating students to remain in Canada and smooth the transition into the Canadian workforce

PRIZE: Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headset x4

Solace - Best use of PubSub+

Simply integrate Solace PubSub+ Cloud into your hack to participate.

To win Solace's competition, we're looking for innovative ideas that best use the Solace PubSub+ event broker in your hack. Find ways of leveraging Solace's wildcard topic subscriptions, incorporate multiple messaging protocols into your application, and leverage Solace's powerful message queue capabilities to stand out from the competition.

PRIZE: $1000 Amazon Giftcard split among team

Sun Life - Challenge

Create an application or service to support and enhance social connections of a fully remote workforce. How will you tackle increasing team engagement virtually?

Prize: 4x $100 Amazon Gift Card

Ciena - AI for Accessibility

People with disability often unable to do routine daily life activities and lose job opportunities. At Ciena, we believe in equality and empowering everyone - with or without disability - to succeed more. Recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) opens up new doors in many area including accessibility and accelerate many technology developments. At this challenge we are looking for a product/platform/design, at any stage, that leverage AI technology to assist disable community. Your solution can address disability in any form including ones related to vision, hearing, mental health, learning, cognition, or mobility, for a permanent or even situational cases.

Prize: Ciena SWAG and 1;1 with a Ciena Recruiter to discuss resume, career opportunities etc

EchoAR - Best AR/VR application

Build the best AR/VR application using the echoAR platform! PRIZE: $50 Amazon gift card (per team member)

Best Domain Registered with Domain.com

Register a .tech, .space, or .online domain name using Domain.com during the weekend. Each team may submit one entry per person on the team.

Each winning team member will receive a PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger & Domain.com Backpack.

Best use of Google Cloud

Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. See full list of products here: g.co/cloud. Each winning team member will receive a Google Branded Parkland Academy Backpack.

Google Branded Parkland Academy Backpack

Best Hardware Hack Sponsored by Digi-Key (2)

Using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator, build a hack for your chance to win a Grove Beginner Kit, with Arduino Uno R3 included. We select two winning teams for this category. Each winning team member will receive a prize!

Winners receive Grove Beginner Kits

Best use of DataStax Astra

Apache Cassandra is one of the most widely used database technologies in modern computing with a proven track record of scalability. Just ask Apple, Netflix and eBay. Build a hack using DataStax Astra’s Cassandra-made-easy service and gain in-demand skills along with a chance to win Blue Snowball Microphones for you and your whole team. It’s easy to sign up with 5GB free and no credit card needed. Start becoming a Cassandra expert today!

Prize: Blue Snowball Mic

Most Useless Hack

For-Fun challenge by the uOttaHack team, includes a special shoutout at closing ceremonies

Most Popular (by Hackers)

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


uOttaHack Team

uOttaHack Team

Judging Criteria

  • Technology
    How technically impressive was the hack? Was the technical problem the team tackled difficult? Did it use a particularly clever technique or did it use many different components? Did the technology involved make you go "Wow"?
  • Design
    Did the team put thought into the user experience? How well designed is the interface?
  • Completion
    Does the hack work? Did the team achieve everything they wanted?
  • Learning
    Did the team stretch themselves? Did they try to learn something new? What kind of projects have they worked on before?
  • Idea
    Was the hack idea relevant to the COVID-19 theme, and how well does it tackle issues faced during the pandemic? Is it for social good? Innovativeness?

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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Hackathon sponsors

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