For immediate release,

Have you ever wondered what it is like to be part of a hi-tech startup? How do you test ideas, prototype the technology, get buy-in, and start a company? The Startup Hackathon is the place to not just learn, but to experience all of this in one highly compressed 24 hours.

The 2019 Chilliwack.Tech Startup Hackathon will be held at the University of the Fraser Valley in Chilliwack on March 22nd & 23rd. This 24 hour event is now in its third year and continues to have broad support from local partners including the Chilliwack Economic Partners, the University of the Fraser Valley, Community Futures South Fraser, and the Downtown Business Centre. Organized by the local Chilliwack.Tech community group as an official chapter of XLRator, it is supported by volunteer efforts from Currency Marketing, Loop Energy, Greenhouse Games, Crafty Penguins, i-Open Technologies, and Wisebox Solutions.

The event will begin with a networking session late Friday afternoon for participants to get to know each other, then a one-hour education session that introduces three common tools to validate new business ideas. Those who showed up with ideas but not a team can give a quick pitch to attract additional team members or decide to join another. The teams then work on both the business plan and the technology for 20 hours, iterating and “pivoting” as needed. Several teams in the past have changed up their plans significantly at least once during the event. Along the way the teams receive two mentorship sessions; one session early Friday evening to help validate the ideas, and another Saturday morning to help ensure they are ready for the pitches and demos.

Last year’s winning team was Gamma Games Interactive, and the first year’s winning team was Maplespace. The wining team each year is awarded prize money to be used towards starting or growing their business. They also receive six months of free office space from the Downtown Business Centre and access to one-on-one mentorship. The winning team is selected by a panel of three or more judges using a score card that is based on the market validation training, along with an assessment of how complete their technical solution is. Gama Games Interactive won the 2018 event with a 3D space arcade game, while in 2017 Maplespace won with an app designed for pickup-leagues such as recreational hockey to simplify the management and payments. The team lead of Gamma Games Interactive, Alex Terhart, commented at the end of the event “we learned so much more than we expected to! It was awesome.” Raymond Szabada from XLRator commented at the end of the 2018 event that “The Hackathon continues to attract young innovative talent, effectively stimulating the entrepreneurial spirit in the Valley. The Chilliwack.Tech community group did an excellent job organising and hosting the event and we look forward to what’s in store for the 2019 Hackathon.”

For more information and to register, please visit https://chilliwack.tech/Hackathon