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Frequently Asked Questions


A hackathon is an event where people engage in designing or engineering solutions to a presented challenger over a relatively short period of time such as 24 or 48 hours. 

What is a Hackathon?

We are taking a social approach to problem solving by not just inviting minorities into the space to design and create but are actively making them the center of the process. For NSBEHacks 2023, we aim to challenge participants to innovate solutions that focus on enabling technology for under-represented user. This year's hackathon will be multi-disciplinary so we encourage use of other products that are not limited to websites and apps. Details of the challenges will be revealed at the event.

What sort of issues/problems will we be working on?

This hackathon is beginner friendly and does not require coding to solve the challenger. We are taking a multidisciplinary approach and are asking participants to utilize the tools they are most comfortable with to present their solution in a creative and impactful way.

Do I need to be able to code to join?

The event is open to all regardless of representation or whether you identify as Black. We welcome allies to work with us in curating solutions that can best meet the needs of the black community and help foster inclusivity in an innovative space. 

Do I need to be black to participate? 

This year 2023 our event is free to all but this might change in the future 2024 and beyond.

How much does it cost to participate?
  • Location at 40 St George Street, Bahen Center for information technology 

  • From 7:30 am on March 4 till 4:00 PM on March 5

  • Lunch on both days and dinner on the first day will be provided.

When/where will the event be taking place? Will food be provided?

This event is open to all in the GTA, however we will not be providing living accommodation for those traveling from far. Please make sure you organize your living arrangement for the weekend.

Is this event for UofT students only?

During the hackathon there will be various industry workshops, skills workshop (how to CAD) and other relaxing based workshops available throughout the duration of the event.

Are there other events/workshops also taking place during the hackathon?

People can compete alone but we suggest you work in teams. A max of 4 people per team are allowed. There will be an opportunity to form a team the day before the hackathon through our participant portal

How large should the teams be? Can I compete alone?

If you are looking to gain a new skill,add a project to your portfolio, find a summer job or network with peers, this is a great opportunity to take part in. This will also be a great chance to learn how technology can be improved for many unmet needs and potential to develop something that can become a startup. We have researchers and incubators who are looking for a great solution to sponsor and move on to the next stage.

Why should I participate?

There will be mentors available to assist you during the event on both days. They will have industry experience or years of technical experience at their arsenal to assist you

Are there mentors or people available to assist with the coding or development of our team’s ideas?

We will release tips and information that can help you prepare for the 2 day event. But overall the event is meant to be a fun experience.

Will there be training or anything to help me prepare for the event?

Our hackathon is fully in-person and we require that you be there to take advantage of all there is. In a case where you are a team and you may have fallen sick, we advise that you refrain from coming to the event for your safety and that of others. We might be able to make an exception for you if the rest of your teammates are present and there is sufficient proof of your contribution. 

Do I have to be physically present the entire hackathon? Can I join virtually?

At the 2022 hackathon, the first place winner was Speakerverse who created a sound system AI that can read and interpret the accents that are not traditionally western. This helped address algorithm bias that have been built into systems like Siri, Alexa and so on. 

The winner of the Best Black Hack, created a system that connected local barbershops to the community. This solution addresses the problem many small businesses faced due to the pandemic. 

What are some examples of past successful projects that were worked on?

There are numerous ways you can contribute and please see our website to sign up to be a volunteer.

Are there any volunteering or opportunities to help plan the event?

Got more questions? Email us at 

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