For the second year in a row, Ecopia AI sponsored Hack the North, which saw over 1,500 students from over 20 countries gathered at the University of Waterloo for 36 hours of hacking, collaborating and networking. Now in its sixth year, Hack the North is one of the top hackatons for high school and university students in North America! Ecopia has a strong tie to the University of Waterloo (UW), as the company was commercialized from a PhD research thesis, and two of the founders hold degrees from UW in geomatics and engineering. So whenever the team can head back to the school to see what students are creating and to be able to expose students to the company, we welcome the chance.
On Friday evening, the team set up the Ecopia booth, featuring snacks to keep everyone going, as well as information about upcoming coop/internship opportunities at Ecopia. Currently, we have coop students from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia, ranging from first to fourth year. We have consistently welcomed engineering, computer science and data scientist interns to Ecopia, ranging from 8–16 month work-terms. What makes Ecopia an amazing company as a co-op option, is that fact that we immerse each of our students into solving real problems, that end up having a real impact on the business as a whole. From computer vision to back-end engineering, each student is given the chance to work on cutting-edge technologies that change the way our customers do business.
As hackathon tend to go, Saturday afternoons can be a bit of a stretch, as fatigue sets and seeing the same group of people with little sleep makes hackers feel like they’re trapped in a bubble, so it was time to do some networking. Students from across the world stopped by the Ecopia table, from India to Ireland, as well as students from across Canada and the United States. Each was interested in learning about how Ecopia is using technology to revolutionize our industry, as well as collecting stickers and treats to keep them going.
This year, the recruitment team brought our Data Scientist, Kelly, with us as a mentor and technical lead, giving hackers the opportunity to learn first-hand from someone who’s been in their position, because she did a coop term at Ecopia, and then graduated and decided to work full-time with us! She also provided valuable mentoring to students as they worked through problems and pivots in their projects. Our VP Communications, Emily, was available to answer questions about work culture, and about upcoming positions for winter 2020.
Overall, it was a great weekend, filled with innovation, collaborative environments and a lot of great projects! Congrats to the winning teams, and to the volunteers and organizers of Hack the North 2019, the team at Ecopia looks forward to 2020!