Myo Music App Wins Waterloo Hacks

Every great idea starts somewhere.

Over the weekend, Communitech ran its first hackathon, Waterloo Hacks, out of Velocity Start, a new 6,000-square-foot space on the University of Waterloo Campus.

More than 570 students from the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University applied, with the top 165 selected to participate in the 48-hour hackathon, with a goose called Charlie as a mascot.

On Friday night, students piled into buses and headed to the Communitech Hub in downtown Kitchener for opening ceremonies.

Opening the night was the Teds Talk, which featured local entrepreneurs Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik Interactive, and Ted Hastings, President of Perk, covering everything from building a startup to why they chose to do it in Waterloo

Students also had the opportunity to meet with local tech companies and Communitech’s innovation partners before heading back to UW’s campus to set up shop for the weekend.

For the next two days, students hacked away with the help of expert mentors from local tech companies and a Smörgåsbord of food, including late-night meals of McDonald’s, Fat Bastard Burritos and pizza.  And other meals such as sushi, quiche, french toast, rice bowls and an Indian buffet made for a well-rounded weekend.

To break up the day on Saturday, students had the chance to attend learning sessions with Google, Thomson Reuters, SAP and Manulife RED Lab.

By Sunday morning, 25 teams submitted and pitched a project, with 10 making it to the final round.

Judging was left in the capable hands of Wes Worsfold, Associate Director of Velocity; April Blaylock, Senior Engineer at Aeryon Labs; and Liam Horne, co-Founder of Hack the North and CTO of PiinPoint.

The top three teams, chosen for their creativity, innovation and app completion, were:

  • Group 536, who created the Myo Muse, an app that changes the tempo of a song to match your running speed.
  • Shakespeare NLP, which developed a natural language processing app to unify various programming languages used by software developers.
  • Memble, which built a Pebble watch app that can be used by caregivers to track and support Alzheimer’s patients.

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