Woohoo! It’s time to start rolling out the red carpet for the 2017 UIT Startup Immersion High School Hackathon! What’s a high school hackathon, you say? Well, well, well, pull up a chair and let me tell you all about it.

Picture this: you arrive at our fun and funky space in downtown Sydney bright and early on Saturday, March 4th. You are greeted with an array of delicious and maaaaaaybe not-so nutritious breakfast foods to fill your belly that will get you ready to take on the day. We will introduce you to our amazing mentors and you can introduce yourself to everyone – there now, we are all friends.

You can enter a team or we can place you with a team, the choice is yours. Don’t
worry about how much programming, design, product development or computer skills you have because we will make sure you work with a group of people that complement the skills you do have. It’s a win-win situation.

You will spend about an hour working with your awesome team to come up with some ideas to build a web or mobile product. Think about the fun apps you like to engage with or the best websites you always visit – what makes them great? What makes them interesting to you? You’ll begin mapping out and building out your digital product and putting the pieces together as a team.

Bring on the lunch time spread! Eat until you can’t eat anymore and then it’s back to work on your masterpiece. Did we mention that you’ll be working with some of best programmers, designers and techies in the area!? Get ready to learn a ton!

You’ll work with your team until about supper time – and then it’s time for more food. Man, are you getting hungry just thinking about all the free food? I sure am. After supper you can put the finishing touches on your digital masterpiece and then we will gather around to see what you’ve created. You can also invite your friends and family – the more, the merrier!

When it’s all said and done, the staff and mentors at UIT will have a round table discussion about the awesome work you did and will be handing out prizes for best design, best idea, best functionality, who ate the most pizza….you get the idea!  

Last year, we had nine students participate in the hackathon! In two groups they built an app in which users could throw items at characters on the screen and a portal for a variety of games to be played online.

We are super excited to start accepting applications for this year’s hackathon. Click here to register. We can’t wait to create with you!

We are already into the second month of 2017 and time isn’t slowing down. If you are at work thinking to yourself, “man, I wish I had a cooler job” or “man, this job is sucking the soul out of me”, maybe it is time for a change? If 2016 got you down, you probably made a resolution to make 2017 ‘your’ year. We can help make 2017 your year. Keep reading.

Here’s the thing: life is really short. Too short, in fact, to be wasting your time at a job that is getting you nowhere in life. What if you could have a job that can take you everywhere, or keep you in Cape Breton if that’s your dream? So many people want to stay in Cape Breton and earn a fair wage and have stability in their lives and it sometimes seems like a pipe dream, but it’s not.

If the idea of working in the tech sector seems like something that isn’t for you, I’m here to tell you there is a job for everyone in technology. So, forget about the idea of technology, it’s a big fancy word that is used to label an industry. Within the industry there are hundreds of jobs that need to be filled! The great thing about technology is that the spin off is incredible: sales, marketing, advertising, recruiting, human resources, networking, programming, product design, business, agriculture, clean energy, oceans, education, politics. As you can see, the list goes on and on.

It doesn’t matter what kind of job you have right now, you can work in the technology sector and support the efforts of those who fight the good fight to bring stability and innovation to Cape Breton. If you want to be at the heart of what is going on, UIT Startup Immersion is the path you want to walk to get you there. If you think you can’t learn to code, let me tell you: you are wrong. We are so good at teaching coding, product design, development, business skills and networking, that we can give you what you need to find your place in tech. We are helping people find opportunity in a community where opportunity is perceived as scarce and we are blazing trails faster than ever before.

Our curriculum changes rapidly because employers visit our campus and say they need a developed skill set that can change from year to year or even month to month. Our student success coaches wake up early and stay late to make sure our students are ready for community pitch days. Our facilities are open to our students 24 hours a day to give them room to get the job done.

If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I’ve got this cool idea for an app,” UIT is the place for you. If you’ve ever said to yourself, “man, I’d love to run a business but need money to get started,” UIT is the place for you. If you’ve ever looked at your boss and thought “I should be running this place,” UIT is the place for you. We will teach you to build that app, find money to start that business and show you how to be that boss.

Don’t wait. We have a few seats left for September. Make 2017 ‘your’ year.