Global Tech Leaders To Join Toronto PCH Hardware Hackathon

We are pleased to announce that founders and CEOs of some of the world’s most exciting technology companies, along with key players in the Canadian tech ecosystem will participate in its Toronto PCH Hardware Hackathon, which takes place this weekend, March 6 through 8 at the MaRS Discovery District.

Some of the key founders and CEO’s include:

  • Christina Mercando, Founder & CEO Ringly
  • Karl Martin CEO Nymi Inc. (formerly Bionym)
  • Katherine Hague, Co-Founder of Shoplocket and Leader of the PCH Hackathon initiative
  • Tom Emrich, Founder of We Are Wearables
  • Doug Soltys, Managing Editor of BetaKit
  • Steve Tam, Canadian Lead in Tech and Design for Indiegogo
Christina Mercando, Founder & CEO of Ringly

Over one weekend, more than 100 of Toronto’s makers, collaborators, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs will design and create working prototypes of connected, ‘Internet of Things’ devices. Previous Hackathons held by PCH in San Francisco, California and Dublin, Ireland have led to the development of devices such as connected refrigerators, smoke detectors and medication management systems.

The PCH Hardware Hackathon begins at the MaRS Discovery District Auditorium on Friday evening, March 6th at 5pm when participants will pitch their hardware ideas, and form teams to conceive, design and make prototypes of the next generation of connected devices, supported throughout the weekend by cutting-edge design expertise.

A limited number of tickets are still available at

As well as getting their hands dirty and making the devices, participants will also hear from some of the world’s foremost technology leaders. On Friday March 6th, Chris Anderson, 3d Robotics CEO (and former Wired editor) will host a virtual talk and Q&A session with attendees. In addition, there will be a panel discussion on current trends in hardware and connected devices with contributions from:

Tom Emrich, Founder of We Are Wearables
  • Tom Emrich, Founder of We Are Wearables
  • Doug Soltys, Managing Editor of BetaKit
  • Steve Tam, Canadian Lead in Tech and Design for Indiegogo
  • Elena Yunusov, Senior Editor, BetaKit
  • Conversation moderated by Amanda Cosco, Multimedia Journalist

On Sunday March 8th, following demos from all of the participating teams on the ideas and prototypes worked on over the course of the weekend, a second panel discussion will be hosted to feature successful hardware entrepreneurs, discussing how they took their companies from initial prototype to market.

This second panel will include contributions from:

  • Christina Mercando, Founder & CEO Ringly, a New York City-based fashion/technology company composed of designers and engineers dedicated to blending art and technology in meaningful ways.
  • Karl Martin CEO Nymi Inc. (formerly Bionym), a dynamic Toronto startup that is always looking to push the boundaries of innovation through technology, and which has developed the Nymi Band
  • Stuart Lombard. Founder & CEO of ecobee, a Toronto company focused on creating smarter wi-fi thermostats that are beautifully designed, easy to use, provide comfort and savings for families and are good for our planet.
  • Sohaib Zahid, Co-Founder & CEO of Vanhawks, a Toronto-based startup that is fundamentally rethinking cycling through the development of ground breaking products like their connected bike, Valour.
  • Conversation moderated by Katherine Hague, Co-Founder of Shoplocket, and Leader of the PCH Hardware Hackathon initiative.

The PCH Hardware Hackathon is supported by companies, including: Upverter, Hot Pop Factory, Connected Lab, MaRS, We Are Wearables, MakeWorks, and the Ryerson Digital Media Zone. PCH is also working with to collect and recycle old tech products throughout the event.

PCH Hardware Hackathon participants will have access to some of the best hardware equipment available globally, including develop kits, 3D printers, CNC machines, soldering irons and a laser cutter. The event will include one-on-one mentorship, optional workshops, speakers and pitch practice.

State of the art 3D printers were used at the Hackathon event in Toronto.

Winners of the PCH Hardware Hackathon will be announced following the panel discussion. Judges include Marcus Gosling, Design Lead at PCH; Michele Romanow, Co-Founder of Buytopia and Snap, and Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den; Mike Stern, Founder of Connected Lab; Alex Baker, Partner at Relay Ventures and Sarah Prevette, Partner at BrandProject.

There will be a cash prize of $4,000 awarded to the winning team. This prize money will be awarded to support continued development of the winning idea. Other prizes include a free incorporation for the winning team from Canadian startup law firm LaBarge Weinstein, $4,000 in services from Toronto engineering firm Connected Lab, 1 week of free co-working space at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone, and much more. Prizes may be divided among multiple teams at the discretion of the judges. Additional prizes will be awarded to 2ndand 3rd place teams.

For information on participation and registration please visit

Ticket Prices:

  • A full weekend pass is available for $75.
  • The ticket price for the panel discussions & pitches only on Friday and Sunday evening is $20.
  • Tickets can be purchased from the event website and by clicking here.