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Join the Debt Challenge and help Canadians manage their debt and be financially better off!

The Scotiabank Digital Factory is inviting you to attend its first ever hackathon to come up with new ways to help Canadians and manage debt effectively.

“The Scotiabank Digital Factory was created to serve as a hub for co-creation and incubation of new ideas. Take part in the Scotiabank Hack IT challenge and join over 100 top tech minds that will work together and focus their creative energy on developing inventive solutions that will help Canadians manage their debt.” - Jeff Marshall, Head, Scotiabank Digital Factory

During the 40-hour Scotiabank Hack IT: Debt Challenge, over one hundred participants will form teams and collaborate with financial experts to build tools that will kick start the development of real solutions. All teams will present their submissions to fellow participants, invited guests and judges at the Scotiabank Hack IT: Expo. The most promising submissions will be recognized during an awards ceremony and awarded prizes.

We want you to be financially better off as well! There will be $25,000 in prizes as well as an opportunity for the winning teams and other hand-picked tech talents to be invited to interview for open positions at the brand new Scotiabank Digital Factory. An innovation hub dedicated to finding customer-focused solutions for digital banking experiences. So don’t wait, register today and let’s Hack IT!

When: January 27th, 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Where: Steelcase, 200 King Street West, Suite 2400, Toronto, ON, M5H3T4

When: February 5th, 6:00 p.m. – February 7th 6:30 p.m.
Where: Scotiabank Centre, 11 Adelaide Street West, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON M5H1N1

The Workshop

A workshop will be held leading up to hackathon to arm all participants with the information and know-how they need to succeed. This will also give individuals a chance to connect and build teams prior to the hackathon and engage with Scotiabanks’ financial experts for inspiration and insights. Register here.

The Hackathon

Participants will strive to create disruptive solutions to help Canadians manage their debt and be financially better off in a creative competition with $25,000 in prizes. The event will kick-off on Friday February 5th with a briefing by financial and technology experts followed by a brainstorming and team building session and two days of hacking.

The Expo

All teams will present demos of submissions to peers and a panel of judges (science fair style) on Sunday February 7th. Cash prizes, honours and recognition will be awarded to the top three teams. More information about the workshop, hackathon and expo will be revealed closer to the event.

Hackathon Day 1

Friday, February 5th
Registration at the door opens
Dinner & final team formation

Hackathon Day 2

Saturday, February 6th
Dinner & briefing on final demos

Hackathon Day 3

Sunday, February 7th
Coding ends
EXPO opens, judging begins
Expo closes, winner pitches & announcement
5:45pm - 6:30pm
Celebration of winners


In 2015 the amount Canadians owe compared to their ability to pay it off rose to yet another record high. In the biggest increase in ratio since 2011, the debt-to-income quota jumped to 164.6 per cent – the highest level on record to-date.

That means Canadians owe just under $1.65 for every dollar of their disposable income and approximately every third Canadian has covered expenses by running up credit lines, credit cards, or even selling off investments and asking family members for cash.

But debt is not just a cold economic number or a challenge that Canadians face few and far in between. Rather, it is an integral and pressing social issue that should be of concern to all Canadians.

It’s time to join forces and collectively tackle the challenge that’s weighing so many Canadians down. Together, more resonant solutions can be found than any individual could create on their own. Join Scotiabank Hack IT by signing up to participate below.

Be sure to register early and in the participant category that best describes you – spots are limited! For more information on participant eligibility and judging, please view the rules and regulations.


Amber Mac image

Amber Mac

Amber left the start-up world to join Microsoft to build one of the first female-focused lifestyle portals. In 2006, with her brother, she started her own digital agency called Konnekt. The company’s first client was world-renowned business coach, Tony Robbins. Her company’s clients include Microsoft Xbox, Ford Motor Company, Tony Robbins, Canada Goose, Fast Company, PayPal, Canadian Blood Services, and many more leading organizations.

Ron Tite image

Ron Tite

Ron Tite was trained at Second City and has been a comedian, speaker, host and award-winning advertising writer and executive creative director. He has also written for a number of television series. Named one of the Top 10 Creative Canadians by Marketing magazine, Ron is the CEO of The Tite Group, a content marketing agency based in Toronto. Ron speaks at over forty events every year and hosts The Art Of conferences across Canada.

Mike Bowler image

Mike Bowler

Mike is an Agile and technical coach and trainer who has been writing code for over thirty years and has been an active member of the Agile community for the last fifteen. He blends his strong technical background with a deep understanding of Agile methods to help teams consistently improve how they deliver value to their customers.

Dinaro Ly image

Dinaro Ly

Dinaro Ly is Director of the FinTech cluster at MaRS. Dinaro brings a comprehensive background in digital payments, marketing and business development to MaRS. He is passionate about technology and the value it serves in our entrepreneurial community—connecting consumers and businesses to best-in-class innovations and platforms within the MaRS FinTech cluster.

Jeff Goldenberg image

Jeff Goldenberg

Jeff Goldenberg is the Head of Growth at Borrowell, a leading Canadian online marketplace lender. Jeff has been leading B2C startups for the past 15 years. He is a sought after expert and speaker in the areas of digital marketing, growth hacking and business development for innovative, high-growth companies. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at MaRS Discovery District as well as a mentor at the TechStars/Startup Next accelerator.

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