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HackerNest logo with tagline and globe August 2014.png
Motto"Tech Nerds Unite";[1] "We can all be better, together."[2]
Founded11.1.11 (incorporated 12.12.12)
Typenon-profit organization
HeadquartersCanada Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Worldwide
ServicesTech events and innovation consulting
JJ Beh, Robin Toop, Shaharris, Chloe Kagan

HackerNest is a not-for-profit organization and global movement founded on January 11, 2011.[3] The organization unites local technology communities around the world through community events and socially beneficial hackathons[4] to further its mission of economic development through technological proliferation. It is Canada's largest, most prolific technology community[5] with growing international popularity.


HackerNest was founded on the belief that the fastest, most permanent way to improve the world is to build supportive local technology and innovation communities characterized by trust, sharing, and respect - everywhere.[5] The rationale is that the technology community is the cornerstone of economic development enabling collaboration, innovation, knowledge-sharing, recruiting, and scientific progress.[5][6] Growing and strengthening the community lets businesses hire better, perform better, and create more jobs, which ultimately increases economic prosperity.

The organization's ideology is deeply rooted in chaos theory, the idea that minor tweaks at the start of a process in a dynamic system can have a major impact on the end result. Similar to how the seemingly-insignificant act of handing a child a pencil culminated in the artistic legacy of Pablo Picasso decades later, making a new friend at a Tech Social could result in a partnership that one day cures cancer.[3] HackerNest "splinter cells" (chapters) regularly host "Tech Socials" that are open to anyone interested in technology. The events vary slightly by city, but maintain the same core tenets: all are friendly and down-to-earth.[6]

The first Tech Social was held in Toronto on Monday, January 31, 2011.[7] HackerNest Toronto is currently the world's largest Meetup group for programmers[8] and Canada's largest technologist community.[4][9][10]

As of July 2017, HackerNest splinter cells have run over 550+ events in 34 cities across 14 countries on 5 continents.[3]


HackerNest offers hackathon production and innovation consulting services to companies, organizations, and governments.

In 2014, HackerNest produced Construct, Canada's largest hardware hackathon[9][11][12][13] and DementiaHack for the British government,[14][15][16] the world's first hackathon dedicated to helping people with dementia and their caregivers.[17]

In 2015, the organization produced Deloitte's first internal innovation hackathon as well as DementiaHack[18][19][20] with Facebook as the lead sponsor[21][22] and support from the UK government, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

In 2016, HackerNest produced CourtHack[23] with the US National Center for State Courts in Salt Lake City at the Utah Supreme Court (featuring Supreme Court Justice Constandinos Himonas as a judge) and the Hack4Equality[24][25][26] LGBTQ hackathon with Grindr[27] in Los Angeles which heavily featured White House Promise Zone and Opportunity Project data.[28]

Splinter Cells (Chapters)[edit]

HackerNest refers to its chapters in different cities as "splinter cells", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the eponymous popular video game franchise. Splinter cells are independently managed by volunteers and produce regular Tech Social events.

North America[edit]

  • Austin, USA
  • Boston, USA
  • Calgary, Canada
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, USA
  • Detroit, USA
  • Edmonton, Canada
  • Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada
  • Las Vegas, USA
  • Los Angeles, USA
  • Mississauga, Canada
  • Montréal, Canada
  • New York, USA
  • Orange County, USA
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Peterborough, Canada
  • Peoria, USA
  • Phoenix, USA[29]
  • Salt Lake City, USA
  • Seattle, USA
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Vancouver, British Columbia


  • Cebu, Philippines
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka[30]
  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Manila, Philippines[31]
  • Singapore, Singapore

South America[edit]

  • Bogota, Colombia
  • São Paulo, Brazil


  • London, UK
  • Manchester, UK
  • Niš, Serbia
  • Tbilisi, Georgia


  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • Melbourne, Australia


Past HackerNest sponsors include Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook. Notable companies that have donated office space as venues for Tech Socials include Google (Kitchener-Waterloo), Facebook (Seattle), Microsoft (Kuala Lumpur), Techstars (New York), and Twitter (New York).

HackerNest actively participates on the City of Toronto government's Innovation & Technology Advisory Committee and the Young Entrepreneur Council Advisory Body established by former Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly to help shape the city's interaction with the technology community.[32]


The City of Toronto's former Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly recognizing HackerNest for contributions to the city's technology community.


  1. ^ "HackerNest". Google Plus. HackerNest. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014.
  2. ^ "♥ to HackerNest Tbilisi!". YouTube. HackerNest. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "About". HackerNest. 15 Nov 2013. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014.
  4. ^ a b Emrich, Tom (16 Oct 2013). "HackerNest Sees Global Expansion Thanks To Their No-Douchebag Policy". Betakit. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Choo, Ching Yee (17 Oct 2014). "Operation HackerNest". The Ant Daily. Archived from the original on 2014-12-25. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  6. ^ a b "HackerNest FAQ". HackerNest. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014.
  7. ^ "Toronto Hacker Nest / Coder Collective / Tech Paradise". Meetup. 31 Jan 2011. Retrieved 22 Dec 2014.
  8. ^ "Programmers Meetup Groups". Meetup. Retrieved 25 Dec 2014.
  9. ^ a b Czikk, Joseph (14 Jan 2014). "HackerNest's Mind & Motion Hackathon Next Month Focuses On Wearable Tech". Betakit. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  10. ^ Farshchi, Jamie (October 2013). "HackerNest Taking Tech Social To Foster Community". MISC Magazine. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  11. ^ Lam, Eva (4 Jun 2014). "Forget Silicon Valley, Here Comes Toronto!". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  12. ^ Huffman, Ashley (3 Mar 2014). "What a hackathon can teach your company about agility". ITBusiness.ca. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  13. ^ NewsDesk, TechVibes (20 Feb 2014). "HackerNest to Host Hardware-focused Hackathon in Toronto". TechVibes. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014.
  14. ^ British High Commission Ottawa (25 Jul 2014). "Toronto hackathon to target dementia challenges with innovative ideas". GOV.UK. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  15. ^ Lewis, Rob (5 Sep 2014). "Actor Seth Rogen Wants You to Attend DementiaHack". TechVibes. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  16. ^ Usborne, Simon (22 Oct 2014). "Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone". The Independent. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  17. ^ "DementiaHack 2014". HackerNest. 16 Oct 2014. Retrieved 23 Dec 2014.
  18. ^ Leung, Wency. "Toronto hackathon seeks new solutions to help dementia patients". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 16 December 2015.
  19. ^ Campbell, Meagan. "Facebook invites tech nerds to hack dementia". Maclean's Magazine. Maclean's Magazine. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  20. ^ NewsDesk, Techvibes (19 September 2015). "Facebook and HackerNest to Host Hackathon to help those Affected by Dementia". Techvibes. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  21. ^ "Facebook and HackerNest to Produce World's Foremost Hackathon to Help Those Affected by Dementia". Yahoo Finance. Energi PR. Sep 15, 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  22. ^ Leung, Wency (Nov 5, 2015). "Toronto hackathon seeks new solutions to help dementia patients". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 13 November 2015.
  23. ^ Burke, Troy. "NCSC partners with HackerNest for CourtHack Hackathon". Extract Systems. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  24. ^ Honigman, Brian (Sep 20, 2016). "Lessons In Corporate Philanthropy: Grindr Connects Nonprofits And LGBTQ Advocates With Tech Talent". Forbes. Forbes. Retrieved Sep 30, 2016.
  25. ^ Dickey, Megan Rose (Sep 16, 2016). "Grindr wants tech people to combat LGBTQ inequalities". TechCrunch. TechCrunch. Retrieved Sep 30, 2016.
  26. ^ Hudson, David (Sep 19, 2016). "Grindr partners with White House to run hackathon for LGBTI equality". Grindr partners with White House to run hackathon for LGBTI equality. Gay Star News. Retrieved Sep 30, 2016.
  27. ^ "Grindr collaborates with the Opportunity Project on an unprecedented hackathon" (PDF). Hack4Equality Media Alert. Grindr. Jul 21, 2016.
  28. ^ Office of the Press Secretary (October 6, 2016). "FACT SHEET: The Opportunity Project - Unleashing the power of open data to build stronger ladders of opportunity for all Americans". whitehouse.gov. The White House Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  29. ^ see also: "the "meetup dot com" 'group' page, for the [Phoenix] 'group' called "HackerNest Phoenix Tech Socials"". Retrieved Oct 20, 2016.
  30. ^ README (21 May 2014). "HackerNest Launching with Techkatha Meetup". README. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  31. ^ "Tech Startups Come Together To Connect N' Collaborate At The HackerNest Manila Meetup". 14 Oct 2014. Retrieved 15 Dec 2014.
  32. ^ "Deputy Mayor's Innovation and Technology Roundtable" (PDF). June 23, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  33. ^ "HackerNest News". HackerNest. 17 Nov 2014. Retrieved 22 Dec 2014.
  34. ^ McBride, Jason (16 December 2015). "The Norm Show". Toronto Life. Toronto Life Publishing Company Limited. Retrieved 16 Dec 2015.
  35. ^ Kintanar, Justine (24 March 2015). "Meet the Finalists of the 2015 Canadian Global Impact Competition". ventureLAB. ventureLAB. Retrieved 26 March 2015.

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