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Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab


2017 marked the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab's second year as the sponsor of Hack Western, and we were once again excited to be involved in this event!

At many levels, the event was a huge success. With more than 2,100 applicants and 500+ hackers selected to participate in teams of four, we ended up with 105 projects submitted at the end of the weekend. With the support of the Lab, the Scotiabank Digital Factory sponsored two prizes this year: Best Fintech Hack and Best Startup Idea.  The hackers showcased their impressive talent, but they also learned a lot over the course of the weekend.

This year, the Scotiabank Digital Factory brought nineteen people to Hack Western 4, including blockchain developers, engineers, agilists, product owners, and designers.

Above: Members of Scotiabank’s Digital Factory team representing at their recruitment booth

Together, they offered five workshops on design thinking, agile development, and blockchain technology.

Above: Scotiabank Lab co-Director and Ivey Prof JP Vergne is proud to introduce Scotiabankers Brian Whelan, Martina Rosati and Jen Serdetchnaia to our hackers for a workshop on design thinking

2017 Winning Teams

Best FinTech Hack – Arcade Bank (Honorable mention – Budge-it)
Team Members: Sri Gannavarapu, Katherine Stumpf (Western University)

Best Startup Idea for $3000 in seed money – BloxOffice
Team Members: Jason Brown, Sean Bradley (Western University)

The Best Startup Idea prize comes from a partnership between the Lab, Scotiabank, and Propel as explained below:

“This year, the Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab at Ivey Business School and the Propel Accelerator & Incubator have partnered up to present an exciting opportunity for hackers.  Teams who created projects in the Fintech Track had the opportunity to receive up to CAD$3,000 in seed funding and continue their projects into possible start-ups at Propel. The winning team receives access to Propel mentors, a community of experienced and seasoned entrepreneurs who can provide business advice, and get guidance from a Scotiabank expert on Fintech.”
Prof. JP Vergne, Co-Director, Scotiabank Digital Banking Lab


This is my third year being on the Hack Western team and it still amazes me how each year there is a new group of hackers that are bringing so much energy and have such a strong desire to learn within the 36 hours. The theme of Hack Western 4 was “Idea to Reality” and seeing 500 hackers demo 106 projects was truly inspirational and exciting to see. We worked very closely with JP Vergne and Sonya Fervaha from the Scotiabank Digital Factory and Digital Banking Lab at Ivey to ensure that students were introduced to the FinTech track through cool workshops and mentors- which led to some awesome projects! I want to thank the organizing team who have worked so hard for the past eight months, sponsors, mentors, volunteers, faculties, and everyone that allowed Hack Western 4 become an idea to reality.”
Joy Pak, Co-Director, Hack Western 4

It was incredible to see 500 enthusiastic hackers from all over North America to come together and collaborate on projects at Hack Western. In 36 hours, all students brought their ideas to a reality through the vehicle of programming, creating a wide arrange of projects from mobile applications that help those with hearing disabilities to practice speaking to blockchain-backed shooting trackers to regulate gun violence. Hack Western 4 would not be possible without the support of our sponsors and mentors who helped hackers every step of the way!"
Amy Xu, Co-Director, Hack Western 4

Above: Hack Western 4 Organizing Team
Top Row (L-R): Jason Lee, Nitish Dang, Bryce Pratt, Nick Elder, Adam Motani, Nick DelBen, Kaspar Shahzada, Wes Ong

Bottom Row (L-R): Heather Kozak, Amy Wang, Amy Xu, Joy Pak, Nikita Sahni
Missing: Jay Patel, Albert Kim, Kayla Pandza, Jenna Le


About Hack Western

Hack Western is an annual, student-run hackathon at Western University.  Students collaborate in teams of up to 4 to build web, mobile and hardware projects, while participating in workshops, learning from mentors and competing for prizes. Support from the Digital Banking Lab provides hackathon participants with the opportunity to explore digital disruption in the financial services industry, and delve deeper into topics ranging from user-centered design to cryptocurrencies.

Hack Western 5 will take place in the fall of 2018.  The dates for next year's competition will be announced in the Spring.

For additional information on Hack Western, please visit their site:

Read all about Hack Western 2016 here.

We look forward to working again with hackers in the future to foster creative thinking – and creative making – about the future of FinTech. Long live blockchain hacks!

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