Using technology to change lives

Assistive and adaptive technology can empower individuals to do the impossible

What is it?

hackABILITY is an extended hackathon that will bring together passionate teams to create solutions for individuals with disabilities. hackABILITY will raise awareness about emerging assistive and adaptive technology opportunities, and facilitate the rapid prototyping of devices that may be considered for further development and commercialization. Solutions will be assessed based on innovation, scalability, and affordability criteria.

When is it?

All hackABILITY events will occur September to December 2017. Attend our info sessions on Sep 19 at Microsoft Canada or Sep 21 at Sheridan College to learn more, ask questions, and form your team. Team applications are open now until Thursday October 12. Teams will work on their projects in October & November. The hackABILITY finale will be held on Thursday, December 7 - stay tuned for more details.

Who should participate?

Think you have a solution that will take the "dis" out of "disability"? We are looking for people that are passionate about solving problems! hackABILITY teams will consist of at least 4 people, including a person with a disability or a caregiver. Teams are recommended to have expertise in design, coding, and engineering.

Congratulations to our participating teams:

AIDex, BlueScout, CoolCats, iC Color, Living Life, and SmartCane


hackABILITY Schedule

Deadline for Team Applications

October 12, 2017 – Teams submit their application form, including team members and project idea (Apply Here)

For those looking for teammates please go to  and sign up. You can then join the hackABILITY project

Project Development

October & November – Teams work on their projects, with the help of training workshops and drop-in sessions (more info to come)


Final Project Submissions

November 27, 2017 – Teams submit finished projects, including a one-page overview and presentation slide deck 



December 7, 2017 at UofT Mississauga campus (Get your tickets here)



Meet the Judges

Inspirational judges supporting the development of technology innovation
Sam Schmidt

Sam Schmidt

Former Indy Racing League driver and current co-owner of Schmidt Peterson Motorsports

Barry Munro

Barry Munro

Chief Development Officer, Canadian Spinal Research Organization

Rob Buren

Rob Buren

Speaker, Athlete, Entrepreneur

Andrew Yoshioka

President of Sanbonki Inc.

Laura Dottori-Attanasio

Laura Dottori-Attanasio

Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Risk Officer at CIBC

Contributing Partners

The organizations behind hackABILITY

RIC Centre


The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre helps technology entrepreneurs that want to fast-track their business to market. From the idea and concept stage, to the growth and expansion stage of their business, RIC Centre has supported more than 700 startup clients since 2013. RIC Centre clients have raised over $240M in capital, generated over $115M in revenue and created over 650 jobs.



ICUBE is the business accelerator at the Institute for Management & Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga. ICUBE offers students and community youth early-stage business development & commercialization services including an entrepreneurial curriculum, business advisory services, collaborative space, expert speaker sessions, and a mentorship program.

Arrow Electronics

Organizer & Lead Sponsor

As one of the world’s largest providers of electronic and IT products and services in the world, Arrow is uniquely positioned with the breadth of resources and depth of expertise to successfully shepherd promising entrepreneurs along their path to market. From design and prototyping support to creative financing and supply chain services, Arrow has the end-to-end technology capabilities that can help startups get innovative new products to market quickly and cost-effectively.

Microsoft Canada


Microsoft Canada is a creative workplace which attracts the best and brightest talent in the IT industry who bring an ever evolving vision of the future to reality. Microsoft software helps businesses and consumers to reach their full potential, however they define it. Woven throughout daily life, whether it be work or play, Microsoft technologies flourish when they get into the hands of millions of Canadian partners and customers enabling innovation often in new ways. Microsoft Canada is equally passionate about committing to Canadian communities.

Sheridan College


Founded in 1967, Sheridan has grown from a local college of 400 students to one of Ontario’s leading postsecondary institutions, educating approximately 23,000 full-time and 18,500 continuing and part-time studies students every year on three campuses in three Ontario cities – Oakville, Brampton and Mississauga. An award-winning institution, Sheridan attracts students from across Canada and around the world. Sheridan’s 170,000 alumni play a critical role in shaping the future of our society in the fields of arts, business, community service, health, technology, and the skilled trades. Project Leo


Project Leo’s mission is to create the online environment where engineering minds solve the world's problems while achieving their personal goals. The site's free online collaboration feature, the Magic Board, is where ideas are shared on posted projects both in private groups or in public.

Bereskin & Parr


Bereskin & Parr LLP is a leading Canadian intellectual property law firm serving clients of all sizes in various industries, both domestic and international. The firm was founded in 1965 and has grown to be one of the largest IP law firms in Canada, with four offices located in major economic or technology centres. Bereskin & Parr is made up of more than 70 lawyers and patent and trademark agents, many of whom are recognized as leading practitioners in their respective fields. The firm’s practice is comprehensive, encompassing all aspects of intellectual property. Both the firm, and its award-winning professionals, are consistently ranked as the benchmark for IP law in Canada.

Digi International


Digi International (Digi) is a leading global provider of mission-critical and business-critical machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services. We help our customers create next generation connected products and deploy and manage critical communications infrastructures in
demanding environments. Our embedded modules and off-the-shelf routers, gateways and network products are designed for relentless reliability and deliver unquestioned performance and security. Our cloud-based software and professional services help customers put their connected products and assets to work across a broad range of mission-critical industry



The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 390,000 associates worldwide. In 2016, the company generated sales of 73.1 billion euros. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected industry. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to create solutions for a connected life, and to improve quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm.

Inertia Engineering


Inertia offers a full suite of product design services including Design, Prototyping, Engineering, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.
Our clients come from a wide range of industries, from medical to clean tech, fitness to health and safety and consumer products. Ranging from start-ups to multinationals, our customers share the drive to develop innovative products. They recognize the value and capacity of Inertia to help them bring their ideas into reality, and into customers hands.The quality of our customers products speak for themselves.



Urtech is a Canadian electronics manufacturing company that is based in Burlington, Ontario. We provide a wide array of services from product prototyping and engineering, to production-scale manufacturing and post production services to both North American companies and global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).



Spacebar is a suburban ecosystem of entrepreneurs, start ups, small businesses, freelancers, remote workers and many others that connect, collaborate, and create! Located in the heart of Mississauga - their boutique-style coworking, meeting and event space brings work closer to home.

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2660 Speakman Drive, Mississauga ON L5K 2L1

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