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Success again at Hackathon for Lassonde


While the Canadian men’s hockey team was busy winning gold, a Lassonde hacking team was equally busy blowing judges away at McHacks.

A pattern of success is certainly emerging for the stellar team composed of Will Lau and Vahe Khachikyan.

Over the weekend, the duo scooped up the most awards at a hackathon yet again, this time for their new hack CloudyBeats at McGill University’s McHacks, the first Canadian hackathon affiliated with Major League Hacking – billed as “the NCAA of hackathons”.

500 competitors from top North-America schools – Princeton, Harvard, UPenn, Michigan, UofT, Waterloo, and McGill, among several others – competed for $10,000 in prizes during the 23-hour competition. Eighty-nine teams were whittled down to the top ten by judges from key sponsors such as Microsoft, AppDirect, Vungle, Morgan Stanley, Shopify and Digital Ocean.

Will and Vahe drew huge attention from tech companies with their ingenious and interactive touch-screen music app CloudyBeats, which allows users to intuitively create one-of-a-kind tracks in a groundbreaking new form. Judges were wowed by the technical impressiveness and marketability of the app.

Repeating their success at UofT Hacks with BananaSundae, the team again went on to win the most awards of any group in the competition – taking the main second-place prize, as well as three sponsor prizes from Microsoft, GoInstant and mashape.

CloudyBeats was also the only team that presented judges with a solid financial plan. Will stated that the entrepreneurship course offered by the Lassonde School, taught by Professor Moren Levesque at the Schulich School of Business, gave the team practical business skills needed for success.

During individual demos, the judge from Microsoft praised the team, claiming the app had “huge potential” and could easily go to market. The team stated: “we also achieved our goal of encouraging creativity. We had to pry the iPad running CloudyBeats away from people’s hands!”

Fellow award-winning hacker from UofT at McHacks facebooked “that feeling when @Will Lau shows up and wins everything. Again.”


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