SkyWatch is proud to announce the return of the NASA International Space Apps Challenge to the Waterloo Region, from April 22-24th. The hackathon attracts Waterloo’s top tech talent—developers, makers, citizen scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs—who work non-stop for 48 hours to address NASA-designed challenges. Waterloo joins over 170 other cities hosting their own Space Apps Challenges that weekend, for an estimated total of 15,000 global participants, making it the largest hackathon in the Universe. Last year, more than 14,000 hackers participated in 138 cities.

Two winning solutions from the Waterloo challenge will move on to compete with other winners from across the globe, to be judged by the NASA International Space Apps Challenge team. This year’s host, SkyWatch, was an international winner in 2014. As an international winner, the team got the opportunity to meet NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and were guests of NASA at the Orion spacecraft’s first test launch, a vehicle which will be taking the first humans to Mars. The event was largely responsible for their ascent, now a growing space startup based in Waterloo.

Unique to Waterloo participants, this year’s event will include the unveiling of Canada’s first ever accelerator focused on space startups. The Canadian space industry has discussed creating such a program for over a decade now, and in 2016 it will become a reality, right in the Waterloo district. SkyWatch, alongside the Canadian Space Commerce Association will reveal more details at the event on April 24th.

“NASA’s Space Apps Challenge is the most unique hackathon on Earth,” says Space Apps Organizer and SkyWatch CEO James Slifierz. “The event allows a range of skilled participants the opportunity to build something amazing that can be used in the real world, or space, using NASA tools and data. To add to the excitement, for the first time ever in Canada, participants could receive support for their ideas outside of the hackathon and possibly launch their own space startup.”


The NASA International Space Apps Challenge Waterloo opens Friday April 22nd, when participants will meet, discuss challenges and form teams. For the next 48 hours, they will work tirelessly to build prototypes for presentation on Sunday April 24th. Participants will choose from the six following categories—Aeronautics, Space Station, Solar System, Technology, Earth, and Journey to Mars—and leverage both NASA’s celestial data and a stellar roster of mentors to create practical solutions that improve life on Earth and in space.


Date: April 22nd, 6pm, – April 24th, 8pm
Location: Communitech
151 Charles St W,
Kitchener, ON

More info & registration:


Organizing sponsor: SkyWatch Space Applications
Venue sponsor: Communitech


SkyWatch is accelerating access to satellite and remote sensing data. Starting in April 2014, we cut our teeth building software for astrophysicists, allowing them to subscribe to real-time notifications from NASA spacecraft observatories. In 2014 we won the NASA International Space Apps Challenge, winning out over 650 other projects. In March 2016 we started offering RemoteX, a marketplace for remote sensing data. The company is now a team of 8, working out of Waterloo, Ontario.

Contact: James Slifierz (