In Depth: HackerNest

Usually, I write about up and coming tech companies or technologies in these In Depth articles. Today I’m doing something different. I’m writing about an organization in the tech world that is doing something for good for the sake of just doing something for good. I must admit that this is one of the reasons why writing this story appealed to me.

The group in question is HackerNest, and they’re a Canadian non-profit group that’s focused on building very supportive tech communities all around the world that will help to bring about economic development through technological proliferation. That’s a very lofty goal, but clearly one that they believe is achievable. They do this by hosting social events, hackathons, and job fairs among other events. One thing that pervades everything that they do is that it must all be nonpartisan, unpretentious, anti-elitist, and pitch-free.

They may be a Canadian based non-profit. But they have chapters, referred to as “Splinter Cells” which is likely a reference to the video game series of the same name, around the planet. Locations that they operate in include (via Wikipedia):

  • Boston
  • Calgary
  • Dallas-Fort Worth
  • Kitchener-Waterloo
  • Las Vegas
  • Montreal
  • New York
  • Seattle
  • Toronto
  • Vancouver
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Hanoi, Vietnam
  • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • São Paulo, Brazil
  • Querétaro, Mexico
  • London, UK
  • Manchester, UK
  • Niš, Serbia
  • Tbilisi, Georgia

Clearly this group has reach and influence. So much so that companies such as BlackBerry and Microsoft have sponsored them. Plus they win awards such as these ones (via Wikipedia):

  • HackerNest was recognized by the City of Toronto for contributions to the technology community on July 28, 2014.
  • HackerNest Unite is a finalist in the 2015 Canadian Global Impact Competition.

I am sure that some of the growth and influence is due to HackerNest Director Shaharris Beh who I rank as one of the most engaging and passionate people that I’ve met since I started this blog. He truly believes in what he and HackerNet are doing and that is infectious. It even through the phone when I interviewed him last week. Thanks to that interview, I am honor bound to attend one of their events in Toronto. If you want to attend one of their events and you live close to one of HackerNest’s “Splinter Cells”, check out this page to see what’s on tap in your area. Time permitting, I’ll be attending the HackerNest Tech Social on July 27th and I’ll report back on what I experience. It should be fun!

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