PharmaHacks is a hackathon focused on tackling life science problems with computer science solutions. Being the only AI & bioinformatics focused hackathon in Montreal, a biotech hub, we offer a unique reach to the biotech leaders of tomorrow.

From March 26th to March 27th, we will be hosting our third annual PharmaHacks in a hybrid format. PharmaHacks’ mission is to encourage students to apply computer science, AI, and machine learning to solve problems in pharma and biotech.

As a hacker, you’ll have the opportunity to solve challenges, network with industry professionals, join workshops, meet recruiters, and win prizes (such as job interviews and cash prizes). 

All challenges and rubrics can be found here


Please include videos, photos, or screenshots of the working product and a link to the source code (i.e. GitHub).

Please clearly indicate which challenge you are working on. 

Note that plagiarism and resubmitting projects from other hackathons is strictly forbidden. 

Hackathon Sponsors


$CAD5,272 in prizes

MedTech Prizes

First place: $100 Amazon Gift Card per teammate
Second place: $50 Amazon Gift Card per teammate
Third place: $25 Amazon Gift Card per teammate

Phyla Challenge #1: Information Extraction

Phyla AI job interviews for the top 3 teams (Shared prize between Challenge #1 & Challenge #2)

Phyla Challenge #2: Classification of Diseases Based on the Gut Microbiome (3)

Phyla AI job interviews for the top 3 teams (Shared prize between Challenge #1 & Challenge #2)

PharmaHacks Challenge: Top 3 Hacks (3)

First place: $200 Amazon Gift Card per teammate or cash equivalent
Second place: 1 Raspberry Pi 400 + Keyboard per teammate or cash equivalent
Third place: 1 Amazon Echo per teammate or cash equivalent

Best use of Google Cloud

Build your hackathon project with a suite of secure storage, powerful compute, and integrated data analytics products provided by Google Cloud. See full list of products here: Winners outside of the US will receive a Google branded backpack.

Best Domain Name from

Register a .Tech domain name using during the weekend for your chance to win a PowerSquare Qi Wireless Phone Charger for you and each member of your team! Each team may submit one entry per person on the team. The more creative the domain the better!

Most Creative Use of Twilio

Twilio allows you to incorporate mobile messaging, phone calls and a ton of other awesome communication features right into your hackathon project using a web service API. Are you building an e-commerce website and want to send text notifications or email confirmations once an order is completed? Or maybe you'd like to verify users based on their mobile numbers? Twilio makes all this possible and more. Build a hack that simplifies your life using any Twilio API for a chance to win some awesome prizes! Get started with $50 in free credit!

Best Use of DeSo

DeSo is the official Web3 sponsor of the MLH Hackathon League and the first Layer 1 blockchain custom-built for decentralized social media applications. While a blockchain like Avalanche costs $0.50+ to store just a 200-character post, the DeSo blockchain is built with custom indexing and storage optimizations which make it 10,000X cheaper to store social content on-chain! In order to qualify for the contest, you must launch an app that writes to the DeSo blockchain and implements DeSo identity. While social media apps are a great fit for DeSo, you can also build financial apps, marketplaces, and more on the DeSo blockchain. For inspiration on project ideas, you can check out some of the existing 200+ apps already live on DeSo at as well as our DeSo APIs. The Best Use of DeSo gets $100 worth of $DESO coin & an exclusive DeSo branded tumbler!

Best Blockchain Project Using Hedera

Hedera is a next generation blockchain technology that’s accessible from familiar programming languages like Java and JavaScript. Their goal? To make Web3 development even more accessible to hackers like you! Build a project on Hedera's test network for a chance to win amazing Glorious Modular Compact Mechanical Keyboards for you and your team!

Best Usage of CI/CD sponsored by CircleCI

Have you ever wondered how professional developers from companies like Peloton & Samsung collaborate and ship code to production? For one, they use continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) platforms like CircleCI to help automate testing, versioning, deployment and so much more. Whether you’re looking to learn a new skill, practice coding, or hack with friends, CircleCI can help you to utilize the best development practices possible when approaching a new project, however big or small. Use CircleCI in your next hack for a chance to win some awesome CircleCI swag, including a branded mug, beanie, socks and stickers!

Best Hardware Hack Sponsored By DigiKey

Using your preferred hardware or hardware emulator, build a hack for your chance to win a Grove Beginner Kit, with embedded Arduino Uno compatible board. Each winning team member will receive a prize!

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:


Dr. Pouya Bashivan

Dr. Pouya Bashivan
McGill University

Jesse Ehrlick

Jesse Ehrlick
MedTech Talent Accelerator

Alexis Nolin-Lapalme

Alexis Nolin-Lapalme
Université de Montréal

Ludovic Goix

Ludovic Goix
Rheinmetall Defence

Ryszard Kubinski

Ryszard Kubinski

Mohamed Kleit

Mohamed Kleit

Judging Criteria

  • PharmaHacks Challenge
    Creativity (10 points): How original is the project? Usefulness (10 points): Does the project have real-life applications? Presentation (10 points): Is the demo clear? How well was everything explained? Complexity (5 points)
  • Phyla Challenge #1
    Documentation (5 points): Did the team describe their exploratory analysis? Performance (5 points): How good were the results compared to other teams? Code (5 points): Is the code documented? Presentation (5 points): Was the challenge clearly explained?
  • Phyla Challenge #2
    Innovation (5 points): How unique or creative is the model design implemented? Documentation (5 points): How well documented is the submitted code? Performance (5 points): How good was classification for the final model generated? Code (5 points)
  • MedTech Challenge
    Presentation skills (15 points) Strength of the proposed idea (20 points)

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

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