Media release

Nine students score $5K each in Communitech’s ‘Code to Win’ challenge

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KITCHENER, ONT., January 20, 2020 — Even in competitions, sometimes things change. This weekend, at Communitech’s ‘Code to Win’ coding competition was no exception. Typically, the first prize of $5,000 would have been awarded to the student who finished the complex series of four programming problems in the fastest time. However, for the first time in the competition’s history, nine participants scored a perfect 100 per cent.

“In the three years that I’ve been organizing Communitech’s ‘Code to Win’ competition, I’ve never been as impressed with our competitors,” said Tina Wilton, event organizer at Communitech. “This is one of the most talented groups of students that we’ve worked with – it is clear how bright, involved and at the cutting edge of computer science they all are.” 

So, while the oversized first-place cheque was awarded to a second-year computer science student from the University of Toronto, Michael Nematollahi, who finished the challenge in 23 minutes and six seconds, there were more competitors that deserved accolades. Communitech’s Code to Win organizers were so impressed by the talent pool drawn from across the country to this one-day event, now in its fifth year, that the other eight perfect scores were also awarded a matching $5,000 prize.

Those winners were: 

  • Ian DeHaan, University of Alberta
  • Rahim Mammadli, University of British Columbia
  • Arash Bidgoli, University of Waterloo
  • Peter Ralbovsky, University of Waterloo
  • Andy Rock, University of Waterloo
  • Ahmed Sabie, University of Waterloo
  • Anzo Teh, University of Waterloo
  • Jason Yuen, University of Waterloo

 Code to Win preliminary rounds are held on campuses across the country each fall, with top finishers being invited to the finals at Communitech. This year’s Code to Win attracted the most out-of-province participants since the competition’s inception, with airline tickets booked for 26 of the 75 finalists. Travel and accommodation expenses, and the prize money, are provided by Communitech and its sponsoring partners: Deloitte, Google, Manulife, Rogers and Sonova, as well as the federal and provincial governments.

Participants at this event also got the opportunity for some exclusive networking with corporate sponsors such as Sonova, Google, Manulife, Deloitte, Rogers and others. Sponsors were on hand at the event to meet some of Canada’s best and brightest young software engineers with some firms even holding one-on-one interviews with students, while others shared the message about working in their company. 



For media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres
Manager, Public Relations, Communitech
(519) 888-9944 Ext. 1027

About Communitech

Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1,400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.

Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.

  • Communitech is a place – the centre of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.
  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.
  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help companies go from a small startup to a global giant.