MO’Hacks: MO’ than your Ordinary Innovation Challenge.

MO’Hacks is about passionate people from Vancouver and Toronto who innovated solutions for the Movember Foundation using design-thinking principles and prototyping.

On November 18th, over 100 moustache-supporting men and women gathered for MO’Hacks, the first ever dual-city Innovation Challenge held in partnership with the Movember Foundation. The events were held coast-to-coast in both Vancouver and Toronto as a launch for the expansion of Movember’s new platform which includes men’s mental health and well-being. MO’Hacks was supported by impact-conscious and start-up driven leaders Victory Square Technologies and RED Academy.

One-by-one, eager participants arrived early on a Saturday morning to work collaboratively on a single goal presented by Movember: develop a solution that gets men engaging in their mental health and wellbeing.

Novices welcomed and encouraged!

Don’t worry – we don’t just leave you in the trenches to figure it out on their own. We got your back.

“What I also loved about ProtoHack was that they didn’t just throw you into the deep end without a life jacket. They presented short workshops on Design Thinking, prototyping tools, and the state of men’s mental health to give everyone a framework for approaching the problem. Although my entire group consisted of UX Designers, it was still valuable to hear these concepts reiterated.” – Myia Kelly, Quote from MO’Hacks Participant

Movember brought in mental health experts and together we harnessed the power of the ProtoHack community to bring in UX designers, product developers and pitch specialists to provide valuable feedback to support participants throughout the course of the day. This mentorship allowed participants to create user persona and better understand the problem-solution relationship.

In conducting interviews with men’s health experts, industry leaders, and men who’ve personally experienced depression and addiction, we discovered the 4 considerations when thinking about a successful solution for men and their mental fitness:

  1. Action-based approach
    For most men, there is a preference for action over conversation
  2. Language reframing
    The language around emotion should not threaten masculinity, there is a need for balance
  3. Intervention & collaboration 
    External forces are often necessary as a catalyst for change
  4. Going to where men are
    Avoid creating new environments to facilitate these interactions

“With these findings in mind, our team focused on one of the major factors between men and their ability to access their emotions — communication.” – Shristi Gartaula, MO’Hacks participant

We’re so proud of every single participant at MO’Hacks. It was evident that this was a labour of love and so much more than another Innovation Challenge. It was about giving back in a new and innovative way. The top three winning teams, in both Toronto and Vancouver, were awarded over $75,000 USD worth of prizes from App-Scoop, Launch Academy and RED Academy to further develop their solutions.

Congratulations to the MO’Hacks winning teams!


  • 1st Place: MO’Data – Sean Elder, Quinton Silzer, and Tim den Engelsen
  • 2nd Place: Hey, Man – Zach Hill
  • 3rd Place: MovemberBOT – Merina Leong, Millie Wu, Cameron Wong and Jan Natividad


  • 1st Place: Running With Shitty Feelings – Myia Kelly, Shristi Gartaula, Colin Yau, Ece Dilege, and Shahnaz Polad.
  • 2nd Place: MenHood – Matt Newelski and Marta Kule
  • 3rd Place: Positive Parenting – Kevin Xu, Rene Ng, Richard Lam, and Adelya Suleymanova

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