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“Tech fever” may spread soon at Canadian campuses

CDN CURATED: Canada needs more tech nerds on college campuses

Canadian undergraduate students are being challenged to turn as many of their peers into tech nerds as possible by the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference (CUTC).

In a contest started Aug. 1, the CUTC asks students to start “the next greatest tech movement on his or her campus to turn non-techies into tech-lovers.” The challenge could be a “coding 101” event or a speed networking event, for example, or anything else that could transform luddites into tech lovers. The contest runs until Sept. 12 and the top 20 finalists will be asked to represent their campus for a chance to win a VIP trip to the CUTC conference in Toronto.

Contest entrants will be judged across four dimensions: thoughtfulness, creativity, engagement, and support. The grand prize winner not only gets to attend CUTC 13, but will also have a mentorship launch with former Canadian Space Agency engineer Stephen Lake, and tour startup incubators such as Ryerson’s Digital Media Zoneand The Next 36. CUTC’s conference theme for May 2013 is “infect” and the Web site explains that 1,000 students will be involved in three parallel conferences in three of Canada’s largest cities.

The contest is being run through CampusPerks, an online student community that helps students fund their initiatives by working with brands and not-for-profit organizations. The Toronto-based firm rewards students with scholarships, exposure, and organizational sponsorship.

The winner of the contest will be announced Oct. 25.