Vancouver, here we come! #HackVan

Ready, set? Go! HackDays’ next destination is Vancouver. Yes, we are going West, West, West. And hoping that you will welcome us with open arms. We already feel the love from the GROW conference as this hackday event is being organized in con-junction with GROW. As a matter of fact HackVan is going to be held one day after the GROW conference on Saturday August 20. Mark this date in your calendar right now!

  • When: Vancouver, Saturday August 20, 2011
  • Where: Mozilla Vancouver, 163 West Hastings Street, Suite 200- Vancouver
  • Time: 9 AM to 6 PM
  • Registration: is now open.

So what are HackDays?

HackDays are daily hackathons that we organize across Canada. We gather an awesome group of hackers/developers who work either in a team or alone to build applications with publicly available APIs. We started with HackTO in Toronto and had such a great time that we decided to roll out our hackathons across Canada. Our first destination outside of Toronto was Montreal. HackMTL was a blast and HackOTT and HackWaterloo followed hot on its heels! And now we are headed to Vancouver.

I would like to participate what do I need?

First you need to register. This will ensure that you are guaranteed a spot for the hackathon. There is a $10 registration fee. This provides you with access to the event, breakfast, lunch, drinks, snacks and participation with awesome developers. If you have a hard time paying $10 (because you are currently unemployed or a student) get in touch and we will find someone to sponsor you.

Who can participate?

Anyone who is interested in building an application. All you need to bring with you is your interest and motivation to get involved in building an application in a single day.

Am I allowed to use third party APIs (APIs not provided via HackVAN) to build my application?

Yes. But your usage of the third party APIs needs to be in addition to the HackVAN APIs. Also keep in mind that judging is partially based on utilization of the provided APIs, though, so their use should be prominent. So you can use any API you wish to use during HackVAN as long as you use at least one of the provided APIs.

Why should I participate in this hackathon?

That’s an excellent question! When Corey and I started organizing hacking events in Toronto, we enjoyed meeting other like minded people, we enjoyed connecting them to other awesome people and learning about their interests, startups, and applications. We realized that we had a lot in common but most importantly: we were all builders. You want to participate because you are a builder and because you can’t imagine a better use for your Saturday then setting yourself up in an awesome environment, surrounded by like minded people, building an application to stretches your tech skills, imagination and interests. That’s why. You can always watch TV another day.

What if I don’t know anyone or if I don’t have any ideas as to what to build?

Oh that’s an easy one: if you don’t know anyone, that will last about 10 seconds once you join us. Seriously. Just come out and give it a try. I know you are shy and sometimes you need a kick in the a**. Consider this the kick in the a**. And as to ideas: not to worry, there will be plenty to choose from. The better question: will you have enough time to build your application and showcased it to the judges at the end of the day.

What if I have an idea and a team already?

Well, we want to see you at HackVAN. That’s a great start. Bring your team. Bring your idea. And get working as soon as you get to HackVAN. Perhaps we will be able to witness the birth of your startup.

How large can my team be?

Teams can be as large or as small as you like. Solo is okay, too. A 2-3 people team is ideal typically.

Now I love hacking events but what do I win if I build the best application ever?

HackVAN is not just all guts. There is glory and prizes!

What shall I expect when I get to HackVAN? What shall I bring and what does the schedule look like?

Expect that you will be spending the day with 40-60 other developers who are as keen as you are to build an application in a day and compete. This is a competition too after all.

What to bring:

  • Your Guestlist receipt. You don’t need to print it, an email you can show us is fine.
  • Your laptop
  • Your mobile device if you are developing a mobile app
  • Cables, chargers and connectors for any of the above
  • Your data stick if you have one – could come in handy when networks get chocked up :)
  • Your sense of humor and your ability to get along with everyone while in tight quarters!
  • Your portable coffee cup – we try to keep disposables to a minimum in our events.

What we will provide:

  • APIs, API support
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Coffee, tea, juice, pop
  • Snacks and beers at beer o’clock
  • Wireless access
  • A large LCD display for presentations, with HDMI and VGA input (we recommend you bring your own connectors, but we will have some handy as well)
  • Smiles!
  • An awesome developer community!

Our typical schedule looks like this:

  • 9:00 – Breakfast and introductions: Meet your HackVAN organizers and all the developers, get acquainted with the space + final schedule + grab a breakfast of champions!
  • 9:30 – API presentation: learn about the APIs available. Each API provider will have 5 minutes to introduce their API, discuss its salient features and get you excited about using it.
  • 10:15 – Open Planning: come up with hacking idea and build a team. This is a white board exercise: if you have an idea that you would like work on, just puts its name down on the white board; if you are looking to build a team, identify yourself to other developers with the skill sets that you need. If you are looking for ideas, identify yourself to other developers as well.
  • 10:30 – Hacking setup and start. You claim a little spot of the office with your team or by yourself and start working on your project.
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 1:00 – Hacking
  • 5:00 – Application presentation – 3 minutes for each presenter!
  • 6:00 – Judging and prizes
  • 6:30 – Off to nearby pub for celebrations!

If I have questions whom do I get in touch with?

You can drop us an email anytime with any question. We are happy to help.

How do I suggest an API for HackVAN?

If you know of a local company with a fantastic API you would like to work with, please let them know about HackVAN drop us an email would love to hear from you.

HackVAN is made possible by our awesome sponsors: Context.IOFreshbooks, Grow 2011, TinEye, YellowPages.

 
  • HackREGINA Location Sponsor

    Innovation Place - Innovation Place is home to approximately 40 clients in six buildings, employing more than 1,600 people.

  • HackREGINA Event Sponsors

    iQmetrix Software - At iQmetrix, we create great experiences for retailers, their employees, and the end consumer.

    GB Internet Solutions - We’re proud parents to GasBuddy.com and OpenStoreLoyalty.com, and while we don’t like to play favorites, the GasBuddy app has over 30 million downloads!

  • HackREGINA Community Sponsors

    YellowAPI - Our curated local search API is built off of the strength of the Yellow Pages database of over 1.5 million geo-localized business listings and associated rich content.

    Canadian Youth Business Foundation - Are you an aspiring young entrepreneur, aged 18 to 39, with a solid business idea? Are you looking for the financial support and expert advice that will help you bring your great business idea to life? The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) can help.

  • HackREGINA API Sponsors

    eHealth Saskatchewan - eHealth Saskatchewan employees and consultants are committed to making a difference for Saskatchewan residents by supporting health care providers through making important clinical information available electronically.

    Cashtie - InComm’s new Cashtie API opens up access to retailers point of sale (POS) systems, allowing any approved developer to sell online goods to consumers at these high value retail locations—opening up the possibility for web and mobile applications to accept cash payments for virtual goods, services and utilities at top retailers.

    Twilio - Twilio powers the future of business communications, enabling phones, VoIP, and messaging to be embedded into web, desktop, and mobile software.

    Wit - Wit allows you to build a Siri-like speech interface for you app in 5 min! It's an API that turns speech or text into JSON.

    Windows Azure - Add a cloud backend to your apps in minutes, enabling your apps to reach every user on every platform. With support for popular languages and open REST APIs, you’ll be ready to integrate Windows Azure into your apps in minutes. Use any of Windows Azure’s APIs to complete your hacks. You’ll need to activate a FREE trial or your MSDN Windows Azure benefits prior to using Windows Azure.

  • Header Image by hyfen/flickr