HackTO: Boom!

We just wrapped up HackTO and I am incredibly humbled by everyone’s participation and all the applications the developers and hackers managed to build in a single day. We had close to 100 participants. 23 applications completed. And of course numerous ones that need a bit of tweaking to be completed. We live in amazing times! Let me take your through our adventures on Saturday. Of course organizing a hackathon requires a lot of planning, a kick ass team (which we have) and incredible sponsors (who support our community) and most importantly YOU. So I am glad YOU made it out. Hopefully learned a few things, meet new people and started thinking about your next idea!

HackTO was a full house. This time around it took place in the FreshBooks fresh offices! Their offices were brand new as they just moved into them and they were gracious and supportive to host us. Big ups to Freshbooks!  We could not have asked for a better location.

Before being admitted to the space you had to get pass the official HackTO greeter. She did not accept any bribes unless they were pats on the head! She is known to like popsicles.

We started the day with all the API providers giving a 3 minute presentation about their API and showcasing examples of what has previously been built using their respective APIs.


(Photograph by Joey DeVilla)

Our API providers for this HackTO included: AtomicRearch, ContextIO, Freshbooks, Shopify, SoundCloud, Trendspottr, Twilio, WordPress.com, YellowAPI

Our HackTo schedule is pretty aggressive as it is a single day hackahon! Once all the API providers gave us their API low down, we pretty much grabbed a spot for the day and started working.


(Photograph: (c) Funkaoshi)

As of 10:30 AM it was off to the races for everyone! 6.5 hours to the finish line. And those hours fly by so quickly specially when to be eligible for any prizes, your application needs to be completed and ready to demonstrate to the judges. HackTO had an awesome line up of prizes. This time around the HackTO prizes included cash prizes as well as API sponsored prizes:

HackTO Official Prizes – all cash prizes (because cash is king)

  • 1st Prize: $2,000
  • 2nd Prize: $1,500
  • 3rd Prize: $500

Company Sponsored Prizes (best use of a company API)

  • Atomic Reach (best Social integration): 2 tickets for the CN Tower EdgeWalk (a 600$ value)
  • Context.IO: $150 iTunes Card
  • Freshbooks: $500
  • Shopify: $500 Apple Gift Certificate
  • SoundCloud: Free premium subscription
  • TinEye: $500 cash (best Multicolor API use)
  • Twilio: $300 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • Trendspottr: iPod Touch
  • WordPress.com: $100 of upgrade from WordPress.com
  • YellowAPI: $300 Apple Gift Certificate

The catch of course was that the developed application had to be completed or at least be in a state where its features could be demonstrated to the judges. Our HackTO judges included Judy Blumstock and David Crow:

We believe that a hack is “an appropriate application of ingenuity”.


At the end of the day 23 applications were completed for HackTO and in order of presentation they were:

  1. FreshTrends by Vlad. This application used the WordPress.com and Trendspottr APIs. FreshTrends displays and searches trends in tile formats from blog post searches
  2. AroundMe by Terence and Adan. This application used the YellowAPI, Twilio and GoogleMaps. This application shows youthe services and amenities close to your neighbourhood. You enter your postal code or address as the search criteria and AroundMe returns the list of businesses close to your address. Pretty awesome to use when you move to a new neighbourhood
  3. HackPad by Alan. Built using the SoundCloud API, this application is a a music loop machine plus trigger pads.
  4. LocalTracks. This application by Dave allows users to find music they like in their local city. You can try it here. The application used the SoundCloud API.
  5. Audio-Cache. This application built by Ash, Bartek and Craig. This application allows you to find where music sound bits where recorded. Geocaching for music. This application used the Twilio and SoundCloud APIs and the Leaflet API for maps.
  6. Pitch. This application built by David used the Shopify and SoundCloud API to allow you to sell your SoundCloud tracks on Shopify.
  7. Imelda Dreams in Colors. This application built by Martine and Mark used the TinEye MulticolorEngine to allow you to search a Zappos shoe collection of 30,000 shoes by colors.
  8. BandManager. This application built by Rudolf used the YellowAPI and Trendspottr. It allowed you to manage bands, book venues and check out where your favourite bands were booked.
  9. LastResort. This application built by Victor, Scott and Ian used the Twilio and ContextIO APIs. LastResort allowed you to route your server support to the right person to deal with a server crash for example.
  10. HeartMap. Built by Antony’s team and using the Twillio and Yellow APIS was a dating application. It allowed you to call a potential date and schedule a date. It also allowed you to search local businesses in the area of your date to send them flowers, chocolate or anything to make your date awesome!
  11. Twilio Speed Dating. Built by Cory, this application used the Twilio API. It was a chat roulette without the surprise. You registered and added your phone number. You were able to make a call to a select date in the network, they could choose to answer your call or not.
  12. Sound in Color. This application developed by Ken, used the TinEye MulticolorEngine and SoundCloud API. The application analyzed the a sample music file and determined its loudness and based on its loudness, it associated it with a color and then searched a Flickr image collection for images containing those colors.
  13. Moziac. This application developed by Leo used the TinEye MulticolorEngine to create a mosaic of the Firefox logo using images pulled from an image collection being searched and organized by the Firefox logo colors.
  14. 80S Joke Line. This application built by Max, Sam, Ram and  Houssam used the Twilio and SoundCloud APIs. Users get to call a phone number to either tell a joke or listen to a random joke. Live now.
  15. CDOT. This application built by Jon, Scott, Matt and Dave used the TinEye Multicolor API. The app a Firefox logo mosaic using multiolor search.
  16. 3 minutes. Built by Ted, the application used the Twilio and SoundCloud APIs. The idea is for people to be able to hear a 3 minute story. You can subscribe to the service and provide your phone number. Users call in and record a 3 minute story. All subscribers get a phone call the next day and get to listen to a 3 minute story. Story sharing.
  17. StockTrendio. Built by Ibrahim, Terry and Mark, this application used the Trendspottr and Twilio APis. It allowed you to receive stock information directly to your mobile phone.
  18. AtomicReader built by Terry using AtomicReach. This application build a tile of blog posts based on subject matter and updated in real time.
  19. FreshFaxes.com. Peter, Matt and Chris used the Freshbooks API to build an application that allows you to send your invoices by fax automagically to your clients!
  20. TinEye Mozaic. Using the TinEye MulticolorEngine, Kent built an application that allows you create a photo mozaic using multicolor search. His application included drag and drop :) and the ability to save your mosaic.
  21. Geo DJ. Built by Ankit and Jean Luc using the SoundCloud and Yellow API. This application allowed you to search for a business and listen to the music or sounds associated with the tags describing the business.
  22. Podcasting Robots. This application built by Mo used the WordPress.com, SoundCloud and Twilio APIs. Mo wanted everyone to enjoy the sweet sounds of robots reading his blog posts. This application basically robotifies your blog!
  23. MusicConnect. Built by Dileshni, Uzi, Susahosh and Marek. This application used the SoundCloud and YellowAPI. It allowed you to pull music you liked from SoundCloud, find people who liked the music you pulled and using the Eventful API find out where these music bands were performing. The application also allowed you to find out what type of music users users who liked your type of music, also liked. Music discovery + search + events.


And DRUM ROLL, the HackTO winners were:

  • NUMBER 1: LastResort

  • NUMBER 2: HackPad and NUMBER 3: Sound in Color

 But of course these were not the only HackTO winners. Additional winners were selected by the API providers for the best use of a specific API and these include:

  • AtomicSearch for best use of AtomicReach API
  • FreshFaxes.com for best use of the FreshBooks API
  • FreshTrends for best use of the Trendspottr and WordPress.com APIs
  • GeoDJ AND AroundMe for best use of the YellowAPI
  • Moziac for the best use of the TinEye MulticolorEngine
  • 80s Joke Line for best use of the SoundCloud API and many more, so please stay tuned for a complete winners update!

Thanks for our awesome sponsors for making HackTO possible. And a big shout out to the YellowAPI for being the lead sponsor for HackTO and helping us to continue bringing hack events to Canadian cities. High fives to Klick Health for joining us and helping us to provide awesome prizes to our hackers and developers.


  • 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