HackMTL – the Hack is a Wrap!


Lots of people on the streets for HackMTL (OK, it was for F1 week-end…)


First a BIG thanks to my co-organizers: Sarah-Jane (@SarahJaneMorris) and Jonathan (@jonas_ll).

Second an even BIGGER thanks to all the sponsors, see pic at end of post, and to see more official HackMTL photos, including the winners and their prizes visit Flickr here.

It has been a couple days now getting over the HackMTL hangover, but boy was it worth it! We are humbled by the level of participation, from our hosts at Cossette, to the hackers and especially our panel of judges. We had just over 70 total participants with 16 applications completed in just a single day.  And of course a few extra apps that needed just a little more tweaking to be completed – we will see these apps next time.

Of course organizing a hackathon requires a lot of planning, energy dashed with patience, a kick ass team (which we have) and incredible sponsors (who support our community) and most importantly YOU. So we are glad YOU made it out. Hopefully learned a few things, meet new people and started thinking about your next idea, app, team, company, start-up, whatever!


HackMTL was a full house. We took a new angle on the location for this hack, and partnered with Cossette, Canada’s leading ad agency with HQ here in Montreal, and their offices were perfect! We had killer Wi-Fi, lots of room to move around, couches to relax and a kitchen (there was a beer fridge!). It also didn’t hurt that it was right around the corner from Crescent Street and the crazy F1 party that was in the city this weekend. We could not have asked for a better location.


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.


Our API providers for HackMTL included: Atomic Reach, CakeMail, Context.IO, FreshBooks, Primus, Rdio, SendGrid, Shopify, StatusNet, TinEye, Wajam and YellowAPI.

And of course we thank Montreal Ouvert, Quebec Ouvert and OpenNorth and the entire open data community for their gracious support. The following organizations supplied their data for the hack: Société de Transport de Laval, Société de Transport de Montréal, CommunAuto and Ville de Montreal. Believe that Open Data was showcased very well at this hack with 5 apps leveraging the power of these open data sets.

Our HackMTL schedule was pretty aggressive as it was a single day hackathon, so once all the API providers gave us their API low downs, we pretty much grabbed a spot for the day and started working.


As of 10:30am it was off to the races for everyone! 7 hours to the finish line and having to focus for the bragging rights and all those prizes. And those hours fly by so quickly. Especially when to be eligible for any prizes, your application needs to be completed and ready to demonstrated to the judges. HackMTL had an awesome line up of prizes and at this HackDays event prizes included cash as well as API sponsored prizes:

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

  • 1st Prize: $1,000
  • 2nd Prize: $750
  • 3rd Prize: $500
  • OpenData: $300

Company Sponsored Prizes (typically best use of a company’s API)

  • Cossette (best social integration for a large brand): 2 days/nights whitewater rafting trip
  • Atomic Reach: Kobo e-reader
  • Context.IO: $100
  • Freshbooks: $200
  • Shopify: $500 Apple Gift Certificate
  • Rdio: Free premium subscription, 1 x one year and 3 x three months
  • YellowAPI: Jawbone Jambox ($200)
  • Primus: PrimusCloud Server account with 4GB’s of RAM and 200GB’s of Disk free for 6 months
  • Communauto: Communauto pass for heavily discounted car rentals in Montreal
  • CakeMail: 3 months free of API services for up to 25K emails/month
  • SendGrid: Sphero, an amazing plastic ball you drive with iOS or Android device
  • OneAPI: Amazon gift certificate ($100)

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 HackMTL judges including (from left to right);

  • JS Cournoyer: Real Ventures & FounderFuel
  • Carl Mercier: Serial Entreprenuer
  • Phil Gauvin: co-founder MatchFWD
  • Malik Yacoubi: VP Mobile Cossette
  • Paul Ryan: CTO Yellow Media Inc.


At the end of the day 16 applications were completed for HackMTL, in order of presentation they were:

  1. Leagues - @mart_coul
  2. BibMTL -
  3. CakePusher -
  4. SocialLunch -
  5. Buscast.me - @MatthieuHoule @MobileSam @helmaataoui @WaikeiTse
  6. Bloop – @_hristine
  7. Fitness – @soroush731
  8. YellowCaller – @mgamble
  9. Feed.me - @devsoftweb
  10. STM Live – @edouardlabbe & @dorukvardar
  11. Nest - @alexbfree & @lrojas
  12. Montreal Metro AR -
  13. Wajam Places – the Wajam Team
  14. Jazzify-  @radhouani@marekweb
  15. RandomHaiku – @SwiftAlphaOne
  16. HomeSafe -

And DRUM ROLL, the HackMTL winners were:

1st placeJazzify

2nd placeBloop

3rd placeNest (website coming soon)

Open Data winner: STM Live


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

  • Jazzify  for best use of Rdio API
  • Nest for best use of the SendGrid API
  • STM Live for Best Transportation App from Communauto
  • CakePusher for best use of the YellowAPI
  • CakePusher for best Big Brand integration from Cossette
  • Leagues for best mobile app from International Start-up Festival

Thanks for our awesome sponsors for making HackMTL possible. And a big shout out to my peeps YellowAPI for being the lead sponsor and throwing their weight behind this event. To Cossette for again being a very gracious host. Finally to ContextIO for the continued support of HackDays.ca, the developer community and specifically this Montreal event.


13 Jun 2012, 3:47pm
APIs HackMTL HackMTL Judges HackMTL sponsor
Comments Off
  • 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