Wrap up of 1 of Get your bot on: Excitement!

The first day excitement could be seen and felt everywhere!


19 teams in total!









3 Dec 2012, 11:34am
Comments Off

Get Your Bot On – day one

And so it started! This is day one of the hackathon but really it is day two. We got started on Friday with the planning sessions and workshops. The kits we put together survived the scrutiny and handling of participants and that was great given the amount of planning required to put them together.

Get Your Bot On Kit:

The Get your bot on hackathon was sold out. We started a waitlist and that also filled up pretty quickly. Like Dave McLure said:

The smart wait listed participants joined us on Friday for the planning sessions and workshops. Since that gave them an opportunity to mingle with all participants and mentors, most of them managed to get accepted in an already formed team.

Jen – whom we fondly call General Jen – facilitated an awesome team planning session: we had teams who were already formed and knew what they were going to build, participants who had ideas but no teams, wait-listed participants some of whom had ideas, but not team and no registration and it all resulted in 22 robot building teams!

Real Time Team Planning

We started the Friday evening at the TinEye HQ and that of course involved beer, grilled cheese sandwiches, robots, flying objects and chocolate in that order!

Today, Get your bot on is being held in the Mozilla Open Space which is an awesome space for hackathons. Open, with ample space, great working surfaces and couches! We spent most of the afternoon on Friday setting up the entire space so it works for all the teams.

Mozilla Open Space set up

As you can see we covered every single table with thick craft paper and provided foam core. And this is how it looked once everyone settled in:

and of course, hackathons require energy and lots of it!

We try to use as few disposables as possible during our hackathons so we always ask our participants to bring their own mugs. We just hate seeing hundreds and hundreds of disposable cups at the end of a weekend hackathon. Some participants are more enthusiastic about their mugs than others :) (xavier snelgrove in the house!)

and of course, the Mozilla crew represented by Olivier rocked!

Our awesome sponsors even wished us good luck! @hubba

Rob Tyrie got the hackathon confused with a sports event. I am not sure about what sports he is cheering on this Grey cup weekend, but it seems to be related to hockey.

A number of hackers where eager and ready to get started.

24 Nov 2012, 10:31pm
Comments Off

Yes, we can, because you make it possible. Thank you!

 Thank you!

11 PM and we are packing the hackathon kits for the weekend. So many parts. So much work!

And of course we are reminded that this hackathon would not be possible without the support of our awesome SPONSORS and the COMMUNITY. Nothing and I mean nothing would be possible without all of your rallying around an idea and helping us make it happen. So from the bottom of our heart: thank you for believing, thank you for landing a hand and thank you for making this dream possible.

Thanks to (in alphabetical order, and we love you all to the same):
betakit, brian sharwood, commonsku, conveyorbuilt, cortex design, craig saila, homezilla, hubba, instructables, interaccess, jen dodd, joseph puopolo, kapik integration, MEIC, mozilla, moti.ph, normative, polarmobile, richard lam, rightsleeverob tyrie, tara hunt, tellyourbossanything.com, thomas purves, tineye, thinkthank lab, upverter







[photo copytight]  http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/1276092/

22 Nov 2012, 11:57pm
Comments Off

Build a robot? Hell yes! Robotics hackathon under way.

I hope that you are as excited as we are to be joining us for the Get your bot on hackathon this weekend. Robots, builders, makers and geeks and fun, what’s not to love! It is down to the wire in the Get your bot on HQ and we are putting the finishing touches to the hackathon but the most important item is ready: the kits!

What is Get your bot on: A weekend hackathon to build a robot in a team. You will be building a robot using the parts in the provided kit. You can of course enhance the kit with anything else you would like, please remember to bring your additional parts with you. You will be working in teams of at least 2 participants. If you already have a team, that’s great, make sure everyone shows up to pick up your kit. If you are solo and still need a team member, we will help you with that on Friday so make sure you join us Friday evening.

Get your bot on kit: Your kit is fully documented. Take a look at all the parts we are providing. Make note of anything else that you may be needing and source it now. We will be providing soldering guns, foam core, good working surfaces and additional tools but please remember to bring your computer and power cables if you are going to need them. If you have spare parts that you would like to add to our spare parts list, please bring them with you, you may save someone’s day by doing that!

Workshops:  We will start the weekend with a soiree at the TinEye HQ. On Friday you will meet all the participants, find a team member if you don’t already have one, check out the kit and meet the hackthon team. We will be able to answer any question that you have and will prepare you for the weekend. We will also be holding a series of workshops that evening so if you are interested in attending any of the workshops, please make sure you arrive on time. The workshops will take place ahead of the soiree itself.

Friday November 23 | Schedule:

Time What’s Happening
6:00 PM Doors Open at the TinEye HQ – Welcome and prepare for the workshops
6:30 PM
Official Welcome: Introduction to the event, view the kit, mentor and team introduction
7:00 PM
Arduino Primer – If you have never used an Arduino or need a refresher, this is the workshop to attend.
7:30 PM
Sensors and Circuits – Your workshop about sensors and circuits. This will be a crash course! Bring your note book
8:00 PM
Motors and Mechanics – Your workshop about motors and mechanics. Boom! 30 minutes to get you up and running.
8:30 PM Mingle – Grab a drink, a grilled cheese sandwich and meet all the hackathon participants, check out the kit
9:00 PM Team Introductions – Every team puts down its team name on the whiteboard and a code name for their project. If you don’t have a team, we help you make one.
10:00 PM
 Wrap up
 Location  TinEye HQ: 223 Queen Street East, Toronto. The closest intersection is Queen and Sherbourne.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Am I allowed to use any additional equipment to build my robot?

Yes. Just make sure you bring it with you.

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

That’s an easy one – if you don’t know anyone, that’ll last about 10 seconds once you join us. Seriously. And as to ideas: don’t worry, there will be plenty to choose from. The better question is will you have enough time to build your robot and showcase it to the judges on Sunday?
To help you find a team mate, we will facilitate a session on Friday evening, so make sure you join us on Friday evening.

What if I have an idea and a team already?

Perfect!  Bring your team and idea, and start working as soon as you get to the hackathon on Saturday.

How large can my team be?

Teams can be as small or as large as you’d like. We require that teams be comprised of at least 2 participants but if you wish to work in a team of 3, 5 or 10, that’s fine too.

Can I continuously work on building my robot?

Yes. You can continuously work on building your robot starting Saturday at 10 AM. You will be required to stop working on your robot on Sunday at 1 PM so that you can present it to the judges.

What can I do to ace my judges presentation?

We recommend that you stop working on your robot 30 minutes before the presentations at least. You should prepare your robot for demonstration and make sure it is ready. Also prepare your story. You will need to tell the judges what you used to build your robot, and what your robot is able to do. Demo this to your team mate to make sure that everything will works smoothly. If you need to project anything during your demo, make sure you get in touch with one of the organizers so that they can set you up with a projector.

What should I bring?

  • Your laptop, with anything you need pre-installed
  • Your mobile device if you are planning on using it to control your robot
  • Cables, chargers, and connectors for any of the above
  • Any hardware that is not included in the kit and that you need to complete your robot
  • Your sense of humour and your ability to get along with everyone while in tight quarters!
  • Your portable coffee cup – we try to keep disposables to a minimum
  • External display connectors for our projector – we’ll have a few, but bring yours if you have them. This will help speed up your presentation to the judges
  • Fabric if you are building a toy robot. We will have a sewing machine if you need to do last minute touch ups.

Saturday November 24 | Schedule:

Time What’s Happening
10:00 AM Doors Open at the Mozilla HQ – Breakfast, kit pick up and set up. Start building
12:30 PM
Lunch: Vegetarian burritos from Burritos Locos! Feel free to mingle during your lunch or eat your lunch as you solder!
1:00 PM
Back building
4:00 PM
Drinks and snacks – fun times!
5:00 PM
Mentor walk around
7:00 PM  Optional dinner – If you are staying late, we will provide you with dinner.
10:00 PM Wrap up of day 1. You are free to continue working on your robot overnight.
 Sweet dreams!
 Location Mozilla HQ: 366 Adelaide Street West

At the end of day 1 you should have the bulk of your building done.

Sunday November 25 | Schedule:

Time What’s Happening
10:00 AM Doors Open at the Mozilla HQ – Breakfast. Continue building your robot
Lunch: Feel free to mingle during your lunch or eat your lunch as you solder!
1:00 PM
Judges Presentations – Get ready to impress the judges
4:00 PM
Drinks and snacks and winning celebrations – fun times! and wrap up
5:00 PM
Thank you!


  We will be attempting to run an event that is as disposables free as possible. So please bring your mug, drinking cup, bowl or whatever you think you may need for drinking and snacking. If you forget your mug, Leila will charge you a $10.00 fee which will be donated to the Toronto Wildlife Center at the end of the event. We love planet earth and we know you do to. Do your part.


22 Nov 2012, 3:32pm
Comments Off

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.


HackTO Judges

We are in the full swing of things at the HackTO HQ today. And already the APP nearing completion are making it to the whiteboard. There will be a lot of last minute racing and hang wrangling but in the meantime, is is important to know whom to bribe to win the great HackTO prizes:

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

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

For this HackTO, our API providers have also stepped up to provide additional prizes to encourage you to use their APIs. These prizes will be directly awarded by the API provider to the team they deem has built the best app using their API.

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

Our judges today include:










Judy Blumstock, Director, Commercialization – Mars Innovation

Judith received her M.B.A. in finance from Columbia Business School in the U.S. and her B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining MaRS Innovation, Judith was a principal with Genesys Capital Partners, one of the largest Canadian-based venture-capital firms focused on the life sciences industry. She is a past Director of Insception, Millenium Biologix Corp., Plexagen Diagnostics, and Zelos Therapeutics Inc. Previously, Judith was a partner with Royal Bank Capital Partners Life Sciences Fund and, prior to that, Director of Bio/pharmaceutical Research at Drug Royalty Corporation.

David Crow

David Crow is a creative technologist and a technical marketer. David helps companies understand emerging technology, business models, and design practices to create compelling, sustainable digital experiences. At Microsoft, he advised emerging companies with product-market fit and got to market strategies, along with providing access to software, support, and visibility through BizSpark. Prior to joining Microsoft, David led product design, marketing, business development and corporate strategy for start-ups in Toronto, and Austin, TX. He has a Masters from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo. He blogs, runs Startup North and DemoCamp and is a community builder and connector in Toronto. Put his name in your contact list. Find him on Twitter.


HackTO: Glory and Prizes!


Tomorrow is HackTO! Tomorrow is HackTO! Tomorrow is HackTO! and we are super excited that you will be joining us. Can’t you tell?

I am sure you are also excited to join us and build an awesome application or project. Let’s see if these prizes get you out of bed faster tomorrow morning? I am hoping that you would have spent your Saturday building something anyway – ’cause it is not too late to build a better world :) – but instead of doing it alone, you are going to do it with us. Champions!

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

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

For this HackTO, our API providers have also stepped up to provide additional prizes to encourage you to use their APIs. These prizes will be directly awarded by the API provider to the team they deem has built the best app using their API.

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

TinEye: $500 cash (best Multicolor API use)

Twilio: $300 Amazon Gift Certificate

Trendspottr: iPod Touch

YellowAPI: $300 Apple Gift Certificate

Aren’t you glad you grabbed a ticket? We are now sold out.  Stay tuned for prize additions.

Photograph (c) Don Solo

13 Apr 2012, 3:47pm
Comments Off

HackTO Schedule

HackTO is on Saturday! 2 days from today and I hope you are as excited as we are! Here is everything you need to know about the day’s schedule and logistics:


Registration is still open but will be closing shortly as there are just a handful of spots left. You don’t need a print out of your confirmation, an email receipt is just fine.

Friday April 13, 2012: Meet and Greet

We are getting together at a pub near the HackTO location – this way there will be no reason for you to be late on Saturday morning as you will already know where you will be headed. Come and join us for a couple of pints and to meet other developers. If you are working solo and looking for a team mate, this would be a good place to meet other developers and see if you can wrestle yourself a team mate!

Where: The Local Pub, 396 Roncesvalles Avenue

Time: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Anyone is welcome to join us at the pub, so please bring a friend.

A reminder: HackTO  is a disposable cups free event! So that means you will need to bring your portable mug, thermos or whatever! If you don’t have one, well you still have time to head to the store and get yourself a fancy one. Make sure you can use it for both cold beverages and hot ones and you will be set for the next decade! Help us reduce and reuse! And now on to what you really have been waiting for.

Saturday April 14, 2012

Location: HackTO will take place at Freshbooks’ HQ, located at 35 Golden Avenue, Suite 105. Golden Avenue is just off Dundas Street West, east and south of where it branches off from Roncesvalles Avenue. The closest subway station is Dundas West.


Time  What’s Happening
9:00 a.m. Breakfast and introductions. Meet your HackDays organizers and all the developers, get acquainted with the space + final schedule. Grab a breakfast of champion and claim a spot for the day.
9:30 a.m. API Presentations. Each API provider will have 5 minutes to present their API to everyone. They will discuss the salient features of the API and try to get you excited about using their API. This won’t be your only opportunity to learn about the APIs. All API providers will be on hand the entire day and will provide additional instructions and support.
10:15 a.m. Open Planning. Come up with an idea for an application and build your team. If you already have a team and an idea, you go ahead and skip this step. Otherwise: make sure your idea is something you will be able to build in a few hours, write your idea on the whiteboard and see if you can find a developer to join you in building it. We will make introductions and will assist in this process.
10:30 a.m. Let the hacking begin! Claim a table and get to work! The API sponsors will be available to answer questions all day long.
12:00 noon Lunch. Grab lunch or skip lunch. It will be there for you :)
1:00 p.m. More hacking! You’ve got until 5:30 p.m. to finish. FINISH. Don’t get distracted! Help yourself to any drink you need, coffee, energy snacks. And let us know if you need anything at all.
5:30 p.m. Presentations. To present, you will need to have completed your application. Incomplete applications don’t get a spotlight. Every team gets 3 minutes to present. Make sure you test your connection to the projector in advance of your presentation. 3 minutes goes by fast if you are battling the projector in front of the judges.
7:00 p.m. Judging and prizes. Our awesome judges will select the winners. Good luck!
7:30 p.m. Party at a nearby pub.


Frequently Asked Questions:

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

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

What if I don’t know anyone when I get to HackTO 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. 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 showcase it to the judges at the end of the day. We will do our best to connect you to other developers. Have a look at the API provided, the API gallery for each provider and do some research ahead of time on the APIs and what other developers have previously built.

What if I have an idea and a team already?

That’s a great start. Bring your team. Bring your idea. And get working as soon as you get to HackTO. Perhaps we will be able to witness the birth of your startup right then and there!

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.

What to bring:

  • Your Guestlist receipt. You don’t need to print it, an email you can show us is fine. HackTO will be sold out and there will be no registration at the door
  • Your laptop.
  • Your mobile device if you are developing a mobile app.
  • Cables, chargers and connectors for any of the above.
  • A power bar – there are never enough power bars to go around!
  • Your data stick if you have one – could come in handy if our network gets overloaded
  • 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 internet access
  • A large LCD display for presentations, with HDMI and SVGA input (we recommend you bring your own connectors, but we will have some handy as well)
  • Smiles!
  • An awesome developer community!

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. You can call me directly 416 624 7540 anytime.

Of course this is not just about glory, it is about prizes as well! Stay tuned for our prizes!

Good luck everyone and see you soon.


12 Apr 2012, 8:59am


Just in case you have not been staying in the loop: HackTO is this weekend on Saturday April 14. Registration is still open but will certainly close very shortly, so if you have been hesitating to get your ticket, this is your last chance!

The API line up for HackTO is looking great! So to get you started in thinking about the application(s) you will be building on Saturday, here is the API line up in alphabetical order. Enjoy and come prepared! There will be a couple of additions in the coming days, so check back often and as always, at HackTO you are not limited to only using the provided APIs. You can build your application with any APIs you wish to use, provided you use at least one of the HackTO APIs.

Atomic Reach

Atomic Reach is a social content platform that helps brands looking to leverage content marketing to drive engagement, brand awareness and sales conversions. As a social publishing platform, Atomic Reach lets users leverage content from multiple contributors and use it to build more engaging web sites. Content creators can use Atomic Reach to distribute their content to a variety of places. Their API lets developers create their own applications to integrate with and extend the Atomic Reach platform.


Context.IO is leading a new wave of innovation on email. Conversations, collaboration and document exchange happens in email on a daily basis. Context.IO provides a unique email API that makes it easy for application developers to retrieve that information and leverage it in applications such as CRM, document management, collaboration and project management. Check out Context.io API documentation and examples before Saturday!

Context.IO API documentation: http://context.io/docs/latest
Get a free Context.IO API key: http://context.io/#signup
API Explorer: https://console.context.io/#explore
Context.IO on GitHub: https://github.com/ContextIO


FreshBooks is an online invoicing service with a few goals in mind: easy & fast record keeping, simple billing, and safe data.  It’s no wonder they have over 3.5 million clients! With this kind of client base, FreshBooks opened up their API to 3rd party developers to create their Add-on Store, where developers can create and promote applications that integrate directly with FreshBooks clients’ accounts.

The FreshBooks API site gives a brief overview of the service before it goes into more detail about authentication, application-specific billing, webhooks, and their various endpoints. They also provide links to API libraries published by other developers in Ruby, Python, PHP, Perl, and others, making connecting to the API a snap.  The Sample Code page also helps quite a bit, with examples for authentication, plugins, third-party apps, and their own internal integration code as well.  FreshBooks uses OAuth for authentication, similar to other modern API platforms, and has full documentation and examples to get you set up.

Examples of applications that have been built with the FreshBooks API can be seen on their add-on community page, and include project management, customer management, accounting, expense, time tracking, lead generation, marketing, payment gateway, productivity, and eCommerce software packages.  FreshBooks also maintains a developer blog, tips page, and google group for fielding any API / development questions.


Shopify is an ecommerce platform that hosts 20,000+ online stores used by millions of users around the world.

The Shopify API is implemented as JSON or XML over HTTP using all four verbs (GET/POST/PUT/DELETE). Each resource, like Order, Product, or Collection, has its own URL and is manipulated in isolation. In other words, the API follows the REST principles as much as possible.

If you are wondering about what kind of applications you could develop using the Shopify API, well wonder no more, Joey DeVilla who will be providing support for the Shopify API on Saturday is giving you a head start with his blog post!


soundcloudSoundCloud provides a platform for content creators to share audio content on the web. SoundCloud currently has over 10k registered applications using their API with about 300 promoted and accessible applications in their app gallery. Visit the gallery for some inspiration and to see what other developers have built with the SoundCloud API.

There are over 10 million users of SoundCloud, a huge number of whom contribute content. You can become familiar with the SoundCloud API ahead of Saturday by reviewing their documentation and available SDKs.

The SoundCloud API is built with the design principles of REST in mind, exposing SoundCloud resources like tracks, sets and users which can be accessed and manipulated using the HTTP methods GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. SoundCloud aims to provide all features which are available on SoundCloud.com itself through the API as well. And the SoundCloud team even has a developer manifesto! Bravo!

TinEye is providing 2 APIs: MobileEngine and MulticolorEngine (formally know as PixMatch and Piximilar). These two APIs are image recognition based APIs which allow searching by images.

MobileEngine uses mobile variants of the same algorithms that power TinEye. MobileEngine is designed to find a match for mobile phone picture in a collection of original/target images. It can find duplicate and altered versions of images using fingerprint based searching algorithms. It can find images that have been cropped, resized, rotated, flipped, obscured, blurred etc. Some examples of use are to match a book cover to a collection of covers. Same with CDs & DVDs, stamps, currency etc. It works with rigid flat objects but not 3D soft objects like clothing, fruit or family pets!

The MobileEngine API can be integrated with any mobile application. For HackTO this API image collections is not pre-populated which means that if you want to develop and launch a mobile image search application integrated with this API, you will need to create a database of images for your search. The TinEye team and their documentation can assist you with that prior to the start of HackTO. Get in touch.

MobileEngine is delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. Each operation is completely atomic, meaning that given a request, other requests will wait for the first request to complete before they are processed. All responses from the API will have these keys:

  • status: indicates the status of the request, can be one of ok, warn, fail
  • method: the method that was called
  • result: list of results for the method
  • error: list of errors from the API

The main methods for MobileEngine are:

  • add: Used to populate your collection. There is one collection for everyone so please use a prefix with your images if you want to make sure that they will not be overwritten.
  • search: Used to search against your collection and returns matches. Optional search parameters are min score, max number of matches and horizontal flip.
  • delete: Delete images from your collection by passing a filename.
  • list: Lists the images in your collection

Full documentation for the API will be provided at the start of HackTO.

MulticolorEngine searches an image collection using one or more colors. TinEye will be providing a two APIs for the MulticolorEngine:

  • A read-only API (http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays_flickr/) pre-populated and loaded with 3 million Creative Commons Flickr images. You will not be able to add or delete images from this collection.
  • A blank r/w API (http://multicolorengine.tineye.com/hackdays/) that you can load up with any images you like

(These links are not live but will be the day of HackTO!) To get a feel for the capabilities of the MulticolorEngine, visit the Idée lab.

MulticolorEngine is also delivered over HTTP as a REST API with responses delivered in JSON format. The main methods are:

  • color_search: Used to perform a color searches against the collection and return any matches with scores. You can specify up to 5 colours with weights in RGB or hex format.
  • extract_colors: Given an image, extract up to 10 colours and their dominance.

MulticolorEngine also supports full meta-data searching but we’re recommending you not to get into this unless you really need to – it is still in beta!

TrendSpottr is a real-time viral content discovery service that identifies the most timely and trending information for any topic or keyword. Trendspottr core technology analyzes real-time data streams such as Twitter and Facebook and spots emerging trends at their earliest acceleration point — hours or days before they have become “popular” and reached mainstream awareness. TrendSpottr serves as an early warning system and is being used today by leading news agencies and media companies, social marketing platforms and social media users to identify emerging news, events and issues that have high viral potential. TrendSpottr is available as a free-to-use service at http://trendspottr.com and as a partner application on the HootSuite platform.

The TrendSpottr search API allows you to query the TrendSpottr service to request current top trending information from twitter or Facebook for a given search parameter or twitter list specification and retrieve the results in JSON or JSONP format. Results include currently trending URLs, hashtags, sources and phrases. There is a full description of the API, including documentation and a sample PHP file, available .



Twilio, the cloud communications company, is reinventing telecom by merging the worlds of cloud computing, web services and telecommunications. Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud, allowing web developers to integrate phone calls, text messages, and IP voice communications into their web, mobile, and traditional phone applications.

While HackREGINA featured a fun voice-to-search and search-to-voice interface, I imagine we’ll see a lot more clever integrations like this at HackTO. Interested in what sort of other projects have been built with Twilio? Check out their project gallery.

You can find all the details on Twilio’s API from their quickstart page.


WordPress.com just released a RESTful API that lets you interact, explore, and create great content with the millions of blogs and users on the WordPress.com network. Using OAuth-based authentication, you can access or create posts and comments or Follow and Like on behalf of users. Use the Freshly Pressed endpoint to access the best content, handpicked daily, being created across the network.”

To get inspired, check out some example applications (latest example is the Windows 8 app): http://en.support.wordpress.com/apps/

This API will be fully presented by Mo Jangda who is a veteran of our hackathons and a HackTO previous winner!

The Yellow Pages API seems pretty basic – 4 endpoints, a handful of options which makes a great API to start working with. But don’t let that fool you! The depth of their dataset if pretty awesome. The YellowAPI provides 4 basic endpoints for developers – FindBusiness, GetBusinessDetails, FindDealer, and GetTypeAhead.  It starts off as a pretty standard business look-up tool and from there, you get access to all of the rich, curated data from the Yellow Pages dataset, including phone numbers, business categories, product information, videos, photos, business logos and much more.

Combine the above with rich documentation and you get an awesome API!  Using their “I/O Docs”, you can easily test out calls to the API from the browser, seeing exactly what your query should look like and what the resulting XML or JSON will be.  Extremely helpful to developers! In addition, YellowAPI offers a handful of SDKs for quick integration:  iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby.

Visit the App Gallery to get an idea of some of the rolled out applications and to start planning your app development!


HackTO welcomes GoBooks as an Awesome Sponsor

We all know that without our fantastic sponsors we would never be able to bring you hacking events across Canada. Seriously. The hardest part of organizing a hackathon is securing sponsorships. Our goal is to throw the best possible event for hackers, developers and our entire community and we believe that setting up an environment where we can all work towards building, sharing and learning from each other only contributes to creating magic. But magic can’t happen without our sponsors!

At HackDays we have been incredibly lucky to be joined by YellowAPI which is our headline sponsor. YellowAPI has been supporting HackDays from day one and that’s been awesome. But today I would like to introduce GoBooks for FreshBooks who have become our latest Awesome sponsor!

GoBooks for Freshbooks

GoBooks for FreshBooks, scheduled for release to beta testers at the end of April, is set to be the first full-featured FreshBooks mobile application for the Android platform. The initial release will give users access to all of their key FreshBooks data including clients, invoices, estimates, project timers and expenses.
GooBooks for FreshBooks has been developed by EOS Software Development a small startup located in Oklahoma City. EOS was co-founded by Dan Gentry, the company’s CEO and David Freeland. David who is currently serving as head of product development will be joining us from Oklahoma on Saturday and we are super excited to be hosting him.

You can follow these fine folks on facebook and twitter of course, but I am sure that what would be most helpful is to download their app when it launches and provide them with some feedback!

Thanks GoBooks for sponsoring HackTO!

10 Apr 2012, 9:53am
HackTO HackTO 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