Lots of people on the streets for HackMTL (OK, it was for F1 week-end…)
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.
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:
- Leagues - @mart_coul
- BibMTL -
- CakePusher -
- SocialLunch -
- Buscast.me - @MatthieuHoule @MobileSam @helmaataoui @WaikeiTse
- Bloop – @_hristine
- Fitness – @soroush731
- YellowCaller – @mgamble
- Feed.me - @devsoftweb
- STM Live – @edouardlabbe & @dorukvardar
- Nest - @alexbfree & @lrojas
- Montreal Metro AR -
- Wajam Places – the Wajam Team
- Jazzify- @radhouani & @marekweb
- RandomHaiku – @SwiftAlphaOne
- HomeSafe -
And DRUM ROLL, the HackMTL winners were:
1st place - Jazzify
2nd place - Bloop
3rd place – Nest (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.
HackMTL#2 is “LOCAL+SOCIAL” — a theme, we will post more on next week. We have aligned many of the APIs with LOCAL and SOCIAL flavour, from email to search to music to transit schedules, you have all you need to make your apps “local in flavour” and “social by design”. Stay tuned next week.
presented by HackDays with
YellowAPI and ContextIO
We just wrapped up HackVan and HackTO#2 in the last two months and are now 4 short weeks away from HackMTL#2. In just under a month we are having the mother of all hacks in Montreal — there will be tons of prizes, a cool venue, amazing tech rock stars and of course YOU — yeah you! YOU as in reading this post. YOU as in signing up right now and bringing your skills to the hack.
Each and every hack, we have been blown away by the support of the community, and HackMTL#2 will be no different. We have tried very hard to bring as much local flavour to the event as possible and are excited to have 5 Montreal APIs, 3 from Toronto and even 2 USA-based APIs sponsoring the event. We also have the comittment of Cossette, offering up a killer downtown venue. Finally, we are pleased to have the support of then Open Data communities in Montreal with Montreal Ouvert and Open North along with some amazing public data sets from the STL, STM, Bixi, Communauto and Ville de Montreal.
So, we are back with the second edition of HackMTL and this one promises to be bigger than our first HackMTL where we had 50 developers. We have an awesome line up of APIs, developers, sponsors and support from our tech, startup and open data communities and can’t wait for June 9th.
- Who: Everyone! hackers, coders, architects, designers, dreamers…
- What: HackMTL#2. An all day hackathon
- When: Saturday June 9th, 2012 from 9 AM to 8 PM
- Where: Cossette HQ, 2100 Drummond, Montréal, QC, H3G 1X1
- Registration is now open. So grab a ticket and plot your world domination!
This time around we are opening up tickets as well for the evening presentations, so if you are not interested in building an app and hacking away with us, you can still drop by and check out the awesome applications built and meet your dev community.
We will be keeping the same crazy schedule as our previous hackathons , with pretty much the same set up. There will be:
- Awesome APIs and developers who will be supporting the APIs you will be working with
- API introductions, presentations and workshops for you get up to speed on the APIs you will be working with
- Food and drink all day long – you won’t have to worry about a thing!
- Fantastic prizes from our sponsors, API providers and start-ups
- Amazing opportunity for you to meet your startup community and other talented developers
- 9:00 – Breakfast and intros: Meet your HackDays organizers & all the developers, get acquainted with the space
- 9:30 – API presentations: 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 to work on, just put 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 with your team or by yourself and start working on your project. All the API providers will be available the entire day to provide support.
- Noon – Lunch
- 1:00 – Continue hacking – help yourself to all the snacks you need!
- 5:30 – Application presentation – 3 minutes for each presenter! Beers!
- 7:00 – Judging and prizes
- 7:30 – After party celebration at a nearby pub (to be announced!
Would you like to help us make this hackathon the best Montreal hackathon ever? Get involved!
We are looking for:
- People: we are looking for all those who are digitally savvy, whether a coder, a designer, a marketer or good with biz models, we are looking for all manner of hacker and entrepreneur
- APIs: does your company have an awesome API? Tell us about it, and let’s get you on board
- Sponsorships: nothing would be possible without the awesome support of our community and our sponsors. You can help us by becoming a sponsor for the hackathon or the pre or post hackathon party. We would love to speak with you about sponsorships, so please get in touch!
- Volunteers: can’t code but want to help, reach out and get in touch, register, some and support the community
Getting in touch: Got an idea to discuss? A suggestion? Would like to see a particular API included? Drop us a note!
There will be tons of prizes at HackMTL#2. First we will have the HackDays official prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. And we want to remind all hackers that to be eligible to win these prizes we are looking for NEW and ORIGINAL ideas, not the same ones from past hacks. We will be doing a blog post in the coming days highlighting some of the amazing things built over the last two years, so be creative.
Official HackMTL#2 Prizes:
- First place: $1,000
- Second place: $750
- Third place: $500
- Open Data: $300 (best use of MTL-based open data set)
For HackMTL#2, we will be introducing company sponsored prizes. These will be prizes for the best use of a company’s specific API. Stay tuned for our announcement in the coming days! Some of the prizes in the past have been CN Tower Edge Walk, a ride in a Piper Cub stunt plane, annual subscriptions to GitHub and of course all the Apple gift cards you can win!
Thank You to our Sponsors
Today we also welcome our awesome venue sponsor, Cossette. As well a host of new new API sponsors, without whom we would not have the local and social APIs to make this event possible: STL, STM, SendGrid, CakeMail, Wajam, Status.net, Primus and Rdio.
Follow HackDays on Twitter: @HackDaysCAN