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.
We are in the full swing of things here at the HackMTL HQ today, with just over one week away!
There has already been lots of social chatter around teams coming together, apps being brainstormed and prizes wanted by the hackers. If you haven’t already, get your teams and ideas together and make sure your app has LOCAL or SOCIAL built in. We have brought together an expert panel of esteemed judges, they are the only standing between you and some killer prizes, social media love and of course bragging rights.
Our esteemed HackMTL judges, and the guys you have to impress are:
JS Cournoyer is co-founder and General Partner with Real Ventures and Montreal Startups, Montreal-based venture capital funds investing in great entrepreneurs building world-class companies. He’s also co-founder of Founderfuel, a Montreal-based accelerator for web, mobile and software startups. JS is also an entrepreneur, having co-founded a number of companies over the years in the software and Internet space. He is the proud father of 5 wonderful children.
Malik Yacoubi is a mobile fanatic. In 2004, he founded Mobilito, one of the first firms in Quebec to specialize in mobility. Over the last seven years, he has been an evangelist for the industry and is, among other things, Vice-President of Emerging Platforms for the IAB Québec. Today, Malik is Vice-President of Mobile Marketing at Cossette, which acquired Mobilito in June 2010, where he advises on and develops mobility for a number of Cossette clients. Thanks to his experience as an entrepreneur, Malik ensures that a mobile project can generate a real return on investment for his clients.
Software engineer with physics background, Phil spent the last 10+ years in various roles, from software engineer to product manager, in the video games, CAD, mobile, digital signage and web industry. Competitive cyclist and runner with a few marathons under his belt, he’s also involved as organizer of ProductCamp Montreal and other events bridging the gap between universities and startups in Montreal. His past as the head of a music event production company brings a little freshness to the more traditional tech events he’s involved in. Phil brings extensive experience in product development and team management, as well as solid list of accomplishments in web marketing and analytics.
Carl Mercier is a serial technology entrepreneur and developer from Montreal, Canada. His latest venture, Defensio, has attracted significant interest from worldwide blogger and developer communities and has exhibited superior filtering performance. Defensio was acquired by Websense Inc., a publicly-traded company in January 2009. Carl also founded Montreal on Rails, a developer community group that brings together local Ruby on Rails enthusiasts for monthly gatherings. Prior to founding Defensio, Carl started Adonis Technologies, a company that built advanced management software for the tourism & recreation industry. It was acquired in 2006. Carl holds degrees in business management and sound engineering. He also pretends to be able to beat just about anyone at poker.
Paul is CTO at the Yellow Pages Group. He was appointed to this position in January 2012 and moved to Montreal from California in the middle of a snowstorm, but it’s OK, he loves hockey! He brings a long history of entrepreneurial success in his more than 25-year career as a technology and product innovator. More recently, Paul was the CTO at Overture Services, Inc. which was purchased by Yahoo! in 2003, becoming Yahoo! Search Marketing. Just prior to joining YPG, Paul was CTO for Leads 360, a U.S.-based provider of sales lead management software. Mr. Ryan is a graduate of Princeton and holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. In addition, he holds a Master’s in Computer Science from The John Hopkins University and MBA from Wharton.
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
We had a blast at HackMTL and HackTO. The applications developed were awesome, the prizes and judges fantastic and the connections we made will last us a lifetime. So it is time to head to Ottawa – skating on the canal anyone? – and launch HackOTT.
We are super excited to be visiting Ottawa. We are not afraid of the cold! We are hoping that like Montreal, the Ottawa dev community is going to represent and build some killer applications.
What you need to know:
- Date: Saturday February 26th, 2011
- When: this is an all day event starting at 9 AM and ending at 6 PM
- Registration is now open.
HackOTT is brought to you with the help of our awesome sponsors:
If you have not attended a previous hacking event and are wondering what the fuss is all about, let us answer all your questions!
What is HackOTT?
A gathering of geeks, developer and hackers. We will spend the entire day building applications on top of some great APIs. These APIs will be announced prior to the start of HackOTT. Support for the APIs will be provided the entire day so if you have any questions while working with the APIs, assistance will be right there.
Who attends HackDays events?
This is a developer event. So when you arrive, you will be expected to roll up your sleeves and start coding or join a team that’s coding an application and get involved to the best of your abilities. All developer levels are welcome. So don’t feel like you can’t participate because you are just learning, come and join us. If you have any questions, please reach out to us.
What can I build at HackOTT?
Anything you wish provided it is using some of the APIs provided. The applications you build will be your application.
Why do developers participate in HackOTT?
Well as Paul Graham said: “The way to create something beautiful is often to make subtle tweaks to something that already exists, or to combine existing ideas in a slightly new way.” We want to create many beautiful things hence HackDays!
Am I allowed to use third party APIs (APIs not provided via HackOTT) for my application?
Yes. But your usage of the third party APIs needs to be in addition to the HackOTT APIs. Also keep in mind that judging is partially based on utilization of the provided APIs, though, so their use should be prominent.
What if I don’t have an idea for an application by Saturday?
No problem, there will likely be many people who could use an extra brain for their ideas. Ask around during breakfast or open planning.
How large can the teams be? Can I work solo?
Teams can be as large or as small as you like. Solo is okay, too!
What is the Saturday schedule?
This is a full day event. HackOTT is being held at Shopify. The Shopify team has been wonderful at supporting us in Ottawa and making their space available to us for the entire day. The day’s schedule is as follows:
- 9:00 – Breakfast and introductions
- 9:30 – API presentation: learn about the APIs available
- 10:15 – Open Planning: come up with hacking idea and build a team
- 10:30 – Hacking setup and start
- Noon – Lunch
- 1:00 – Hacking
- 5:00 – Application presentation – 5 minutes for each presenter!
- 6:00 – Judging and prizes
- 6:30 – Off to nearby pub for celebrations!
Will you feed us?
Yes! Awesome breakfast and lunch will be provided. Drinsk, snacks, cookies, fresh fruits will be available throughout the day. Beer after 5 PM.
What do you need to bring?
- Your Guestlist receipt (HackOTT will be sold out)
- Your laptop
- Your mobile device if you are developing a mobile app
- Cables, chargers and connectors for any of the above
What happens at the end of HackOTT?
We will wrap up HackOTT between 6:00 Pm and 7:00PM and will then head to a near by pub for a few celebratory drinks.
What will the HackOTT prizes be?
We will officially announce them prior to the start of the event. HackMTL prizes were awesome and included a Macbook Air, an ipad, a Kindle and more!
I am coming from Toronto, Montreal or some other city to join HackOTT, can you help with accommodations?
We will do our best to connect you with local developers attending HackOTT who would be interested in hosting you. Leave us a comment below or get in touch with us.
See you in Ottawa! and Register now!
Big news! We wrapped up the most recent HackTO in Toronto in September with a promise to come back with plans for our next Hack event. We’ve got something far more exciting than just another Hack event in Toronto: We are taking HackTO nation-wide and will be holding hacking events in Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and many more cities across Canada. So please expect us, welcome us and come out to code!
We’re calling this traveling circus of mad-hackery HackDays — keep an eye out for us!
We’re still putting the full schedule together, but our first trans-Canada HackDay event will be “HackMTL” — in Montreal, on Saturday November 27th, 2010. We are actively looking for local Montreal companies to supply our eager hackers with APIs they can use. So what does it mean for HackMTL? The same successful formula as HackTO:
- Great APIs to work with
- Awesome developers to meet and team with
- We will provide an awesome space to work in, breakfast, lunch, snacks and API support and
- Fantastic prizes for the best applications and GLORY!
If you’re in Montreal, and spending a Saturday building new applications on top of some of the coolest public APIs around sounds like fun, come join us! Come with some friends and hack as a team, or just come on your own and make new friends while you hack. The last HackTO was a blast: peek at some of the applications built.
HackDays are run by volunteers — without the extraordinary support of our community and sponsors, well… there would be no HackDays! So without further ado let us introduce our latest sponsor: Yellow Pages.
Yellow Pages Group support is making it possible to hold HackDays events across Canada starting with Montreal. YPG recently opened its own API with the launch of YellowAPI to allow developers to tap into the more than 1.5 million business listings across Canada. We are very excited to grow our developer community and to meet you all. Stay tuned for HackMTL registration details!