HackWaterloo Judges

HackWaterloo is also about the great prizes! But to get one of these awesome prizes, you will need to impress our judges. So drum roll, our judges are:

Chris Best, Head of Development, Kik.

Other than a degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and three years of experience developing applications and software for the automotive, telecommunications, computer and mobile industries, Chris really has no business being Head of Development at Kik. He continues to hone his snowboarding, racket wielding and video gaming skills.

Brydon Gilliss, Product Manager, BrainPark

If career success in software were simply defined as the design and development of innovative and intuitive software, then Brydon Gilliss would be very successful. Since the late 90s, after earning an Honours BS in Engineering Systems and Computing from the University of Guelph, he’s been the lead developer of new technologies and software for companies like Cognicase (formerly Personus), MKS Inc, and his current assignment as Product Manager of Brainpark, where his thoughtful design and expert development of product customizations earned him Communitech’s Annual Tech Impact Award in the fall of 2009.

But to Brydon, an equally important component to success is supporting and contributing to a strong and viable tech community on a local level. It’s this commitment to his industry that prompted Brydon to launch DemoCampGuelph, an informal and collaborative meeting of 100+ minds for those in and around the Guelph area involved in any and all aspects of the web, software, startups, and tech. Additionally, Brydon has been recognized within the industry for helping local entrepreneurs develop and advance innovative ideas.

When the workday is over, Brydon enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, passing the puck, and wielding any number of power tools renovating his downtown Guelph home.

Jesse Rodgers is the Director of VeloCity at the University of Waterloo, father of two (one more on the way), University of Waterloo grad, co-founder of TribeHR, and organizer of StartupCampWaterloo along with other community events. As Director of VeloCity, Jesse drives the strategic direction and growth of the program, each year working with over 200 students, dozens of Alumni and local organizations like Communitech and the Accelerator Centre.

Good luck everyone!

9 Apr 2011, 1:22pm
HackWaterloo Uncategorized
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HackWaterloo Meet and Greet: Join Us

Psst…. wanna free beer? Wanna meet all the other developers? I thought I would get your attention! Join us for a Friday meet and greet ahead of HackWaterloo. This will be your chance to meet the API providers, meet all the other developers (may be find a partner?) and start kicking around some ideas for your project the next day. Reminder HackWaterloo starts at 9 AM on Saturday – and no, you can’t show up late!

HackWaterloo Meet & Greet Details:

When: 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Where: Kik Offices.The Kik team has been awesome and is sponsoring the HackWaterloo meet and greet! The Kik office is at 420 Weber Street North Unit I (I as in eye!). See you all there! Thank you Kik!

What: Beers, chips, snacks, cheers (& Leila‘s Drone.)

7 Apr 2011, 7:44am
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HackWaterloo Prizes

Are you ready? Hell yeah! We are gonna make it worth your while to build a killer application. OK?


Yes, that’s a MacBook Air you are looking at. And it could be yours to take home: 11 inch and 128 GB, 1.4GHz intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2 GB memory, 128GB flash storage


iPad 2 with Wi-Fi: 16 GB


A Kindle 3G, the smaller, faster Kindle with free 3G, built-in wi-fi and storage for 3,500 books.

and there will be more :)

6 Apr 2011, 3:58pm
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HackWaterloo: Are you ready? What to expect

HackWaterloo is this Saturday the 9th of April, from 9am-6pm. To ensure things go swimmingly and that you are fully prepared for awesomeness, please note the following:

Disposable cups free event! Yes, that’s what HackWaterloo is going to be in addition to all the awesomeness. 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.



  • Your Guestlist receipt (HackWaterloo is sold out!). You don’t need to print it, an email you can show us is fine too.
  • Your laptop
  • Your mobile device if you are developing a mobile app
  • Cables, chargers and connectors for any of the above
  • Your data stick if you have one – could come in handy when networks get chocked up :)
  • Your sense of humor and your ability to get along with everyone while in tight quarters!


  • APIs, API support
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Coffee, tea, juice, pop
  • Snacks and beers at beer o’clock
  • Wireless access
  • A large LCD display for presentations, with HDMI and VGA input (we recommend you bring your own connectors, but we will have some handy as well)
  • Smiles!
  • An awesome developer community!


HackWaterloo schedule:

  • 9:00 – Breakfast and introductions: Meet your HackWaterloo organizers and all the developers, get acquainted with the space + final schedule + grab a breakfast of champions!
  • 9:30 – API presentation: 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 work on, just puts 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 of the office with your team or by yourself and start working on your project.
  • Noon – Lunch
  • 1:00 – Hacking
  • 5:00 – Application presentation – 3 minutes for each presenter!
  • 6:00 – Judging and prizes
  • 6:30 – Off to nearby pub for celebrations!


Q: Am I allowed to use third party APIs (APIs not provided via HackWaterloo) for my application?
A: Yes. But your usage of the third party APIs needs to be in addition to the HackWaterloo APIs. Also keep in mind that judging is partially based on utilization of the provided APIs, though, so their use should be prominent.

Q: What if I don’t have an idea for an application by Saturday?
A: No problem, there will likely be many people who could use an extra brain for their ideas. Ask around during breakfast or Open Planning. We will have labels available for people to identify themselves as individuals looking for an idea or a team.

Q: How large can the teams be? Can I work solo?
A: Teams can be as large or as small as you like. Solo is okay, too! A 2-3 people team is ideal typically.

Q: What happens to the application I build at HackWaterloo?
A: It is yours! You decide.

Q: I have a question about HackWaterloo, can I get in touch with anyone?
A: Yes, of course. Email hackto (at) ideeinc.com and we will be in touch.

The hashtag for HackWaterloo is #HackWat.

HackWaterloo is organized by your HackDays dream team.

5 Apr 2011, 1:39pm
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HackWaterloo APIs

HackWaterloo is sold out! and I know that everyone is just waiting to find out which APIs will they be playing with come Saturday. This is our first API release. We are still considering a number of additional APIs and we will announce them later this week.

As you know with our hack events: you can use any API you wish to use during the Hackhaton but to be eligible for any of the HackDays prizes (to be announced shortly), you will need to use at least one of the APIs provided – so now in alphateical order we bring you the first API release:

CastRoller is a website that helps users quickly and easily enjoy the best audio and video on the web. The CastRoller API allows developers to access the full set of data behind CastRoller. Developers can access the podcast directory; each user’s podcast collection and the channels they have created together. Documentation for the api is available on GitHub.

FreshBooks supplies online billing services, allowing freelancers and small businesses manage their cashflow and get paid faster. The FreshBooks API allows 3rd party developers to expand and build on the FreshBooks platform. Access FreshBooks account data using HTTP and XML to create web and desktop applications that integrate with a FreshBooks account. The API documentation is online and implementation examples are a plenty!

Idée, the good folks who brought you TinEye – the greatest reverse image search engine ever! – will be providing access to their multicolor search called Piximilar. You won’t be seeing the documentation for this API until you show up on Saturday. The API basically allows you to index images and make them searchable using colors. Very much like their multicolor lab where you get to search 10 million creative commons Flickr images by color!

Idée, will also be providing access to a second API: PixMatch. PixMatch can basically be thought about as your private TinEye. Given an image to look for PixMatch locates identical or modified images within or between image collections. Again access to the API and documentation will be provided at HackWaterloo.

Engage with PostRank data and services. The PostRank Data Services API enable access to content and engagement metrics from the PostRank Content Stream and the Engagement Stream. The APIs are categorized based on which stream the underlying data set is derived from. The documentation for the API is currently available.

SwiftMint, built by Homick Labs, is a cross platform in-app purchasing engine for app developers looking to provide free or paid digital content, virtual goods, services and subscriptions from within their native mobile applications. Typically, the cost and development time of adding in-app payment features to mobile applications has meant that developers focus on building their app first and monetizing it later. With SwiftMint, developers can use the SwiftMint SDKs to quickly and easily provide the ability for app users to download new content like audio, video, images, ringtones. This allows developers to generate revenues in the first version of their apps. The Swift API documentation is available here.

Yellow Pages Group is Canada’s largest directory publisher. The YellowAPI powered by the Yellow Pages Group provides access to a large database of Canadian business content and allows direct streaming of local search content including video, photos, ad thumbs and more. Get geo-localized listings for map overlays and proximity search. The API allows anyone to build their own applications and mashups by providing dynamic local business data. Get documentation for the YPG API.

Zip.ca is the place movie lovers turn to, no matter what they’re looking for. Whether it’s action, comedy, drama, anime, Bollywood, or a great TV series, Zip.ca has it all. Zip.ca’s online DVD library is stocked with everything from the biggest new releases to obscure older favorites, allowing members to rent what they want to watch, when they want to from the comfort of their own home. 82,000+ titles and counting! Zip.ca’s API is now available.

Wanted: APIs for HackWaterloo

HackWaterloo is happening on Saturday April 9th, 2011 in Waterloo.

I’m sure you’re all sitting on your hands right now, itching to get them dirty at HackWaterloo, thinking: “Whatever will I do with myself in the meantime?!”

Well we need your help finding companies with interesting APIs fo HackWaterloo . We already have a number of submissions but we want more! What makes an API interesting? Last time we had APIs that could:

  • Search local listings (YellowAPI)
  • Manage and analyze revenue (FreshBooks)
  • Search an image collection based on multicolors (Idee Inc)
  • Rank blogs and RSS feeds (PostRank)
  • Sort your Twitter timeline by relevance (Cadmus)
  • Access a Creative Commons licensed repository of structured data (Freebase)
  • Enhance your email inbox (DokDok)
  • Create white label email marketing platform (cakemail)

Some very cool apps were created out of these APIs, and we’d like to offer some similarly exciting APIs this time around!

So: If you are with–or know of–a technology company that you think should be involved, please get in touch!

Ideally, an eligible API for HackWaterloo would be:

  • Public (or made temporarily available to our hackers for at least a few weeks after HackTO ends)
  • Well-documented
  • Generally useful (and to creative folks, a lot of things could be considered generally useful!)

We would like to make this HackWaterloo the best yet, so if you have any leads or ideas for APIs that you would like to see, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

30 Mar 2011, 10:18am
APIs HackWaterloo
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HackWaterloo: ready? set? go!

[Photograph (c) Hyfen]

Did you know that we organize monthly hack events across Canada? Well of course you do! We just wrapped up our latest hackathon in Ottawa and it was a blast. Developers from Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto built some great applications. We had an awesome time so when Ilya Grigorik, PostRank’s CTO, offered to host the next hackathon, we glady accepted! So hackers, developers and awesome people: join us in Waterloo on Saturday April 9th, 2011 for HackWaterloo.

When: Saturday April 9th, 2011

Where: PostRank’s Headquarters (uptown Waterloo)

Time: 9 AM to 6 PM

The format is pretty much our usual hackathon format so consider this your call to register and secure a spot!

And if you have an API you would like to make available or know of a company whose API should be included in HackWaterloo, please drop us a line.

10 Mar 2011, 12:39pm
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  • 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