Open Data Innovation In Action: CODE Hackathon Breaks Records in its First Year & Becomes Largest Competitive Hackathon in Canada

Over 900 creative do-ers, movers and shakers across Canada worked non-stop for 48-hours to create over 110 open data apps and hopefully win the OpenText $25,000 Grand Prize

TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Hosted by XMG Studio Inc., the creators of the Great Canadian Appathon (GCA), and supported by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) challenged innovators across the country to test their talent and liberate the data available on http://data.gc.ca. From February 28th to March 2nd more than 900 participants raced against the clock for the chance to present their application at the CODE Grand Finale on March 28th in front of a live audience of investors and win over $30,000 in prizes.

"Over 900 coders worked diligently over the past weekend to mash up and re-purpose the federal government data available through data.gc.ca, in turn creating some phenomenal apps that will benefit Canadians and showcase our great Canadian talent," said the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and official facilitator of CODE.

CODE aims to inspire the next generation of tech entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunity open data represents to spur innovation, tackle social challenges and improve service delivery. The sky is the limit when information, technology, creativity and brains come together. Hopes are high that a number of the 110 submitted apps will increase opportunities and constitute tools Canadians can use to make day-to-day life easier.

To encourage the meaningful and productive use of the released datasets CODE began with a day of thought-provoking quick-fire speeches from renowned technology and open data industry leaders at the CODE Inspiration Day on February 28th, 2014. Supporters of the open data movement from McKinsey & Company, OpenText, IBM, Accel Partners, OneEleven and the Government of Canada spoke about the potential of open data and highlighted high-impact areas for participants to lay their focus on. The Inspiration Day was live-streamed on the CODE website and officially ended with the announcement of the CODE 2014 Theme by Minister Clement: "Solving Problems and Increasing Productivity through the use of Open Data".

Following the event, the winning applications will be evaluated on criteria such as the degree of innovation, usefulness to the Canadian public, the level of art and design polish as well as stability and how well open data sets were implemented. The top 15 teams will be announced on March 17th and invited to pitch their apps during the CODE Grand Finale - a live judging event - to a panel of industry experts and potential investors. The goal is to connect the Canadian entrepreneurs directly to investment firms and venture capitalists to ensure their apps (or ideas) are brought to market. The winning applications may go on to be released commercially either independently by the participants or in co-operation with a third party. All teams that successfully submitted an application compete for Gold Sponsor OpenText's $25,000 Grand Prize, as well as a $5,000 second place prize and a $1,000 third place prize.

For more information about the event please visit www.canadianopendataexperience.com.

About XMG Studio:
XMG Studio Inc. is an award-winning developer and publisher of mobile games. Founded in late 2009, XMG has developed a track record for innovation excellence in mobile gaming including the release of critically acclaimed games downloadable on your iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Based in Toronto, XMG is one of the largest indie mobile game studios in Canada. Named as one of the top global mobile games developers to watch by popular media, XMG is focused on providing creative expression through gameplay for all fans of fun.

SOURCE XMG Studio

For further information:

Lydia Schaele - XMG Studio Inc. - Email: Lydia [at] xmg.com - +1 (416) 619 0700