Over 1303 Shakers and Movers for Open Data Joined the 2015 Canadian Open Data Experience Hackathon

Entrepreneurs and innovators across Canada raced against the clock to create apps to better the lives of Canadians

TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - A record number of 125 apps were created using federal open datasets as part of the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE), a 48-hour hackathon held between February 20thFebruary 22nd, 2015 across the country.

CODE challenged innovators from coast to coast to coast to unleash their creativity to solve some of Canada's most pressing issues by using open data sets available at Open.canada.ca. Jointly envisioned and hosted by the hackathon experts at XMG Studio Inc. and the Government of Canada, more than 1303 tech enthusiasts competed for the chance to present their application at the CODE Grand Finale on March 26rd, 2015, and share in $40,000 in prizes. IBM, supporter of the open data movement, provided the Commerce category sponsorship to encourage the event.

340 teams participated, with 175 competitors working from special VIP locations in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Additional space for competitors was made available by partners including the University of Calgary, the City of Calgary and Innovate Calgary in Calgary (AB), Citizens Code in Fredericton (NB), Industry Canada, the Treasury Board Secretariat, Open Data Ottawa and the University of Ottawa in Ottawa (ON), Quebec City, Capitale Ouverte and Québec Numérique in Québec City (QC), Lambton College in Sarnia (ON), OpenGovGear and Fort Tectoria in Victoria (BC). Finally, 1050 competitors participated virtually, making this year's CODE a truly national event. 

"Building on the success of the inaugural CODE event, this year's competition was outstanding," said Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and official facilitator of CODE. "Canada's new and emerging talents demonstrate what is possible when creativity, ability and access to federal government data align. These apps, aimed at bettering the lives of Canadians, are among the best we've seen."

CODE participants focussed on creating applications that use open data from the federal government as well as from other levels of government to tackle social challenges and improve service delivery across categories of youth, commerce and quality of life. This year, the three development themes for these categories were: youth employment, healthy living and creating business opportunities for Canadians.

CODE enjoys the support of many industry and government leaders, committed to encouraging the meaningful and productive use of open data. "The Canadian Open Data Experience is a great example of how talented and creative Canadians can work with government to create new applications with the potential to improve our lives", said the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry and CODE facilitator. "Our government knows that Canada has a wealth of talent when it comes to technology and innovation, and competitions like these lead to growth, job creation and investment in our IT sectors."

Apps completed during the CODE event will be evaluated by a panel of judges, with the top five submissions from each category advancing to the Final 15. Apps will be judged based on user experience, use of open data and potential.

The top 15 will be announced March 6th, 2015. The top 15 teams will then be invited to Toronto on March 16th, 2015 for the CODE Pitch Day event. Team will present their ideas live to a panel of industry experts, which will be shared in video format with potential investors with the goal of helping to bring their apps to market.

Finally, prize winners will be announced March 26th, 2015 with winners accepting their prizes at the CODE Grand Finale. 

All submitted applications may go on to be released commercially, either independently by the participants or in co-operation with a third party. Teams that successfully submit an application compete for the $15,000 Grand Prize, three $5,000 Category Prizes, a $5,000 prize for the best submission of a student team and a $5,000 Fan Favourite Prize. The Fan Favourite Prize is open to all submissions and will be awarded to the team with the highest count of votes and social shares of their team profile page. Participants are encouraged to showcase their CODE application on their team page via CanadianOpenDataExperience.ca for a chance to win this prize.

For more information please visit www.canadianopendataexperience.ca

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 CODE 2015: Canadian Open Data Experience

For further information: Lydia Schaele - XMG Studio Inc. - Lydia@xmg.com - +1 -416-619-0700; Samantha Tam - High Road - samantha.tam@highroad.com - +1-613-688-1192

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CODE 2015: Canadian Open Data Experience

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