Developers battled it out over 24-hours to make their city and community a better place through coding
TORONTO, June 3, 2014 /CNW/ - After an intense weekend of non-stop coding action, Team Angry Kittens were named the first-ever winner of PayPal's inaugural Battle Hack in Toronto held at the MaRS Discovery District. Team Angry Kittens impressed judges from PayPal, MaRS and leaders in the technology and startup community with their innovative Security Blanket mobile app to win a spot at the PayPal Battle Hack World Finals in San Jose, California, this November. The Toronto winners will compete with winners from 13 other cities including Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Istanbul, London, Miami, Mexico City, Moscow, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Warsaw for a chance to win the grand prize of $100,000 (USD) and be crowned 'Ultimate Hackers for Good'.
Incorporating Beacon, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and Twilio™, Team Angry Kittens' winning mobile app Security Blanket helps parents track their missing child's location so that no time is wasted and local law enforcement officers know exactly where to start looking. By integrating PayPal, Security Blanket users are able to donate funds to help find children and also provide sensors for those who need them. Created in just 24 hours at Battle Hack in Toronto, the Angry Kittens' team believe that their app can be expanded to all those who need careful monitoring of their whereabouts such as Alzheimer's patients and pets. The winning developer team of Maya Kenedy, Alex Christodoulou, Christopher Larsen, and Ernst Riemer from Pivotal Labs took home the coveted Viking axe trophies and a paid trip to the Battle Hack World Finals later this year.
"As parents, we're always worried about our kids' safety. Security Blanket was the top choice for judges as the team did an awesome job of creating an app that helps parents find their missing children and gets them home safely," said Jonathan LeBlanc, Head of Global Developer Evangelism for PayPal. "As a Canadian, it's inspiring to see such creativity and innovation in the market. Security Blanket is just one of many great examples that prove that Canada has a thriving developer ecosystem which can create great apps and help make the world a better place."
Coding for Social Good
Security Blanket wasn't the only unique creation on display in Toronto this past weekend at the fully sold out event. Runner-up, Small Change, created by Anisa Mirza, Allan Shin and Kevin Shin of Giveffect is a micro crowdfunding mobile game app that empowers school kids to become change makers. The app allows kids to browse and discover local charitable causes daily and fund them via a virtual currency of balloons. Each balloon equals $1 and parents can pre-load the app with balloons from the built-in 'PayPal bank'. Examples include $5 in hot meals for a food bank or 20 cans of cat food for a local animal shelter. Parkle, a mobile app that allows people to pay for parking using PayPal on their mobile phone by automatically completing the transaction when they return to your car, won third prize.
Other innovative apps that were created in 24-hours to help improve the city and community included:
- On the Grow: allows Torontonians to buy locally grown food, and for local growers to donate unsold food to the community
- Blinderino: uses voice commands and gesture recognition to help the visually impaired search for items on Kijiji
- RideDied: a crowdsource roadside assistance app allows good Samaritans to help those in need at the side of the road
- BSKR: lets users donate to street performers via their mobile device
- Spark: connects users to the nearest source of charging power supplied by other users.
Battling it out with Code and Caffeine
Participants at Battle Hack were fueled by special treats including games, spot prizes, a poutine bar, Beaver Tails, happy hour, a late night caffeine bar and free massages to keep stress levels low so they could code overnight.
Founded by PayPal in 2013, Battle Hack brings together many of the best and brightest developers from around the world and tasks them with developing a mobile app that incorporates the PayPal application programming interface (API) or Braintree or Venmo Software Development Kits (SDKs) and solves a local problem of their choice. Now in its second year, Battle Hack has already drawn thousands of developers to 15 hackathons around the world to create mobile apps that will benefit their communities.
At PayPal, we put people at the center of everything we do. Founded in 1998, we continue to be at the forefront of the digital payments revolution, giving people direct control over their money. Through our innovations, we make life better for our over 148 million active accounts in 26 currencies and across 193 markets, processing more than 9 million payments daily. An eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) company, PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid. The service gives people simpler ways to send money without sharing financial information, and with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts or credit cards. Visit www.paypal.ca for more information and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and our PayPal Canada blog.
Image with caption: "PayPal Battle Hack 2014 Toronto Winners. From L to R: Jonathan LeBlanc, head of global developer evangelism, PayPal with winners Alex Christodoulou, Maya Kenedy, Christopher Larsen and Ernst Riemer of Pivotal Labs. (CNW Group/PayPal)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140603_C3414_PHOTO_EN_2466.jpg