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24 hours, 150 developers, 25 amazing hacks: LinkedIn Hackday at MaRS

February 7, 2013

Toronto. 24 hours. Caffeine. Headphones. Creativity.

One hundred and fifty members of the local developer community flocked to the MaRS Centre for the 24-hour LinkedIn Toronto Hackday challenge this past weekend.

click to see more scenes from #HackdayTO

The task: Create an app, website, algorithm or any technical creation that will help Toronto and its citizens become more productive and happy.

Participants built and coded all throughout the day and night—using the pillows they had on-hand to take quick naps—making the event tagline, “Eat, Hack, Sleep,” a true reality.

In total, 25 hacks were created, which were then narrowed down to 14 finalists who presented on the main stage to the entire group.

Check out screenshots, demos and technologies from all 25 hacks on the Toronto Hackday 2013 Projects page.

The results

  • Life in Three received an honourable technical mention for creating personal video journals on your smartphone on-the-go.
  • Third place went to Music for the Deaf, a hardware hack that enables the deaf to experience music through vibrations (audio-tactile sensory substitution).
  • Second place went to Connect Underground, a complete set of wireless resources, including a chat feature, updated news and events, bus schedules, maps and tourism information for when you’re on the subway without Internet access.
  • And the winner was… ArtStreet, who beat the competition with an application that crowdsources interesting works of art on the streets of Toronto and profiles them for the rest of the world to see.

The amazing trio of judges included Krista Jones, who leads the education innovation initiative at MaRS; Adam Barker, co-founder and head of product at EmployTouch Inc.; and Jonas Brandon, co-founder and investor at StartupNorth.

Social media was buzzing with all things #HackdayTO: 365,179 Twitter accounts were reached, generating over 1.3 million impressions.

The event brought the local developer community to MaRS and engaged our brand directly with that of LinkedIn’s. We provided the space and the entrepreneurs, while LinkedIn brought their incredible platform and awesome prizes.

As someone new to hackdays, this event proved to me that Ontario is full of amazing developers who are eager to innovate—even if it means losing precious hours of weekend sleep.

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Jennifer Marron @ MaRS

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Jennifer Marron is Community Manager for MaRS. Prior to joining MaRS, Jennifer spent four consecutive years working at telecommunications startups in communications, marketing and PR. Her writing has appeared in The National Post, Techvibes, IT Business, CWTA Magazine and Rouge. Follow her @J_Marron

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