Want to level up with an “I’m Awesome” badge this fall? There are six charities that need your help, to improve the quality of life for Canadians in need. All they require is your genius, and 40 hours of your time from October 21 to 23, to get their digital spaces rocking. The Gift the Code hackathon is looking for all kinds of superheroes, like you, to help build technology that will change the way non-profits interact with those that are desperately in need of their services. You actually don’t need to know how to code; you don’t even need to know how to design. What you do need is a superhero drive to make life better for your family, friends and neighbours, by giving them easier access to the help they need. So, let’s hackathon!

What is the Gift the Code Hackathon?

Amazing question! Here are the deets.
Gift the Code Hackathon, presented by Capital One Canada, is a 40-hour tech crunch that’s been established to build tech solutions for one of six charities that are in need of tech magic. Each charity has a number of challenges to choose from, and your team will choose one to tackle (and show all the others just how superior your team is by creating a thing of beauty)!

#GiftTheCode: Get Your Code On

These challenges are based on the charities’ current, everyday needs and struggles. These charities have recognized that they will be one step closer to overcoming their struggles with technology, and they’re relying on you to build a better way for them to interact with those who rely on them the most.

Hackathon participants will be placed into teams, based on their skills and what they can bring to the table. If you can’t wait to get started, you can join and build your team ahead of time, by interacting with fellow participants on Gift the Code’s Slack channel! You’ll work with your team to design an app or other technology that will change lives. Awesomeness, leveled up!

Teams will definitely need coders and designers, but they’ll also need tech-loving team members that excel as project managers and copy writers – thinkers that can see the big picture, and map all the pieces together. It will take teams with a multitude of talent to have a better idea of what these charities really need to succeed.

“Smaller charities face an enormous challenge with respect to advanced technology solutions. Through this Hackathon, we’re taking meaningful action to help our charity partners bridge the digital divide and continue to expand and grow into the future.”

~ Nathalie Clark, Chief Operating Officer, Capital One Canada. (Newswire.ca)


It’s All Fun and Games.

Teams will be digitally duking it out. There will be judges and ambassadors who will ambass all over the event – keeping you on track.

If you’ve dipped your toes in the Canadian tech world, you’ve no doubt heard of Marc Saltzman. Well, here’s your chance to meet the technology expert that has entertained you on the big screen, while showcasing your app-making skills.

Charities? Which Charities?

Wow, you amazing individuals. You’re on the ball!
Meet the six charities that will need your help this October (in no particular order.)

  1. Blake Boultbee Youth Outreach Services
  2. Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
  3. Prosper Canada
  4. Second Harvest
  5. Women’s Habitat
  6. Toronto Pflag

#GiftTheCode: Gift Your Genius to Charity

And here’s a sample of what they need from you!

From Holland-Bloorview

Challenge #1 “Create a solution that allows Holland Bloorview to collect more accurate and relevant feedback from the children they work with.”

From Prosper Canada

Challenge #3 “Use gamification to build activities into the daily lives of people living with low incomes that build their financial capability and well-being.”

You can view more samples of challenges that need to be met, as well as notes to give you a better idea of what each charity is looking for.

You can do this! Sign up now on Gift the Code’s website, and prep your way to superhero status.

Where Do You Need to Be in October?

Easy peasy.
All the fun, sweat and tears will be happening at BrainStation Toronto Campus – 460 King St. West, Toronto, ON  M5V 1L7, starting Friday, October 21 at 5:30PM.

#GiftTheCode: Meet You at Brainstation, Toronto

Done? Awesome! Now, all you need to think up is your superhero name.



Thanks to Capital One Canada for partnering with me on this post. Thoughts and opinions are, as always, my own.