Results of CODE 2015

Results of CODE 2015

The weekend of February 20th - 22nd was long for the CODE participants spread out across Canada who were working hard in hopes of achieving open data glory.

Thank you to everyone who participated in CODE 2015. Over 1300 participants took part in 340 teams across the country, making CODE 2015 the largest hackathon in Canadian History!

July 17th, 2015 ·

CODE 2015 Winners Announced

CODE 2015 Winners Announced

Canadian Open Data Experience Winners Demonstrate Innovative Spirit

After 48 grueling hours of coding and an intense day of presentations to a panel of judges, the CODE hackathon winners were announced at a ceremony held at The Burroughes Building in Toronto. The Grand Finale event marked the final step of the hackathon presented by XMG Studio Inc. and the Government of Canada.

“CODE 2015 has been an inspiring experience, showcasing a wealth of Canadian talent, from developers and designers to budding entrepreneurs,” said the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and official facilitator of CODE. “All participants demonstrated the potential open data has for job creation, opportunities in the high tech field, and future innovation.”

CODE awarded prizes to the following teams:

  • $15,000 for the CODE Grand Champion:
  • $5,000 for Category winners:
    • Commerce: Business Opportunities:
      • Team Farm Canada with Farm Canada - Location: Calgary, AB - Participated virtually
    • Quality of Life: Healthy Living:
      • Team Neighbourfood with Neighbourfood Location: Vancouver, BC - Participated from Vancouver VIP HUB
    • Youth: Youth Employment:
      • Team Niew Labs with Career Path by Niew Labs - Location: Toronto, ON - Participated virtually
  • $5,000 for the Best Student Team Submission:
    • Team SFU Data Crunchers with High School Down, Where Next? Location: Burnaby, BC - Participated virtually
  • $5,000 for the Fan Favourite:
    • Team Bear Paws with COFY - Location: Richmond, BC - Participated from Vancouver VIP HUB
In addition to the cash prizes and eternal bragging rights, the category winners were also each awarded a full startup package to help set up their own startup sponsored by law firm Cognition LLP.

"CODE 2015 – the largest hackathon in Canadian history – showcased not only the breadth of data available to Canadians, but also the depth of talent and drive to succeed that's ingrained in Canada’s developer community,” said Ray Sharma, Executive Managing Partner at Extreme Venture Partners and Founder of XMG Studio Inc. “The wining teams' submissions are amazing examples of how fierce Canadian innovators are and how limitless the potential of open data really is. I congratulate the CODE 2014 champions – they are worthy winners!"

We congratulate all CODE participants who successfully submitted an open data application to compete in CODE and salute the CODE 2015 winners.
March 26th, 2015 ·

Behind the Scenes: CODE 2015 Pitch Day

Behind the Scenes: CODE 2015 Pitch Day

2015 Top 15 teams present and defend their submissions in front of a panel of industry experts

On March 6th, 2015 the Top 15 teams of the CODE 2015 competition were announced. These Top 15 teams were then invited to attend the CODE Pitch Day in Toronto where they presented their application for $40,000 in prizes in front of a panel of judges.

The event was hosted at the inspiring MaRS Discovery District, which cultivates high-impact ventures by providing expert advice and market research and making connections to talent, customers and capital: Just the right environment for the budding CODE entrepreneurs.

Representatives from each of the Top 15 team had 10 minutes to persuade the panel of the quality and potential of their applications and answer judges’ questions. The pitching stage was set up much like a TV set and a video crew recorded the pitches -- this was their Dragon’s Den moment.


When asked if they were nervous about presenting team IPPETAD replied: “We’re a little nervous. We’re fairly social, but we’re fairly social as far as engineers go so there’s definitely that little bit of nervousness, you know down in the pit of your stomach.”

At the other end of the spectrum was team Niew Labs who when asked if they were a bit nervous about presenting answered: “No. We’re not nervous,” and then began to sing the popular song “We will rock you” while making their way into the presentation room.

The judges were excited to see what Canada’s best and brightest developed in just 48 hours. “With over 1300 participants from cost to coast to coast there’s going to be some amazing submissions that will help demonstrate the value of open data in a way that’s understandable and accessible to all Canadians,” said Patti Mikula, CODE judge and VP, Marketing & Operations at XMG Studio Inc. “I’m excited to see what the teams have made.”


The CODE 2015 judging panel consisted of the industry experts:

After the pitches, the judges convened to deliberate and decide on category winners and the CODE 2015 Grand Champion.


“Every single person that walked into this room didn’t just create an application, they created a solution; a service to make the country a better place,” said Sameer Vasta, CODE judge and Manager Public Affairs at MaRS Discovery District. “It would have been really, really hard to leave the room not feeling inspired and not feeling really proud of my fellow Canadians while being surrounded by people who want to help make Canada a better place and do it by using open data.”
March 23rd, 2015 ·

Voting Starts March 6th for the CODE $5,000 Fan Favourite Prize!!!

Voting Starts March 6th for the CODE $5,000 Fan Favourite Prize!!!

Voting for the $5,000 Fan Favourite Prize opens March 6th at 12:00pm EST, and closes March 26th at 5:00pm EST. The winning team of the Fan Favourite Prize will be announced at the Grand Finale Event, March 26th.

Let us know which open data app YOU think has the most potential value for Canadians!

How it works

The Team’s Page on the CODE website will display the team profile’s of all eligible CODE 2015 Fan Favourite Apps (only eligible CODE 2015 app submissions qualify to compete for Fan Favourite).

Voting is limited to 1 vote per team and five 5 votes per day per IP address. This means you can vote for 5 different teams once per day, but not vote five times for one team in one day.

1. Votes can be cast directly through the CODE website on each team’s individual page.

2. By sharing the team’s unique CODE url on social media. A social media share is counted when the team’s specific CODE url is shared via Twitter or Facebook. Please make sure not to use link shorteners such as or Social votes using link shorteners will not be registered.


Rally your forces CODE 2015 teams! Start getting your Twitter and Facebook community behind you! Get the excitement flowing for your open data app, and get those votes for Fan Favourite to win $5,000 in cash!

VOTE NOW for your favourite #CODE2015 open data app!
March 6th, 2015 ·

The top 15 apps from CODE 2015 have been announced!

The top 15 apps from CODE 2015 have been announced!

The weekend of February 20th - 22nd was long for the 1300 CODE participants spread out across Canada who were working hard in hopes of achieving open data glory. The persistent, caffeine-fuelled hunching over computers has led to this very moment: the announcement of the CODE 2015 Top 15 Teams.

125 apps were submitted and tested thoroughly by the CODE advisory team before selecting the Top 15 Teams that will get the chance to present their app at the CODE Pitch Day downtown Toronto on March 16th, 2015.

The CODE Pitch Day is a real-time judging event where the top 15 teams pitch their applications to the CODE judging panel of industry experts. The pitches will be recorded and used to create a video which will be shared with potential investors with the goal of helping to bring the Top 15 apps to market.

The Pitch Day judging panel will decide on the three $5,000 Category Winners, the CODE Grand Prize Winner as well as the best submission from a student team. These winning teams will then be invited to the CODE Grande Finale party on March 26th, 2015 in downtown Toronto where their successes will be announced, prizes awarded and their achievements celebrated.

Youth: Youth Employment

  • Team SFU Data Crunchers with High School Down, Where Next? app. Helps Canadians find out how much a degree will cost them. Team consists of Jonathan Bhaskar, Bradley Ellert, Jasneet Sabharwal and Maryam Siabani of Burnaby and Coquitlam, BC.
  • Team Canada2020 with Yes You Can! app. The app allows Canadians to determine how far a specific career path can take them. Team consists of Rati Mehrotra and Vikas Nath of Toronto, ON.
  • Team Niew Labs with Career Path by Niew Labs app. The application is aimed at helping Canadian youth discover, research and choose future career paths. Team consists of Jigdel Kuyee, Rob McDiarmid, Daniil Shevelev and Lev Perelman, of Toronto and Vaughan, ON. 
  • Team Challengers with Canada Careers Finder app. Web portal giving information about plenty of careers available in Canada. Team consists of Alexandre Mathon Roy, of Montreal, QC.
  • Team Blazer with Blazer app. Matches Canadians to job offers in their area. Team consists of Majd Hussini, of Bedford, NS.

Commerce: Business Opportunities

  • Team Farm Canada with Farm Canada app. Farm Canada contains the historical data you need to make informed decisions and to keep you current. Team consists of Adam Michaleski and Steven Michaleski, of Calgary, AB and Winnipeg, MB.
  • Team datum with Todaytum app. Canadians can find all coverage on specific trending topics. Team consists of King Huang, Ezequiel Perdomo and Stephanie Stobart, of Calgary, AB.
  • Team IPPETAD with constellation app. Makes conference planning and joining a breeze using intuitive design and open government data. Team consists of James Finlay, Andrew Fontaine, Ranek Kiil and Jacob Viau, of Edmonton, AB.
  • Team DATA ELEPHANT with wanderfull app. Gives you all the information you need while you travel around each city day to day. Team consists of Rudy Desjardins, Francis Jeanson, Jean-Christophe Pilaprat and Marcus Williams, of Toronto and Inisfil, ON.
  • Team CFJS with Research.ME app.  Canadians can search for academics who received awards by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Team consists of Christian Béland, Frédéric Morin and Jean-Sébastien Thivierge, of Quebec and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, QC.

Quality of Life: Healthy Living

  • Team YPP with BeeHappy app. Let’s you calculate how happy you are! Get your Happy Score and compare it to others in your area and across the country. Team consists of James Filippelli, Anna Moorhouse and Ken Yong, of Vancouver, BC.
  • Team Neighbourfood with Neighbourfood app.  Empowers Canadians to make healthy food choices as part of a healthy lifestyle, while encouraging them to engage with their local community. Team consists of Neil Gentleman, Amelia Hardjasa, Fergus Kung and Ivan Zverev, of Vancouver, BC.
  • Team Ecotrust Canada with HypochondriApp app. Compares local risks with public perceptions. Team consists of Jim McDiarmid, Charles Fritz, Andrea Robertston and Clark Van Oyen, of Vancouver and Victoria, BC.
  • Team Exacto Systems with Prophesy app. Helps Canadians plan finances through post-secondary education and into their careers. Team consists of Alfred Yang, of Richmond Hill, ON.
  • Team Padawans with My Canadian Lifestyle app. Helps Canadians determine which city suits best with their lifestyle. Team consists of Johnny Ji, Mariana D'Ornellas, Elle Kasai and John Vidal, of Vancouver and Burnaby, BC.
March 6th, 2015 ·

Congratulations CODE 2015 Participants!

Congratulations CODE 2015 Participants!

Thank you to everyone who participated in CODE 2015. Over 1300 participants took part in 340 teams across the country, making CODE 2015 the largest hackathon in Canadian History!


What's next?

The teams that submit the top five applications in each category will be announced on March 6th, 2015. These top 15 teams will then be invited to the CODE Pitch Day event in Toronto on March 16th, 2015, to pitch their apps to our official CODE 2015 judges.

The official CODE 2015 judges will evaluate the presentations and potential of the applications and determine the winning application in each category as well as the CODE 2015 Grand Champion.

The winners in each category as well as the student prize winner will be invited to the Grand Finale event on March 26th, 2015, where their successes and the CODE 2015 Grand Champion will be officially announced!

All qualifying CODE 2015 submissions will be eligible for the $5,000 Fan Favourite Prize. This prize will be awarded to the team that receives the highest count of votes on their team profile and the highest number of social media likes and shares.

Fan Favourite voting begins March 6th, 2015. Make sure to fill out the details on your CODE team profile page and get ready to share your #CODE2015 app on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for more details!
March 3rd, 2015 ·

Today's the day! CODE 2015 is finally here!

Today's the day! CODE 2015 is finally here!

Over 1100 participants have registered to take part in CODE 2015: Canada’s largest national open data hackathon to accelerate open data and hacktivate innovation! Participants from Nunavut to Toronto and Victoria to St. John's will be building apps utilizing federal government data from Canada’s Open Government portal

Before you start hacking, here’s some important information you should know:

+ Click here to check out the free coding resources on the CODE website.

+ Tweet, tweet and tweet some more using #CODE2015 or @CODE_Hackathon! We hope for a real tweet-fest with lots of pics and vids from all the 1100 registered participants across the nation!

+ We recommend you give yourself lots of time for submission. Don’t forget to keep track of the datasets you’ve implemented too! You’ll need to provide links to the datasets used in your application during submission.

+ If you have questions for our tech support or would like to learn more about data sets available on Canada’s Open Government portal, we have experts that can help! Just shoot us an email:

And finally, the themes in the three CODE 2015 categories are:

Commerce: Business Opportunities
Youth: Youth Employment
Quality of Life: Healthy Living

We can’t wait to see what you build. Happy hacking!
February 20th, 2015 ·

Countdown to CODE: Participants take note!

Countdown to CODE: Participants take note!

We're nearing the start of the competition and we want to give you a heads up on a few things.

Regarding submissions, you will be required to create a Git repo and submit the link as part of your submission. We will be accepting repositories from IBM BlueMix DevOps Services (JazzHub), Github, and Bitbucket.

For each, you will have to give us access to your repo. For IBM JazzHub, you can add a member to your project from the Members page. You will need to invite to your project. For GitHub, you can add collaborators to your repo from the Settings page. You will need to add CODE-EDOC as a collaborator. For Bitbucket, you can add users to your repo from the Settings page. You will need to add CODE-EDOC under Access Management.

If you are planning on creating a website, you will need to host it yourself and submit a link as part of your submission. DigitalOcean will be providing $15 credit to all CODE participants for hosting. This is enough to run a 512MB VPS instance for 3 months. You can email and request a code.

Namecheap is providing free .me domain names for students with an email from any accredited post secondary institution. Just go to to get your free domain. If you are a professional, you can also get a free domain - just email us at to request a CODE.

For mobile apps, we will be testing all apps on the latest versions of iOS and Android. If you have any specific instructions for testing (e.g. optimized for iPhone 5S), please include these in your submission.

Good luck to everyone and we hope you have a great time this weekend!
February 20th, 2015 ·

Countdown to CODE: How to Prepare

Countdown to CODE: How to Prepare

In just a few short days coders from coast to coast to coast will be jumping into a scramble of coding, drawing interfaces and drooping eyelids. While showing up with an open and creative mindset is the most important, preparing a bit ahead of time can make a big difference.

The basic first steps to prepare for your CODE weekend are registration, profile and team creation as well as deciding how to compete: either from a CODE VIP HUB, Partner HUB or virtually from anywhere in Canada.

Step 1: The Basics

Go to and sign up using Facebook, Google+ or email.

Complete your profile:
Go to Here you can write a description about yourself and what you hope to get out of this competition. You can also change your profile pic, create a team, and fill out your skill set. Potential team members, judges and fans will be looking at your profile so be sure to present yourself the best way you can.

Create or find a team:
Everyone participating in CODE is required to be part of team. If you plan on competing on your own, simply create a one-person team.

If you are looking for people to join your team, you can use our matchmaking tool to find people with the skills you are looking for and recruit them right through our website. For more information please check out our Matchmaking How To Video.

If you are looking to lend your skills to an existing team, while logged in, go to the Teams page. Browse through all the teams and see what they are about and who they are looking for. If you find a team you’d like to join, simply click the “Request to Join” button and a request will be sent to the team leader.

Where to compete:
There are three CODE VIP HUBs located in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. One hundred specially selected participants will compete from each of these locations. Participating from a VIP HUB will make your hackathon experience extra special! You get to hangout with colleagues and peers, grab some cool CODE SWAG (hoodies, coffee mugs and more!) and chomp through mountains of delicious food (all on us!) while building the next big open data app. If you are interested in participating from a VIP HUB, please apply.

But I don’t live near a VIP HUB!
Not a problem! We have partnered up with some awesome institutions and organizations to provide Partner HUBs all across Canada. Check out our HUBs page! Here you can browse all the HUBs or enter your postal code to find the HUB nearest to you. Once you have found a HUB that works for you, simply apply.

But I do my best work at home!
No worries! We understand that some people prefer the comfort of their own home when creating the next big thing. Our website gives you all the tools you need to participate “virtually”.

Step 2: The Prep Work

After having registered, completed your profile and set up a team, continue with some brain-preparation!

Head over to the CODE Resource section and FAQ to find all the answers to your questions and a plethora of resources to help you prepare for the event.

Continue by visiting the CODE Judging page and learn about the criteria that will determine the Top 15. Understanding how your submission will be judged will help you make the best decision for your app.

Get familiar with Canada’s Open Government portal. There are more than 200,000 federal datasets to choose from and going though all of them might very well take 48 hours and leave you no time to program your submission. To start, check out the Open Data 101 page, visit the Apps Gallery to get inspired here or brush up on you data skills by visiting the Working with Data and Application Programming Interfaces page.

Lastly, make sure you research the CODE 2015 categories Commerce, Quality of Life and Youth and start thinking about which datasets might work well for submissions in these categories.

Step 3: Get Organized

If you’re not participating from one of the CODE VIP HUBs: Do some grocery shopping! The last thing you want to do is have to leave your house for two hours to buy groceries to make dinner. It’s a 48-hour hackathon not a 46-hour hackathon. No time to waste!

Liquid Energy. No matter your preference, Red Bull, Tim Horton’s coffee, or apples, stock up on your favourite energy source so you can stay wide-eyed from Friday to Sunday!

Sleep. Sleep while you can.

Step 4: CODE Checklist

  • Bring charging cables! Nothing can ruin an epic idea like electronics clocking out at the wrong moment.
  • Organization! Make a development schedule for what needs to be done. Set goals or milestones, so you can keep track of whether you’re ahead or behind development schedule. Know the difference between what you need in your application and what you want.
  • Use a repository during the weekend – either GitHub or Bitbucket or IBM JazzHub. You will be required to share your repository with your submission. Why not keep track of all your code changes throughout the weekend?
  • Remember this is supposed to be a challenge. If you’re feeling stressed – go for walk, talk to fellow competitors, go on reddit and forget about your problems – but don’t quit. Challenges are meant to be difficult but they are also incredibly rewarding!
  • Submit your app! Be prepared and allocate time in your development schedule for this. You can submit multiple times and we will only be judging the last version you uploaded. Take advantage of this and go through the process multiple times before submission close to reduce last minute stress.
  • Pat yourself on the back – you just created an app in 48hours! You could win $15,000! You’re awesome – be proud of your accomplishment.

Finally, don’t forget to put yourself into the hacker mindset and prime your brain for thinking creatively, efficiently, and adaptively. Be ready to make quick decisions and change your mind even faster. And most important of all: remember to learn and have fun! If this is your goal, and you show up, you’ll have a great hackathon experience.
February 18th, 2015 ·

Join us in Vancouver for the Final Stop of the CODE 2015 Road Show

Join us in Vancouver for the Final Stop of the CODE 2015 Road Show

The network of incubators, accelerators, government programs and local investors help make Vancouver a fertile ground for startup success. It is an enticing and optimistic location to launch a startup, which is proven by the fact that the tech giants Facebook and Amazon are both setting up shop in the city this year. With so much creative talent and support to grow, we are excited to see what submission come out of Vancouver.

The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, along with Ray Sharma of XMG Studio Inc., continue their nation-wide tour to promote CODE 2015. The fourth and final stop will take place in Vancouver on February 11th.

Everyone is invited to take part in the discussion on how open data can help solve problems and start businesses. Speak with Minister Clement, Ray Sharma and past and future participants.

The Vancouver stop is organized in partnership with OpenDataBC and the BCTIA Innovation HUB. OpenDataBC is a collaborative effort by a group of B.C. citizens with the vision of providing easier access to information so that citizens may better understand their province. The BCTIA Innovation Hub is a 26,000 square foot open collaboration space dedicated to helping tech companies grow. The Hub is designed to support early- and growth-stage companies by providing access to expert coaches and mentors, professional services, resources, investors, partners, customers, government agencies and more.

When: Tuesday, February 11, 2015
Registration: 5:30pm – 6:00pm
Speakers & Networking Reception: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: BCTIA Innovation HUB, Suite 101 – 887 Great Northern Way, Vancouver, BC V5T 4T5

Register to attend today:
February 9th, 2015 ·

Join us for a Special Event in Halifax to Discuss How Canada’s Federal Open Data can Spur Innovation and be Applied to Benefit all Canadians

Join us for a Special Event in Halifax to Discuss How Canada’s Federal Open Data can Spur Innovation and be Applied to Benefit all Canadians

The Halifax region has top-notch universities and research labs, and a tight-knit innovation ecosystem. Halifax has the talent and the vibrant social climate to create a truly entrepreneurial community. We expect great things from the Halifax CODE participants.

After stops in Toronto and Montreal, the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, along with Ray Sharma of XMG Studio Inc., continue their nation-wide tour to promote CODE and arrive in Halifax on January 30th.

Developers, designers, data-crunchers and anyone else interested in open data: Come join us and discuss how we can work together to make use of what the Honourable Tony Clement rightfully dubbed: Canada’s New Natural Resource. The event is free and open to everyone.

The Halifax stop is hosted on the campus of Dalhousie University and supported by its Institute for Big Data Analytics. The Institute for Big Data Analytics is the first academic research institute in Canada committed to expanding knowledge and expertise in big data.

When: January 30th, 2015
Registration: 5:30pm – 6:00pm
Speakers & Networking Reception: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: Dalhousie University Campus, 5850 College Street, Charles Tupper Building, Theater B

Register to attend today:
January 26th, 2015 ·

Mingle With Montreal’s Vibrant Open Data Community

Mingle With Montreal’s Vibrant Open Data Community

Join us for a Special Event on January 29th at La Commune

Montreal is one of Canada's most innovative technology hubs and a city where industry has embraced the 21st century with open arms. Open data being the "innovation currency" of our generation, we are especially excited to see what solutions these brilliant minds may come up with using Canada's open data.

After a first stop in Toronto, the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, along with Ray Sharma of XMG Studio Inc., continue their nation-wide tour to promote CODE and will be in Montreal on January 29th.

Everyone is invited to take part in the discussion on how open data can help solve problems and start businesses. Speak with Minister Clement, Ray Sharma and past and future participants.

The Montreal stop is organized in partnership with MTL NewTech, a non-profit dedicated to fostering the startup ecosystem in Montreal; and hosted by With-Intent "Startups +PlusMontreal", at La Commune, a beautiful cooperative co-working space in the heart of Old-Port Montreal.

When: January 29th, 2015
Registration: 5:30pm – 6:00pm
Speakers & Networking Reception: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Where: La Commune, 440 Place Jacques Cartier, H2Y 3B3, Montreal

Register to attend today:
January 26th, 2015 ·

CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation and Hacktivating Open Data

CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation and Hacktivating Open Data

January 26th, 2015 ·

Canadian Open Data Experience Comes to Toronto

Canadian Open Data Experience Comes to Toronto

Calling on all Toronto tech-enthusiasts to help change the world, one app at a time

Leading up to CODE 2015, the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, James Moore, Minister of Industry Canada and Ray Sharma, Managing Partner of Extreme Venture Partners are embarking on a cross-country tour to discuss the economic value of open data and how CODE 2015, could launch Canada’s next big open data startup. The road show will kick-off in Toronto January 14th, with more stops scheduled in Montreal, Halifax and Vancouver over the next month.

Students, entrepreneurs and innovators are invited to come learn about the Open Data Initiative, and how CODE 2015 is inspiring Canadians to use open data to build a better world. Speak with the Honorable Mr. Clement, Ray Sharma, open data startup founders and funders as well as CODE past and future participants. The Toronto stop is hosted at the offices of OneEleven, Canada’s most prolific community of data-driven tech entrepreneurs.

When: Wednesday January 14th
Registration: 4:30pm – 5:00pm
Speakers & Networking Reception: 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Where: OneEleven Office,111 Richmond ST. W Suite 5, Toronto

Join us January 14th at the OneEleven building downtown Toronto for a special event to learn more about the potential value of open data and the largest open data hackathon, the Canadian Open Data Experience.

Click here to register to attend.
January 9th, 2015 ·

CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation and Hacktivating Open Data

CODE 2015: Accelerating Innovation and Hacktivating Open Data

Driving Growth in Canada's Digital Economy Using Open Data

The global economy is changing. The pace of technological change and the unprecedented availability of mass amounts of data is creating new opportunities while making older business practices obsolete.

As a digital economy, Canada's long-term economic competitiveness depends on how well we are able to integrate into and drive this global rising of the digital knowledge economy. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is by making previously privately-held government data available to the public and incentivizing Canadians to do their part to unlock its full value.

“Open data is an important part of Digital Canada 150, which is our Government’s plan to ensure Canada excels in the digital age. CODE 2015 will showcase Canadian talent in the use of open data, and exemplify Canada as a leader in the global digital economy.”
- James Moore, Minister of Industry and CODE facilitator

CODE 2014, Canada’s first nationwide open data hackathon supported by the federal government, was a huge success in supporting this goal. In February 2014, 900 participants worked 48 hours to develop apps utilizing open data available on Canada’s Open Government Portal to take home their share of the $30,000 offered in prizes. More than 100 apps were submitted ranging from helping new immigrants find places to live, to choosing cars, to managing farming. The apps were as varied as the choice of federal datasets participants had to choose from.

“Technology competitions are changing how companies innovate around the globe. By engaging a dynamic population of volunteer technologists to develop software applications and pioneering Open Data solutions that approach persistent problems in innovative ways, prize driven competitions offer an opportunity to achieve innovation oriented goals with limited resources.”
- Ray Sharma, Founder and Chairman, XMG Studio Inc.

What CODE 2014 showed was that if useful open data like real-time transportation data is released publicly in an accessible manner, then developers and entrepreneurs will step up to create apps.

Now established as an innovation engine to ‘hacktivate’ open data for years to come, CODE is set up to grow and adapt to meet the needs of the changing economy and government and to match the interests of Canadians.

“We’re aiming to make this year bigger and better. The ultimate goal of CODE is to leverage technology to engage citizens, showcase their ideas, and inspire Canadians to use government open data to drive innovation and economic growth.”
- Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and CODE facilitator

A number of changes will be introduced in this year alone. One of these being that CODE 2015 seeks to uncover innovations using open data to address critical issues and spur innovation in three specific categories: Youth, Commerce and Quality of Life. For each of these categories a theme will be announced minutes before the hackathon starts to ensure a level playing field for participants.

CODE 2015 also boasts an increased number of VIP HUBs, expanding from the single VIP HUB in Toronto in 2014 to a total of three – one in Montreal, one in Vancouver and one in Toronto – with each 100 selected participants. Participants will also be able to take part in CODE from Partner HUBs in various locations as well as participating online from their homes, schools, or local coffee shops. This makes CODE 2015 a truly nationwide event.

Another highlight is that this year participants are strongly encouraged to mash-up federal datasets with those from other levels of government. This will help unleash the full potential of open data as it allows participants to create solutions for challenges in a way that’s not expected and see information from different angles. Participants can weave their own stories based on a good idea and several data sources. This further frees information and can expand the public’s comprehension of what is happening in their city, province and country.

To encourage all Canadians to take part in CODE – regardless of digital prowess – a matchmaking tool has been developed and is available on the CODE website. It was built to help participants find the right team members to complement their own skills and effectively enables everyone to take an idea from concept to completion. Mobile & web developers, programmers and data scientists can now easily find digital artists, UI/UX designers as well as business graduates, project managers and others via title, skill or keyword search using our matchmaking tool.

CODE 2015 is setting out to galvanize developers and entrepreneurs to develop apps that will provide value for citizens and drive economic growth. The fact that this is not an unrealistic goal at all is proven by the fact that two startups have been founded or acquired to date based on their work developed during CODE 2014:

  • The 2014 Grand Champion team Electric Sheep went on to publish their submission and is currently working on a re-brand an re-launch of the original concept with expanded services around immigration: Imminy
  • The top 15 team Farmspot’s startup was acquired by Invoke Labs in BC

“The Government‘s commitment to unleashing the potential of open data and helping to drive innovation represents a unique opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs.”
- Robert Herjavec, CODE 2014 judge and star of ABC’s “Shark Tank”

We’re in the midst of a data-driven revolution and we are calling on you to take on the opportunities it brings for all Canadians and for the betterment of all living in Canada. Participate in CODE 2015. Hacktivate open data and help accelerate innovation. Register today.
December 8th, 2014 ·

Media Coverage

Hack-a-thon called CODE
CTV · Sarah Ritchie · February 22nd, 2015

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