Gift the Code


How Will Your Submission be Judged at Gift the Code?

Gift the Code is merely a few days away! By now, some of you will have thought about your game plan, while others are waiting to get there before doing so. Some of you will already have teams and others will form them over dinner at kick-off. Whatever your decision, it really doesn’t matter either way because you’ll all have fun using your creativity, experience and problem-solving skills to tackle the challenges put forth by the charity randomly assigned to your team.

That being said, it would probably help to know how your submission is going to be judged at Gift the Code. Here’s a breakdown of information that will help get you and your team prepared:


Each team will consist of 4 to 6 participants. Teams can be formed beforehand or on the Friday night of the hackathon. We’ll be there to help.


A lottery will assign teams to the different charities. All of the charities are providing 4 or 5 diverse challenges for teams to choose from.


The judging will take place in a science fair-like expo, where teams will give presentations to a set of rotating judges – each of whom is assigned to award badges based on certain criteria.


Your team’s objective will be to design a solution that fulfills the requirements of eight different criteria. Teams will be awarded a badge for each criterion their solution meets. Judges will each be assigned a badge for a specific criterion to hand out to the teams that meet the necessary badge requirements.


Problem Solver
Effectively addresses one of the challenges of the assigned charity.

The solution will have an immediate and positive impact on the charity.

The solution can be implemented by the charity with minimal effort.

The prototype of the solution works and functions as intended.

Pitch Perfect
The pitch of the solution conveyed the problem, solution and feasibility.

The design of the solution was well thought out, accessible, attractive and user friendly.

The team has identified a unique and creative way to solve the problem.

Pushing Tech
The team uses new technology (software and/or hardware) to solve the problem.


We made sure to get a diverse, talented and inspiring group of judges that you’ll need to impress during the expo. Each of the following judges will be tasked with awarding specific badges.

Charity Judges:
Luke O’Connor (Game Developer, Holland Bloorview)
Daniel Egan (Vice Chairperson, Blake Boultbee)
Jennifer Verschraegen (Director of Development, Second Harvest)
Liz Mulholland (Chief Executive Officer, Prosper Canada)
Jill Holroyd (Board Member, Pflag Toronto)
Lina Almanzan (Resource Systems Manager, Women’s Habitat)

Capital One & External Judges:
Nathalie Clark (Chief Operating Officer, Capital One Canada)
Mike Empey (Client Solutions Manager, Facebook)
Jennifer Daly (Growth PMM of Social Commerce, Shopify)
Breanne Schroder (Account Manager, Google)
Jessica Galang (News Editor, BetaKit)
Marc Saltzman (Freelance Journalist and Broadcast Technology Expert)
Dan Makoski (Founder and Chief Design Officer, Garage Partners)
Daniel Eidan (General Manager, BrainStation)
Jim Jagielski (Co-founder of the Apache Software Foundation and Senior Director in the Tech Fellows program, Capital One)
Cassandra Finn (Senior Account Executive Platforms, Google)
Craig Ballard (Global Account Executive – Financial Services | Enterprise Services | Microsoft Canada Inc.)

Judging Schedule:
The expo will proceed after lunch on Sunday, October 23 and will last from 1 to 3:15pm Following this, badges will be awarded with drinks and snacks for good measure!

We are thrilled to have so many of you participating in Gift the Code. We’re working hard to make sure that you’ll be engaged, stimulated, well fed and happy to have joined us at Gift the Code. We can’t wait to see you this weekend!

Posted October 18, 2016

Gift the Code Agenda and Schedule

Friday, October 21st

5:30pm Registration opens
6:30pm Welcome & event briefing
7:00pm Dinner & team confirmation
8:00pm Charity Lotto
9:00pm Hacking kick-off

Saturday, October 22nd

1:00am Late night snack
8:00am Breakfast
12:30pm Lunch
7:00pm Dinner & briefing on final demos

Sunday, October 23rd

1:00am Late night snack
8:00am Breakfast
12:00pm Coding ends & Lunch
1:00pm EXPO opens & Judging
3:15pm EXPO closes
3:30pm - 4:10pm Awards Ceremony & Drinks and Cocktails
4:10 - 6:00pm Celebrations

Posted October 5, 2016

Welcome to Gift the Code!

Welcome to Gift the Code, a Capital One Canada hackathon that will help advance the cause of six local charities by giving them a technology boost!

Driven by the desire to commit as much funding as possible toward their respective causes, local charity organizations often operate on tight budgets and rarely have access to top-tier technology talent. This prevents them from taking full advantage of digital solutions that are already available. By bringing your skills, talents and unique perspective to Gift the Code, you can change this and help give participating organizations a much-needed boost.

On the weekend of October 21st to 23rd, join over 100 other participants who are passionate about technology and innovation at BrainStation’s beautiful King and Spadina location. You’ll work together to develop solutions that help:

• Improve the lives of kids with disabilities;
• Support individuals in the LGBTQ community, so they can create and maintain healthy relationships with their families;
• Reduce food waste and feed the hungry;
• Provide at-risk youth with counselling, training and programming;
• Fight financial illiteracy and poverty; and
• Assist women and children suffering from domestic abuse.

Fighting for different causes and providing services to diverse target groups requires creative solutions and the use of relevant technologies. What better way to make an impact on your community than by joining forces with Gift the Code and sharing your time and creativity for a good cause?

Posted August 22, 2016


Check out resources for this event here.

Posted August 22, 2016

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