Hootsuite and Slack Logos Vanhacks
March 4th - 6th, 2016


EVA App Screenshot

#1 Axiom Zen

Challenge: Ending Violence of Association of BC

Axiom Zen built iOS and Android solutions for EVA. The solutions feature an alarm button embedded into the Today Menu (so a user does not need to unlock their phone to find the button), an alarm 'button' that triggers by hitting the phone against your leg three times and a camera that takes multiple pictures to gather evidence.

Project on Github
Food Bank App Screenshot

#2 Team One

Challenge: Greater Vancouver Food Bank

The app enables a food donor to cross-reference nutritional value pre-donation based on the GVFB's Top 10 Most Wanted Foods. The app scans barcodes found on food and displays the nutritional value as well as its GVFB 'wantedness' level (people earn points as they play). In addition, the app includes a map to show the nearest GVFB centre in relation to where the person is as well as an option to donate money.

Project on Github
Knack App Screenshot

#3 Slack Knack

Challenge: Knack

A game-like iOS application with the ability for Earners to collect badges and apply for tasks.

Project on Github

Shout Out to All Participants

Blips and Chitz - Knack - Github

Dwabit - Ending Violence - Github

EMMY - Food Bank - Github

Forte - Knack - Github

Heimdallr - Ending Violence - Github

Index 5 - Ending Violence - Github

Knackers - Knack - Github

Omlet - Big Sisters - Github

Panicuru - Ending Violence - Github

Team 14 - Ending Violence - Github

Team Rocket - Big Sisters - Github

Team Team 2 - Ending Violence - Github

Timuru - Food Bank - Github

Sexy Dudes - Big Sisters - Github

Spider-Man's Web Devs - Ending Violence - Github

Utoappia - Ending Violence - Github


VanHacks is the first hackathon organized by ViDIA. With the help of our founding sponsors, Slack and Hootsuite, we call you, hackers of Vancouver, to join us over a weekend to create tech solutions that solve challenging issues faced by our community's not-for-profit institutions whose aim is to do social good. With your help, we can work towards building a better, more unified Vancouver.


The hackathon will build solutions to help these five Vancouver organizations do social good.

Click on each organization to learn more about their challenges.

Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, a leading child and youth mentoring charity, has two challenges to offer to participants: a web plugin to connect BSBCLW's small needs to donors and a mobile web or iOS app to quickly sign up volunteers and add them to the BSBCLW's database.

Canuck Place Children's Hospice, British Columbia’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider, has two challenges to offer to participants: a new website for the organization's Gift of Time Gala and an internal messaging system for their development team.

Ending Violence Association of BC (by way of PeaceGeeks) works to coordinate and support the work of victim-serving and other anti-violence programs in British Columbia. Its challenge to participants is to develop a mobile personal security app, designed to work as a 24/7 monitored alarm system.

Greater Vancouver Food Bank, a not-for profit that empowers people to nourish themselves, has two challenges to offer to participants: an app that enables a food donor to cross-reference nutritional value pre-donation and a food sort game app.

Knack aims to increase the opportunities for impact hiring through local businesses by acknowledging the diverse range of skills and knowledge of the residents of the DTES who experience barriers to traditional employment. Its challenge to participants is to build a game-like web to (predominately) mobile app that connects Earners to badges and tasks.


  • Friday - March 4th

    6:00 PM

    Team Formation Social

    @Lighthouse Labs

    If you are already on a team, this event is optional. Those not on a team are required to come and learn each other's challenge ideas and form teams.

  • Saturday - March 5th

    8:00 am

    Participant Registration


    Each participant will check-in at the entrance. Information on how to set up and make themselves at home will be provided.

  • 9:00 am


    Participants will be informed of the challenges for the hackathon, available APIs to work with, what kind of applications they are expected to realize, sponsors, judges, judging criteria, mentors, rules and any other information.

  • 10:00 am


    The challenge begins! Vanhacks will come around and register teams and their chosen challenge. Mentors will be available throughout most of the hackathon to lend advice on how to tackle problems. .

  • 1:00 pm


    Lunch will be served between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

  • 7:00 pm


    Dinner is served between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

  • Sunday - March 6th

    8:00 am


    Breakfast will be served between 8:00 AM and 9:30 AM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

  • 12:00 PM


    Lunch is served between 12:00 PM and 1:30 PM. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options available for those who request it.

  • 2:00 PM


    With around 20 teams participating, each demo will be limited to 3 minutes.

  • 5:00 PM


    Winners are announced and presented with prizes: 1st Prize: $1250, 2nd Prize: $750, 3rd Prize $500.


Founding Sponsors

Slack Logo

Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It's real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.

Hootsuite Logo

Hootsuite is the most widely used platform for managing social media, loved by over 10 million people around the globe and trusted by more than 800 of the Fortune 1000. With Hootsuite, brands harness the power of social.

Community Sponsors

Microsoft Logo
Lighthouse Labs Logo
Vancouver Economic Commission Logo
Two Tall Totems Logo
Wavefront Logo
Mobify Logo
Naked Snacks Logo
Dynamic Leap Logo
radical.io Logo
buddybuild Logo
AxiomZen Logo
BC Government Logo


Geordie Henderson Profile Pic

Geordie Henderson

VP, Software Development, Hootsuite

Aaron Hilton Profile Pic

Aaron Hilton

Executive Chairman, Conquer Mobile

Andrea Reimer Profile Pic

Andrea Reimer

Councillor & Chair of Policy and Strategic Priorities, City of Vancouver


Samya Al Rahmani Profile Pic

Samya Al Rahmani


Ana Maria Badila Profile Pic

Ana Maria Badila


Chris Hobbs Profile Pic

Chris Hobbs

Master of Ceremonies

Alexis Jensen Profile Pic

Alexis Jensen



Corey Baker Profile Pic

Corey Baker

Application Engineer

David Drucker Profile Pic

David Drucker

User Experience Designer

Rob Ellis Profile Pic

Rob Ellis


Chris Fawcett Profile Pic

Chris Fawcett

Senior Native Mobile Applications Developer

Yan Gao Profile Pic

Yan Gao

Senior Test Automation Engineer (Cloud DevOps)

Alborz Heydaryan Profile Pic

Alborz Heydaryan

UI UX Designer

Andrei Iancu Profile Pic

Andrei Iancu

CEO - Dynamic Leap Technology

Eric Muyser Profile Pic

Eric Muyser

Front End Engineer

Ash Mishra Profile Pic

Ash Mishra

Director, Product Development - Eventbase

Dennis Pilarinos Profile Pic

Dennis Pilarinos

Co-founder, CEO buddybuild

Ignacio Romero Profile Pic

Ignacio Romero

iOS Senior Engineer

Shayla Sawchenko Profile Pic

Shayla Sawchenko

Senior Native Mobile Applications Developer

Ian Sim Profile Pic

Ian Sim

Founder & CEO, Radical I/O Technology

Christopher Stott Profile Pic

Christopher Stott

Co-founder, Engineer buddybuild

Mai Takahashi Profile Pic

Mai Takahashi

UI UX Designer

Johnny Ting-Shi Profile Pic

Johnny Ting-Shi

Co-founder, Engineer buddybuild



Online registration ends at 9 AM on March 1, 2016 or when maximum event capacity is reached. Capacity is 85 participants.


Teams may be composed of minimum 3 and a maximum 5 participants.


Participants may arrive with a pre-established team. Time will be provided on Friday night for solo participants to form teams. People are expected to know their teams by Saturday morning when they register them at 8:00 am. You will be required to select a team name and designate a team spokesperson. Individuals may only participate and register with one team. Each team is solely responsible for its own cooperation and teamwork.


Teams may begin working at 10 AM on March 5 until demo time at 2 PM on March 6. All technical designs, developed code, and production assets for each entry must be created during the VanHacks event.


Participants are expected to bring the necessary hardware and software tools to build their competition entry. Teams are permitted to use open source tools and/or code.


All solutions must be developed during the course of VanHacks. Development occurs between the start and end times of the hack. Participants may consult remote resources via mobile phone, VoIP, chat, etc., to answer technical questions, but remote resources (such as outside people sending code) are not allowed to develop or produce assets used in competition entries.


To ensure a level playing field for all contestants, all code, design, art, music, SFX, and assets must be created during the duration of VanHacks. We want to ensure that all participants start off on the same footing and preserve the true nature of a hackathon. You are, however, free to make plans, create wireframes, and brainstorm prior to the event.


VanHacks is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, previous hackathon attendance or computing experience (or lack of any of the aforementioned). We do not tolerate harassment of VanHacks participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate at VanHacks. VanHacks participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the hackathon without a refund at the discretion of VanHacks organizers.


Ownsership of the solution created by participants for VanHacks is owned by the participants and the not-for-profit institution they hacked for. ViDIA & Sponsors do NOT have any rights to code created during VanHacks.


A judging panel of community personalities from a range of industries will score competitors on innovation, design, quality and impact. Teams will have a maximum of 3 minutes to present and demonstrate their prototype to the judging panel. The winning team will be announced on-site at 5:00 PM on March 6. A maximum one entry per team may be submitted. ViDIA is not responsible for any dispute regarding prize dispersal or use.


By participating as a competitor in VanHacks, participants grant organizers and participating members of the media rights to publicly disclose competition event information, review and describe applications developed and presented during the event, and rights to display event- related photos, screen shots, and links to publicly available demonstrations of contest entries. Participants may be photographed and/or videotaped during the Hackathon event. Participants agree that ViDIA and VanHacks Sponsors may use any photographs or videos obtained in this manner for promotional purposes, during or after the hackathon, in any media.


Functional demos of the solution must be done live and not through a powerpoint or prototype presentation.


VanHacks reserves the right to make rule modifications prior to the start of the event. By participating each team member agrees to abide by these Official Rules.


Do I need to be a developer to attend?

To be a participant you need to be either a developer or a UI/UX designer.

Do I need a team to register?

No you don't need to be part of a team to register. We will be hosting a Friday night social at Lighthouse Labs where team-less participants must attend to meet and form teams. On Saturday morning at 8:00 AM, we will officially register all the teams.

What should I bring?

Generally, you’ll need to bring your computer, a charger and any other devices that will contribute to the application's creation. On top of that, you can bring things like a towel, a toothbrush, deodorant, a pillow and a blanket. Hootsuite has showers for those interested in cleaning up and there is also a small sleeping nook for those wanting a little shut-eye in the wee hours. As for food, we have you covered but if you want anything in particular there is a kitchen to make tea and prepare small bites.

How does VanHacks work?

Participants spend 28 hours working in teams of 3-5 people to build an application that will benefit groups from the Vancouver community. We will introduce not-for-profit groups to participants, on the website and in more detail at the hackathon, and the challenges these groups have. It is up to the participants to take these challenges and find ways to solve them through the applications they build over the weekend. In addition, mentors will be present to guide and advice participants on any difficulties they have when designing or building their applications. At the end of the 28 hours, each team will demo their working application to a panel of judges. The judges will then choose the top three projects.

Will there be a resource guide with helpful links to APIs, SDKs and datasets?

Yes. Here is the VanHacks API and SDK Resource Guide.

When is the last day to register for VanHacks?

The closing date for registration is March 1, 2016 or whenever we reach capacity. Capacity is 85 people.

How much is it to register?

Tickets are $50 each. If you purchase your ticket before February 20th, you can apply the early bird code: gets-the-worm and save $25.

What are the judging criteria?

At the end of the 28 hours, you should have a working application that can be demoed in front of the judges. Projects will be judged on how well the application solves the chosen problem and how well the solution works at demo time. A list of criteria will be given at the beginning of the hackacthon to help keep hackers on track. Extra points are given to those who agree to open source their project after the hackathon.

Will there be prizes?

Yes there will be cash prizes. 1st Prize: $1250, 2nd Prize: $750, 3rd Prize $500.

At the end of VanHacks, do we give our projects to the not-for-profit organisation we choose to hack for?

Yes. At the end of the hackathon, you give a copy to the organization or upload it to a repo, like github, for them to download.

How do I find a team?

If you are coming in solo and want to work with others, our Friday social is a great opportunity to meet other designers and developers and form teams. Our goal is to have everyone on a team by the end of Friday night so we can quickly register the teams on Saturday morning.

Do I have to come Friday?

If you do not have a team. Yes. If you do have a team, the Friday social is the only optional part of the weekend. The social will allow you to get more familiar with the not-for-profit organization challenges that need solving. It will also give you a little more time to discuss ideas and best ways to approach your project so you are ready to run on Saturday morning.

Is there an age restriction?

Yes, we only allow participants ages 18+. If you are younger and really want to participate, contact us.

I have another question!

Send us an email at vanhacks@vanhacks.com

Contact Us!