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Ottawa Kandy Hackathon: Innovation Proves Sweeter Up North

Monday, July 6, 2015

By Alex Donn, Director of Developer Relations, Kandy

GENBAND’s Internal Kandy Hackathon in Ottawa (June 4-5, 2015) produced some awesome entries and motivated teams. This hackathon generated fantastic internal engagement with great ideas and great full implementations that can be used today. The most exciting part was the numerous employees engaged across multiple GENBAND Canada sites who participated in the hackathon, including a number of interns! Total headcount across the three physical GENBAND sites was 80+ employees with 17 teams total who presented.

So what do hackathon judges really look for in the projects? While the majority of the decision is based on the delivery of the pitch by the team, the judges do look for the following points:

  • Completed Application - This is how much of the app is working that the team says is working. The more functional the app is (or the less of the application that the team has to fake), the higher the score that the judges will assign.
  • Immediate impact to the Business - A plugin for Jira and Slack was built. Since Jira and Slack have massive user communities, if these plugins were to be adopted, the potential for uptake would be significant. Thus, the judges gave these two teams higher scores.
  • Technically challenging implementations or something new - Team Kandy Wrapper knocked it out of the park on this metric by rethinking how some of our products could be delivered to the customer. This is actually a great way to impress the judges because they are familiar with the materials being presented.

Hacking in OttawaWhich leads us into an interesting discussion: if judges tend to vote higher for what they know and/or have been exposed to, how can there be real innovation? The way to tackle this challenge as an entrepreneur or presenter is to associate your idea with something that is pre-existing that makes sense to the judge or investor. This is why you hear the phrase “uber of x” so much now a days because startups want to associate themselves with successful startups like Uber.

Moving into the second half of the year, we are looking to host a number of hackathons. For more information, please email

Here is a complete list of teams that presented:

Kandification - Our application is called guru. We are an expertise broker who connect those seeking knowledge, expertise or training, with those who can give it. We have two aspects of the business. P2P links people with gurus from our database. Users can search for anything from academic, to music, to home improvement and can rate guru's based on their experience. Guru's can register with their skills, expertise, availability, etc. Our second business is for academic institutions where we provide virtual classrooms and study groups that links their students with teachers, professors and assistants, allowing virtual drop in's, group tutorials and virtual study groups with other students.

Kandy Kulture - We are building a Global Student Exchange program and partnering with 'We Day' to drive a new 'We Act Campaign' called 'We Know Each Other'.  The Global Student Exchange program is a web application using Kandy embedded real-time communication which allows teachers to assign projects to students in partnering schools in countries around the world. The application is intended to build bridges, reduce bullying, increase empathy, and enable open-mindedness across cultures globally.

KTP- Uber for handymen. Do It Yourself Knowledge Transfer Platform using Kandy

Kandy Mobile Tour BusArchitects don't code - Current collaboration tools are either “asynchronous” or “synchronous”. AC (Asynchronous Collaboration) implies that users can exchange information (text, files, images, etc.) at various times, not requiring the users to be immediately available to receive the new information. Retrieval or review of the information is done when the users are available, independently. SC (Synchronous Collaboration) on the other end requires the users to be available and connected at the same time, typically in the form of a call, conference call, video conference. AC and SC are currently mostly done independently and cannot be easily linked. This application is aiming to make it easy to provide a close link between the two forms of collaboration. Specifically, it allows users engaged in a SC session to be linked to a new or existing AC session during the SC session and to be provided a way to easily continue collaborating with the AC after the SC session is over, and from the AC environment, to recreate the SC session on demand.

The Interns - Demonstration of Kandy Widgets using JavaScript injections to incorporate real-time communications (video and chat) on (or any Web site).

Jira JuJubes - Turbo charge issue resolution by providing real-time communication to all the people who need to collaborate effectively to resolve product issues.

Lali-pop Gang - Our LiveGuide application enables a tourist to establish a real-time communication session with a local tour guide to enrich their touring experience.  In this use case the app (website and mobile) is offered to hotel guests as a premium service. 

GLT Courier Experts - "GLT have revolutionized the Courier Industry by making Pick-Ups simple, and the Tracking and Day of Delivery of an important parcel a pleasurable experience.  This is done through the embedding of real-time communications into the process, connecting customers with their packages FASTER and at a lower overall cost. Not only are the customers more satisfied, but the courier companies increase their value proposition and operational effectiveness through the employment of our solution into existing processes.  "

Kandy’d Health - Uber for Registered Nurses. Empowering health management. 

Kandylance – When a person in distress makes an emergency call, every minute spent waiting for help to arrive can mean the difference between life and death. Ambo accelerates the process of getting help to those in need by enabling callers to track ambulance location and ETA in real-time and to exchange vital patient information directly with paramedics via text and video - while they're en route to the scene.

PLM Hackers (Storytime) - For thousands of years, people have been telling stories. We're bringing it to the 21st century.

Ottaw Hackathon First Place WinnersJamBand Montreal - JamBand is a real-time communication application that allows musicians from all around the world to collaborate with each other, create their virtual band, play jamming sessions as well as offering or receiving music lessons. The rich set of real-time features offered by JamBand (video/audio sessions, co-browsing, chat) allows musician to virtually connect and join forces as if they were in the same room.

Kandy Wrappers - Kandy Wrapper Delivering Kandy OTT services to traditional telcos. This is accomplished by delivering a Kandy Wrapper Application Blade in skin to the C20.  Delivering Kandy API and Web Hosted services to the C20. Enabling Telecom Service Providers to leverage their existing equipment to offer web hosting, OTT, Kandy API solutions on a Carrier Grade, HA,  GEO Redundant system in order to maintain or grow their current customer base.

The Slackers - Kandy video calling via slack

The Power of EveryONE - Suggestive Selling on Steroids!! ... making everyone Happy... who isn't happy on KANDY!



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