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.

Charity challenges

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.

Judging Format

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.

Award Badges

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 3:15 p.m. 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!