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XMG Studio and the Canadian Government Team Up To Host First National Open Data Hackathon: CODE

The Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) will challenge entrepreneurs and innovators from coast to coast to create open data applications in just 48 hours and compete for over $30,000 in prizes

TORONTO, Jan. 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Hosted by the creators of Canada's largest competitive hackathon, XMG Studio Inc., and supported by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) aims to inspire an entire generation of developers and designers to develop apps based on open data. From February 28th to March 2nd creative do-ers, movers and shakers are invited to participate in this race against the clock and liberate the data available on http://data.gc.ca. All teams that successfully submit an application compete for Gold Sponsor OpenText's $25,000 Grand Prize, as well as a $5,000 second place prize and a $1,000 third place prize.

"The potential economic impact of open data once innovators start putting it to use and begin distributing their applications to the public is immense," said Ray Sharma, President, mobile games developer XMG Studio Inc. "The opportunity for developers is most obvious, but the potential impact on Canadian citizens who stand to benefit from the increased economic productivity is incredibly exciting."

To encourage the meaningful and productive use of the released datasets CODE will begin with a day of inspirational quick-fire speeches from renowned technology and open data industry leaders at the official CODE VIP HUB in Toronto on February 28th, 2014. The Inspiration Day will be live-streamed on the CODE website and will officially end with the announcement of a theme that participants will need to adhere to in order to guarantee all participants begin on common ground.

"Our Government is excited to see Government Open Data, a previously untapped resource, fueling the development of apps that will help Canadians in their day-to-day lives," said the Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board. "Innovations like the apps created at CODE will ensure Canada remains at the forefront of the global Open Data movement."

OpenText, Canada's largest software company, is providing the $40,000 Gold level sponsorship contribution to the event of which $25,000 will go to the winning developer.

"OpenText's continuing commitment to innovation is in sync with the CODE initiative and we are pleased to support application development for the benefit of Canadians," said OpenText President and CEO Mark Barrenechea. "We are inspiring application development through our latest software development and hope to impact the opportunity for innovation using government data sets that were previously unavailable."

CODE is open to all who are interested in developing applications with the goal of bettering the lives of Canadians, regardless of digital prowess. The specially developed matchmaking tool on the CODE website allows anyone to find the team members needed to take an idea from concept to completion. Participants can take part in CODE in two ways: they can apply to attend the centralized VIP HUB in Toronto or they can participate remotely from their homes, schools or their local coffee shop. At the end of the CODE hackathon, participants submit their completed applications online to be evaluated. In Addition to OpenText, IBM will provide Silver Level Sponsorship of $20,000.

CODE will start at 5:00 p.m. (local time) on February 28th, 2014 and continue for 48 hours, ending at 5:00 p.m. on March 2nd, 2014. Following the event, the winning applications will be evaluated on criteria such as the degree of innovation, usefulness to the Canadian public, the level of art and design polish as well as stability and how well open data sets were implemented. The top 15 teams will be invited to pitch their apps during the CODE Grand Finale - a live judging event - to a panel of industry experts and potential investors. The goal is to connect the Canadian entrepreneurs directly to investment firms and venture capitalists to ensure their apps (or ideas) are brought to market. The winning applications may go on to be released commercially either independently by the participants or in co-operation with a third party.

For more information about the event including supported platforms, team registrations and rules and regulations please visit www.canadianopendataexperience.com.

About XMG Studio:
XMG Studio Inc. is an award-winning developer and publisher of mobile games. Founded in late 2009, XMG has developed a track record for innovation excellence in mobile gaming including the release of critically acclaimed games downloadable on your iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Based in Toronto, XMG is one of the largest indie mobile game studios in Canada. Named as one of the top global mobile games developers to watch by popular media, XMG is focused on providing creative expression through gameplay for all fans of fun.


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