September 12, 2017 – Toronto, ON - More severe storms happening more often – that’s the new climate reality. No matter whether it comes in the form of deadly hurricanes or devastating floods, the consequences can be tragic, far-reaching, and costly. That’s why OneEleven, North America’s largest scaleup innovation hub, and Aviva Canada will host the DisasterTech Hackathon, a 48-hour event that brings together experts from various industries to achieve one goal – to create innovative, technology-based solutions to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on urban communities. The DisasterTech Hackathon takes place from October 13-15 at OneEleven (325 Front St. West in Toronto).
Developers, first responders, designers, emergency preparedness experts, lawyers, and insurance professionals can register for the hackathon individually or as part of a team here: bit.ly/DisasterTechHack
The DisasterTech Hackathon partners, Agorize, The Canadian Red Cross, City of Toronto, Guidewire Software Inc., Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Toronto Hydro, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, SAS Analytics, and The Weather Company, an IBM Business, will provide participants with mentoring, resources, extensive data sets, and case studies that they can leverage to brainstorm, prototype, and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Three winning teams will be awarded with a total of $7,000 in prize money.
According to Catastrophe Indices and Quantification (CatIQ), insured damage for 2016 topped $4.9B, smashing the previous annual record of $3.2B set in 2013. Insurance Bureau of Canada data shows that the annual economic cost of disasters around the world has increased five-fold since the 80s. OneEleven, Aviva Canada, and hackathon partners are coming together to address this growing issue.
“Toronto is home to the strongest community of emergency preparedness personnel in the country and the fastest-growing tech talent market in North America," says Mayor John Tory. "Our city is proud to partner with OneEleven and Aviva Canada in the country's first DisasterTech Hackathon to uncover more efficient ways to manage some of the challenges resulting from natural disasters.”
“Experts across multiple industries have an important role to play in this hackathon and I really encourage them to sign-up and participate,” adds Elliott Cappell, Chief Resilience Officer at the City of Toronto.
Floods, wildfires, earthquakes, winter storms and severe winds are five of Canada’s most common perils. Recent catastrophes like the Windsor floods and British Columbia wildfires are just a few examples that highlight the threats metropolitans face.
“Insurance claims can peak as a result of natural disasters, which underlines the importance of reducing exposure on personal property, the city, and more importantly, on personal and family safety,” says Ben Isotta-Riches, Chief Information Officer at Aviva Canada. “Technology plays an increasingly vital role in managing the impact of natural disasters. Innovators, startups, and big corporations are springing up to tackle the challenge. We are enthusiastic to support this ecosystem as it continues to mature.”
“OneEleven is committed to creating an environment that encourages collisions and collaborations between some of Canada’s most sophisticated entrepreneurs, thought-leaders, and industry experts,” says Bilal Khan, CEO of OneEleven. “By hosting the country’s first-ever DisasterTech Hackathon, we hope to uncover viable technology solutions that will help improve communication and mobilization during natural disasters.”
The DisasterTech Hackathon will kick off at OneEleven on October 13, the International Day for Disaster Reduction, and end on October 15. For more information and to register, please visit: bit.ly/DisasterTechHack
OneEleven North America’s largest scaleup innovation hub, was founded in November 2013 in partnership with OMERS Ventures, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), and Ryerson University. Its vision is to help the next generation of Canadian tech companies compete and win on the global stage by providing the most promising, high-growth startups with infrastructure and access to capital, customers, and talent. The scaleup hub recently opened a new 250,000 sq. ft. space at Front St. and Blue Jays Way in Toronto, which is the first building in the planned Oxford Properties Union Park innovation hub project. For more information visit oneeleven.com, the company’s Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages.