Toronto to Host Canada’s First-Ever DisasterTech Hackathon

Severe storms inflict widespread damage, devastating communities and even take lives. These are the consequences caused by the current climate reality where natural disasters are now commonplace and dominate headlines in major cities around the world.

A new partnership between OneEleven and Aviva Canada wants to help solve some of the costly challenges related to these kinds of disasters by hosting Canada’s first-ever DisasterTech Hackathon in Toronto.

From October 13 to 15, the duo will host the 48-hour event, bringing together entrepreneurs, thought-leaders and experts across industries to achieve one goal: create innovative, technology-based solutions to mitigate the impact of natural disasters on personal property and well-being.

“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,” said 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.”

The latest data from the Insurance Bureau of Canada shows that the annual economic cost of floods, wildfires, earthquakes and storms around the world has increased five-fold since the 1980s.

Developers, first responders, designers, coders, emergency preparedness experts, lawyers and insurance professionals will team up for two days to develop innovative solutions to address the growing issue, curbing the catastrophes natural disasters can cause in urban communities.

“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,” said Bilal Khan, CEO of OneEleven, North America’s largest scale-up innovation hub.

The Canadian Red Cross, City of Toronto, SAS Analytics, Toronto Hydro, The Weather Company and other DisasterTech partners will be on site to provide participants with mentoring, resources, extensive data sets and even case studies to help brainstorm, prototype and pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.  The three teams with the top technology solutions will be awarded $7,000 in prize money.

“Toronto is home to the strongest community of emergency preparedness personnel in the country and the fastest-growing tech talent market in North America,” said Toronto 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.”

To register for the DisasterTech Hackathon individually or as part of a team, click here.