Bringing charitable minded developers together to build scalable solutions for people in developing countries.

Mobile subscriber growth rate in Africa is expected to double in the next four years, and people in rural East Africa will spend over 15% of their income on mobile technology. Mobile apps not only matter in the developing world, they are life changing. Over half of even the poorest twenty percent of people in Africa have mobile phones in their homes.

On November 20th, the Break Poverty Hackathon will bring developer teams together to build apps (Mobile, Web, SMS, and hardware) for people in developing countries. These apps will help people in rural and impoverished areas around the world, whose only access to technology, communication, and knowledge is through their mobile phone.


Attend our post-hackathon event, held on November 24th, bringing together individuals in technology and international development for an inspired panel discussion, a chance to see the incredible hard work of the BreakPoverty Hackathon finalists, hear the winning team announcement - and even vote for the people's choice award! All ticket sale proceeds will be fundraised for a donation to Free The Children.


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iHub TheDevSchool

GAdventures GitHub Oziel

WealthSimple Lakes TopTal

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Who can participate?

Anyone with a background in development, hardware or software, who wants to learn new technologies, build awesome stuff and work with smart people in Toronto and Kenya. If you are a designer or a tech savvy individual that also wants to get involved, we have tickets for you too.

How big can a team be?

No more than four people, but every team member must register individually. If you don’t have a team when you register, don’t worry! We will help bring everyone together online before the event so you can find a team to work with. We also ensure that at least 1 Canadian is on a Kenyan team, and 1 Kenyan is on a Canadian team. 


What can we hack?

Break Poverty is both a software and hardware hackathon for mobile phones. Given that 55% of the poorest households in East Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa have at least a basic SMS powered phone, we encourage all attendees to incorporate an SMS component in their solution. This will be looked on favourably by the judges.

How to enter

What is Break Poverty?

An International Development hackathon that connects developers in Toronto and Nairobi to build applications on web and mobile that benefit individuals living in rural and impoverished areas in East Africa. Hosted at Bitmaker Labs in Toronto, with Kenyan Attendees teleconferencing in from Nairobi's iHub, teams create meaningful projects from scratch in just 28 hours. We enable teams to make something great with our wide array of mentors and sponsors. Come join 200 developers from November 20-22, 2015 in bringing information, technology, and resources to those who need it most.


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Timothy Quinn
Director of Technology, Sentinel Project

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John Paul
UX Research & Community, iHub

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Deveney Bazinet
International Operations, Free the Children

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Levi Goertz
COO, VOTO Mobile

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Aashni Shah
Founder, U of T Hacks

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Perrin Clark
CEO, The Dev School

Judging Criteria

  • Will be Announced
  • Pitch
    The problem you’ve chosen to tackle - How does this problem relate to the case study? - What's your solution? Share the bios of your team - What skills do you bring? - How did your remote teams work together? Demonstrate your solution!
  • Impact
    - How does your solution make impact? - Who is your target market? - What are the costs of making this sustainable?
  • Accessibility
    - How user friendly is your UX? - How can users get access to this solution?
  • Innovation
    - How original or creative is your solution? - How have you used technology creatively? - How unique is the solution to the market problem? - How innovative is the way the team went about solving the problem