Pollenizer, Telstra run hackathon for charities

Over a week, 50 developers are set to turn themselves away from developing something for themselves, and instead look at giving something to a charity.
Written by Michael Lee, Contributor

Telstra and Pollenizer have teamed up to run a hackathon that focuses on helping others, rather than building businesses.

Pollenizer has said that the Appiness event is similar to a Startup Weekend, except in many ways it is not — instead of founder pitches, the focus will be on charities and not-for-profit companies.

The Telstra-backed event will see 50 developers create an app that instead of being intended as a base for a profitable business, aims to help solve a problem that organisations such as the Australian Red Cross and Planet Ark are having to address.

"Technology and innovation have the power to transform our world and make it a better place. Corporate Australia has an important role to play in facilitating digital innovation, and as a leader in its industry, Telstra is eager to contribute," Telstra Digital executive director Gerd Schenkel said in a statement.

The developers will assemble on May 24, equipped with toolkits from Pollenizer and Telstra, and form teams to tackle their challenge. The teams will then have one week to come up with something worthy of those they've promised to help.

The winners will be judged by a panel that includes general managing director of Telstra Innovation Products and Marketing Kate McKenzie, and general managing director of Telstra Business Will Irving.

A number of coaches and mentors will also be on hand to help out developers as needed.

"Working alongside some of Telstra's senior leaders and well-known practitioners from the startup and digital community, including Mi9 CEO Mark Britt and ex-Spreets founder Dean McEvoy, this event will be a live competition to see who's got the best idea and the skills to bring it to life in just three days," Pollenizer CEO Phil Morle said.

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