Over the last two weeks I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in the inaugural Appiness Hackathon. The event matches app designers and entrepreneurs to a number of charities to develop mobile apps the charities can use (see my colleague Gerd Schenkel’s blog from last month for more details).

Last weekend, I sat on the judging panel with Mark Britt from Ninemsn, Jackie Coates from the Telstra Foundation and Mick Liubinskas from Pollenizer to select the winners of the inaugural event.

A 'Appiness competition team

Eleven teams pitched their apps to the panel and I must admit I was blown away by the quality of ideas and progress the teams had made in developing their apps in only 36 hours.

Team Poppy’s app aims to increase awareness of the RSL National Poppy Appeal and grow the number of virtual poppies planted during the annual campaign.

Plant Your Poppy lets users trace their ancestry back to the First World War and connect with veteran’s stories through historical records.

Users can plant virtual poppies around the world and geo-tag them to raise money for RSL National. After much deliberation, looking at which team best met the criteria of innovation; execution; and user validation, we decided Team Poppy was the winner, with team Binable named Runner-up, and Play2up taking out the People’s Choice award.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTcQf9Oi8z4&feature=youtu.be

Runners-up, Team Binable, worked with Planet Ark to develop an app which residents can use to work out what can be recycled in different council areas. The app taps into a community’s competitive side by awarding points for good recycling and creating competitions between different councils.

All up, it was a great event. The energy was electric and I look forward to seeing more events like these where Telstra can team up with tech-savvy members of the community to help them navigate the digital world.