PayPal and Braintree today announced the $100,000 USD grand-prize winner of its 2014 BattleHack Series.
The two-day BattleHack World Finals took place at the PayPal Headquarters in Silicon Valley and hosted 14 teams of developers from across the globe, all winners of the regional BattleHack competition. At the World Finals, competitors were tasked with building an application that incorporates PayPal, Braintree or Venmo APIs.
The $100,000 USD grand prize was awarded to the team from Tel Aviv, with two hackers, Shai Mishali and Pavel Kaminsky. Second place went to the team from Toronto, Alex Christodoulou, Ernst Riemer, Maya Kenedy De Magyarpade and Christopher Larsen. Third place went to the team from Boston, Nam Chu Hoai, Connor McEwen, Guy Aridor and Connor Mathews.
The winning team created AirHop - a collaborative consumption application for consumers to share carrier or wi-fi access. The app enables a mobile phone with no connectivity to "hop" on to another person's device (running the service) to make a phone call or send a text in exchange for a PayPal-enabled payment.
"Everyone has faced a situation without connectivity, and it often happens at the worst time, like personal emergencies or disasters," said the winning team from Tel Aviv. "AirHop creates an opt-in community that solves the no connectivity issue and possibly even saves lives in the most extreme situations. Without BattleHack we would have never had the chance to do something so bold. It was an incredible experience.”
This weekend’s World Finals in San Jose, California concludes the 2014 BattleHack series, first launched in May 2013. The Global Hackathon’s 2014 edition included regional competitions in 14 cities including: Berlin, Boston, Chicago, Istanbul, London, Mexico City, Miami, Moscow, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto and Warsaw. PayPal awarded first place to one team in each regional BattleHack city, who then traveled (all flight and hotel expenses paid) to San Jose to compete in the BattleHack World Finals. In every city, teams were judged by a panel of local developers, technologists and influencers who chose the winners based the quality of the idea, execution, innovation and the overall user experience of the app.
“We’re thrilled to see Team Tel Aviv, Pavel and Shai, take home the $100,000 USD prize in recognition of their extraordinary app,” said John Lunn, Senior Global Director, Developer Network, Braintree_Dev. “We created BattleHack to help us inspire, encourage and uncover amazing developers from across the world, and our teams from PayPal and Braintree have been blown away by the talent we’ve seen this year.”
The 24-hour World Finals competition created 14 new apps, ranging from helping the visually impaired to creating an open marketplace for education. John Lunn; Bill Ready, CEO of Braintree; Alex Sirota, Co-Founder and CTO of Loop Commerce; Owen Thomas, editor in chief of ReadWrite; and Danny Zhang Co-Founder and CTO of Wish judged the competition before awarding team Tel Aviv with the $100,000 prize.