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Innovation, Ideation and Technology for the Growing Industry — GrowUp’s Very First Cannabis Hackathon

The intersection between cannabis and technology cannot be overstated. From supply chain tracking and strain identification to potency testing and distribution management, the applications for advanced tech within the cannabis industry are staggering. That is why GrowUp’s first-ever Cannabis Hackathon took place this past week at Brainsights’ head office in Toronto, Canada!

The Hackathon featured a number of teams who committed to spending 24 hours producing innovative work, brainstorming ideas, debating, and everything in between. This competition brought in participants from different fields, like coders, developers, designers, engineers to explore ideas for tracking, purchasing, reporting, strain identification, verification, integration with the entertainment industry, and so much more. Here’s everything that you’ve missed out on:

“Hackathons are a great way to harness the knowledge, inspiration and energy of the developers and coders who will shape the future of the industry” — David Hazan, Producer of GrowUp’s Cannabis and Canadian Music Week Hackathons

Data visualization technologies uncover value from raw data and spearhead the discovery of new meaning. Sponsored by Trellis, competing participants were encouraged to utilize any technology available to create fun and creative ways to make sense of the data stored in their platform. Leveraging the company’s API to harvest the data, there were unlimited possibilities to explore.

David Hazan, the Producer of both GrowUp’s Cannabis and Canadian Music Week Hackathons, stated that “Hackathons are a great way to harness the knowledge, inspiration and energy of the developers and coders who will shape the future of the industry.” Hazan is not wrong since the teams and individuals who participated were like no other. They were entering not only a competition but an industry that is searching for top talent every day.

Various teams had their own kinds of ideas. Team Smart Trellis had an interesting idea where they would implement a certain database into a conversational interface (i.e. using Alexa or Google Home) to perform predictive analytics on all things marijuana. Teammates Arzen Edillo, Guy Pavlov, Daniel and Emelin Flores wanted to make it easier for companies to know about their own operations by using voice recognition. It was an incredible idea, but there was more than just that team.

Team Weed ’em & Reap were unique in a way where they wanted to predict the future. Simple. Teammates Devon Day, Judy Duong and Shiv Gupta took the cake by taking Trellis’ data to yield marijuana tracking. What they were able to do was predict the average yield of plants by batch for certain companies that run these sort of farms, making them the winners of the Hackathon! But that competition was far from over.

“The cannabis industry is vast, complex, and in dire need of top minds building solutions that will allow the industry to reach its full potential. Hackathons are a great way to give developers exposure to the industry and get them excited about the challenge” is what Pranav Sood, founder of Trellis explained about last week’s Hackathon.

Pranav, who took the role of sponsoring this year’s competition, runs just one of the very few seed-to-sale software companies that have found great success in the industry. They are currently available in Canada, California, Nevada, Arizona, Australia, and Jamaica, and they are not stopping anytime soon with their innovations for the rest of the world.

Trellis has offered incredible prizes to the winners at this year’s Hackathon, including a high-quality metallic photo art designed by California Brothers, a new PAX 3 Vaporizer, and each teammate receiving individual interviews to work for Trellis — they’re hiring!

Leaf Forward offered a one-year free Leaf Club membership for the winning team and five one-hour office sessions with the Leaf Forward team! Also, LyricFind provided their API for the hackers, whereas their sister company, LyricMerch, offered merchandise t-shirts with lyrics for “Easy Skanking”. They’ll outfit each winning team! Other confirmed partners included Rosenzweig & Co, Brainsights, HERB, Merry Jane, Hotbox, Cannabis & Tech Today, and TourBuds, Beanfield, MediaZoic, Hacker Noon and Devpost.

The winners on their way to Niagara Falls to showcase their technology to various industry professionals at the GrowUp’s Cannabis Conference & Expo
Because Team Weed’em & Reap were the winners of the Hackathon, it wasn’t the end of what they were about to witness. Because GrowUp’s Hackathon was hosted by their Cannabis Conference & Expo, the winning team was invited to travel to Niagara Falls via TourBuds’ luxury bus and showcase their winning application to hundreds of professionals in the industry at the Scotiabank Convention Centre.

The Hackathon presentation took place at GrowUp’s expo on Friday, September 7, where Team Weed’em & Reap presented their data-yielding technology.

Devon and Shiv of Team Weed’em & Reap
The Hackathon was more than a success in the books. It was a way to show what top talent is hiding within the young minds who can disrupt the cannabis industry for companies and themselves in events like GrowUp’s Conference & Expo.

Special thanks to Jay Rosenzweig (Managing Director of Rosenzweig & Co), Alex Blumenstein (Co-Founder of Leaf Forward, Canada’s first cannabis business accelerator), Rachel Colic (VP Brand Strategy & PR for Pure Global Cannabis Inc.) and Matt Shalhoub (Managing Director of Green Acre Capital) for judging the competition this year!

Congratulations to everyone who participated at this year’s Cannabis Hackathon! Be sure to check out similar competitions around your area, and be on the lookout for more information regarding future events. Till next time!