One of the biggest players in scale-up innovation has teamed up with one of Canada's most prominent insurers to bring a 48-hour DisasterTech Hackathon to Toronto next month.
Aviva Canada and OneEleven will be jointly hosting the event from the latter's office in downtown Toronto. It will symbolically begin on Oct. 13, the International Day for Disaster Reduction.
The purpose of the hackathon is to bring together thought-leaders and innovators in areas that are relevant to those two industries, with the specific aim of creating technology-based solutions that can lessen the physical and mental toll that natural disasters exact on those who are hit by them. The cause is especially pertinent, given the inordinately high amount of damage that has been triggered by natural disasters over the past couple of years.
"Insurance claims can peak as a result of natural disasters, which underlies the importance of reducing exposure on personal property, the city and more importantly, on personal and family safety," said Ben Isotta-Riches, chief information officer at Aviva Canada. "Technology plays an increasingly vital role in managing the impact of natural disasters. Innovators, startups, and big corporations are springing up to tackle the challenge."
Hackathon organizers have recruited many secondary partners to provide participants with guidance and resources. That list of organizations include The Canadian Red Cross, City of Toronto, SAS Analytics, Toronto Hydro, The Weather Company, Agorize, Guidewire Software Inc., Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.
Toronto Mayor John Tory was particularly excited about the event and confident that Toronto's talent pool would impress.
"Toronto is home to the strongest community of emergency preparedness personnel in the country and the fastest-growing tech talent market in North America," he said. "Our city is proud to partner with OneEleven and Aviva Canada in the country's first DisasterTech Hackathon to uncover more efficient ways to manage some of the challenges resulting from natural disasters."