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PayPal’s hackathon for social good to come to S’pore

SINGAPORE — Making the world a better place through coding? This is what PayPal hopes to achieve when it brings its BattleHack competition to Singapore in September.

SINGAPORE — Making the world a better place through coding? This is what PayPal hopes to achieve when it brings its BattleHack competition to Singapore in September.

The event is a hackathon contest held in multiple cities worldwide over the year. Teams of up to four people have 24 hours to develop an app that makes use of PayPal and serves a social good. The team with the best idea in each city, which will be decided by a panel of judges, gets a ticket to the global final in California, where it will compete with other teams for the top prize of US$100,000 (S$125,000).

The event will give people the opportunity to show how good they are at coding and have a positive impact, said Mr John Lunn, global director of PayPal’s Developer Network. “Rather than just making it about commercial issues, the winner in each city will make that city a better city,” he said.

In the inaugural edition of BattleHack last year, a Russian team won the top prize with an app that allows people to donate to food trucks that serve the homeless.

Cities that will hold BattleHacks this year include Sydney, Mexico City and London. Singapore is the only Asian city on the list.

Singapore was a natural choice for expanding the competition into Asia. Aside from being the location of PayPal’s international headquarters, it is also a hub for e-commerce in the region and has an active mobile development community, said Mr Lunn.

“Singapore has always been a leader in the grassroots community, making changes within the country via technology,” added Ms Taylor Nguyen, head of developer global operations and communications at PayPal.

“I think the team that comes out of Singapore will perform very well against the other teams,” said Mr Lunn.

BattleHack will be held in Singapore on Sept 27 and 28. Individuals can learn more about the competition and register their interest to participate at https://2014.battlehack.org/.

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