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The hunt for Australia's best developers is on, with global payments providers PayPal and Braintree hosting a 24-hour hackathon in Sydney on 26 and 27 July 26 - this weekend.

The hackathon is part of the global BattleHacks competition that visits 14 cities around the world before culminating at the World Finals event in November, with developers given the the chance to win a trip to Silicon Valley and $100,000 USD.

"Battle Hack was an idea we came up having been to a hell of a lot of hackathons in different parts of the world," the Hackathon's founder John Lunn, Global Director with Paypal and Braintree Developer network said in an interview.

"What we wanted to was create an event for developers by developers, and actually do a hackathon which is around finding the world's best developers, not the world's best idea or the world's best business pitch. It's essentially the football world cup of hackathons; we're holding it this year in 14 different cities around the world and the winners in each city will compete with their counterparts from other cities in Silicon Valley in November."

During the Sydney Battle Hack, developers will be tasked with building a mobile application that solves a local problem of their choice and incorporates the PayPal API or Braintree SDK. Developers can compete as individuals, as a team or find people to collaborate with on the day, with a maximum of four people to a team.

The winner of the Sydney Battle Hack will be flown to the finals at PayPal’s headquarters in Silicon Valley to battle it out for the $100,000 USD prize (to be used for beer, or seed capital, or anything) and “battle axe” trophy. The Sydney judging panel for the Sydney Battle Hack will include John Lunn and Sydney tech influencers Joanne Jacobs, Shaun Greenblo and Jason Cartwright.

"We want people to think on the way in, what's really annoying you about Sydney, as you make your way to Battle Hack. And they're the kind of problems you should be solving," Lunn told iTWire. "Transportation, parking, all that kind of stuff."

Lunn said described Battle Hack as the "luxury hackathon of the world", and said there would be fantastic food, fantastic beer and masseurs who would supply shoulder rubs. He also said his team had reached out to groups like Girl Geeks to encourage a strong gender balance, and Lunn said half his team are female. "We make sure it's a very safe event," Lunn said, adding there was a safe nap space and 24 hour security on deck.

Tickets are free but are moving fast; last year’'s Battle Hack toured 10 cities and drew more than 2,000 competitors globally.

The winning team for 2013 was a team of Moscow developers that created Donate Now, an app that uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and PayPal to allow anyone to instantly donate to a cause from their mobile devices. Instead of filling out lengthy donation forms, the app allows people to donate, whenever and wherever they see an opportunity for giving in their daily lives.

The prizes up for grabs at the 2014 Sydney Battle Hack include:
• 1st prize: Flights and accommodation to the World Finals in Silicon Valley, and a chance to win the grand team prize of $100,000 USD
• 2nd prize: PS4
• 3rd prize: Polaroid Cameras
• Early birds: The first 25 hackers in the door will receive a Leap Motion Controller

Details for Sydney Battle Hack:
Date and time: 8.30am Saturday 26th July – 5.00pm Sunday 27th July
Location: Luxe Studios and Productions, 279 - 283 Liverpool Street East, Sydney NSW 2010

For more information and to register, visit https://2014.battlehack.org/


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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan