Home Articles Mobile Facebook app to raise cancer funds and awareness wins alive’s Appathon

Mobile Facebook app to raise cancer funds and awareness wins alive’s Appathon


The Nelune Foundationemerged the winner at mobile application developer alive’s Appathon contest. Or, perhaps, the duo of Katie Chan and Matthew Farag that created the mobile app to help the cancer centre raise funds and build awareness. Clearly, it was win-win in what might have been the first hackathon for nonprofits in the country.

Chan, an advertising strategist-turned UI-designer, and Farag, an “interaction designer” with a degree in psychology, bagged the top prize, besting 29 other contestants in a 48-hour race to create the most useful mobile solutions for not-for-profit organisations.

The duo created a ‘Social Experiment’ app that scrapes Facebook data to find a person’s three closest friends and tap them for $3 donations in Nelune’s quest to build a cancer centre. It tapped a widely cited statistic in cancer – every third person will suffer from the disease at some point in their lifetime.

“I am so happy to have the chance to connect with potential supporters through Facebook in this way,” said Nelune Foundation’s Nelune Rajapkse. “I can see how Katie and Matthew’s concept will appeal to a broad range of people, translating emotion into a simple but effective call to action.”

Rajapakse said the app gives the small charity with a tiny budget to have access “game-changing” technology.

Chen and Farag, who works at email marketer Campaign Monitor, win an opportunity to work alongside alive’s development team to bring their ideas to life – something Chen already does at the Sydney incubator Pollenizer.

Runners-up included mobile solutions for Suicide Prevention Australiaand homeless organization Hope Street. Alison Harrington, Doug Lee and Ronald Huynh created the winning app for Hope Street. Amit Jaiswal, Adam Horvath and Jenny Quealy designed the app for Suicide Prevention.

Other nonprofits that participated in the contest included  Cystic Fibrosis Australia, Destiny RescueandMission Australia.

The panel of judges included PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Trent Lund, who heads innovation and digital ventures at the accounting firm; and alive Chairman Chris Gabriel. Entries were evaluated on innovation, productivity and creativity.

alive General Manager Mathew Ashley called the event the start of an inspiring journey for the winner and finalists.

“I can truly say I have been wowed and humbled by the success of our first Appathon. The level of commitment and passion and the immense level of skill and professionalism in the concepts, creations and presentations set a higher benchmark for this event than we even imagined,” he said.

The Appathon was held on the weekend of 26-28 April at alive’s Harbourside campus.

Alive’s Appathon supported by commercial partners alive mobile, Microsoft, PWC, BlackBerry, Hoyts Kiosk, Merchant 360 and Together Lets.

(Image source: Bigstock)