The Bristol Green Capital Digital Challenge, which took the form of a 48-hour hackathon last weekend, has been hailed as a great success.

Designed to support the development of innovative ideas using software to help solve environmental challenges, 11 teams – chosen from over 30 team applications – designed websites, apps and games.

Between them they provide solutions for transport, energy, resources and more; proving that a lot can be done in a short space of time with great teams and support in the local community.

*Update* Check out the highlights of the day in this video:

Six finalists chosen

Of the 11 teams, the 6 strongest were chosen to go on to the final and present their ideas to the Bristol 2015 International Youth Summit on 20 April 2015 at the Colston Hall for a chance to win £50,000 to take their ideas to market!

In the meantime each team has been given £5000 to further develop their ideas. This should ensure that the final brings about some tough competition, and some amazing and innovative ways of looking at, understanding and solving environmental issues.

“In the judging we were looking for ideas which would have a positive environmental impact embodied in an engaging piece of software”


Organiser and judge Sonny Masero said, “In the judging we were looking for ideas which would have a positive environmental impact embodied in an engaging piece of software which was new and could be sustained financially.”

“Agreeing the shortlist was tough and we all agreed that the final will be even harder.”

Bristol 2015 Chairman Andrew Garrad added, “This was my first hackathon. It was fascinating to see the creative, digital and green industries combined together to produce something really exciting.

“It was fascinating to see the creative, digital and green industries combined together to produce something really exciting”


There’s already a growing buzz online with the competition’s twitter hash tag #Greentech2015:

The six shortlisted projects

Here’s the low-down on the shortlisted teams and what their projects are all about:

Crocodile App (@crocodileapp)

Bristol-2015-challenge-Crocodilecrocodile-app-logoEver heard of a walking bus or cycling train? On walking buses and cycling trains, children are picked up and escorted to school by volunteers alongside their classmates either by foot or bicycle.

It’s a great way for your child to get to school safely, whilst also getting some exercise and reducing those carbon emissions and traffic jams caused by cars on the school-run.

This clever app is being developed by Chris Thurling (@ChrisThurling), Jon Waring (@waringdesign) Carl Sargunar, Kevin Ramm (@KevinrRamm) and David Smith (@MResponsively). Its aim is to make it even easier for parents to find local walking bus or cycling train groups, book their child on to their nearest ‘train’ or ‘bus’ and even see that their child has been safely ‘checked in’ by the walking bus volunteers once they’ve reached school.

Check out this video to see some of the features being developed for the Crocodile App:


Power Up Bristol (@PowerUpBristol)

Bristol-2015-challenge-PowerUpPpower-up-bristol-logoower Up Bristol is a green energy focused puzzle game for mobile devices involving a group of colourful and cute characters called the Power Pack.

Characters can be involved in generating and connecting electricity for cities without creating too much pollution. But at the same time they may also have to avoid zombie attacks and other crazy obstacles whilst also keeping the cities citizens happy!

Whether connecting energy or dodging zombies, all of these tasks require energy so it’s a real balancing act and forces the game player to really consider all their actions and their impact on the games ‘environment’.

Team member Nat, shared her excitement about the game on Twitter:

Snap Cycle (@SnapCycle)

Bristol-2015-challenge-SnapCyclesnap-cycleWe all have junk we don’t want and stuff we no longer need. Far too often, it ends up in landfill sites, contributing to pollution in our local environment.

Snap Cycle is a website developed to allow you to advertise unwanted junk for free with just a quick photo. You might think your pile of scrap wood is worthless but it may be wanted by someone else. Or maybe you’ve accumulated a draw full of dead batteries you’ve been meaning to recycle but don’t know where to go?

Snap Cycle will help you to find someone who might take it off your hands but, if no-one wants it, the site will also tell you the nearest place you can go to get it recycled.

All you have to do is upload a quick snap of the item you don’t want and post it up on the site. Other users can then comment on the photo if they want it.

EcoDesk: Reloop (@EcoDeskNewsFeed)

Bristol-2015-challenge-EcodeskReloop (previously named Becodesk-logoy-Product Synergy) provides the means to connect businesses who could potentially find a use for each other’s waste materials – reducing the costs of energy, materials and decreasing their impact on the environment.

Sustainability consultants, EcoDesk, have called this ‘dating for company waste’ and are developing a website to match companies and their potentially useful waste!


PlayWest: Super Trash Heroes (@PlayWestHQ)

Bristol-2015-PlayWest_2super-trash-heroesThe team from student and graduate game studio, Play West, has created another brilliant and retro-themed game where the Super Trash Heroes have to tackle food-waste related challenges on each level.

Waste really is the bad-guy in this highly imaginative game, especially if it can be re-used or recycled, which can have the player breaking open rubbish bags to collect good food to power their vehicle one minute and over-taking dirty rubbish trucks taking waste to landfill the next!

Future City Simulator


Ever wondered what impact changes to our community would have on the environment? What if we were to grow more food ourselves, or what if we couldn’t recycle anymore?

Future City Simulator is a game where players are in charge of making decisions about how their city creates and uses resources, such as food.

The impact of their decision is played out through stories told by characters who are citizens in their city, giving real insight into how the decisions we make as a community can have a big impact on our environment.


Thanks to Sonny Masero for telling us all about the event. Make sure you keep an eye out for future profiles on the six finalists here at TechSPARK in the coming months and see how they’re progressing ready for the final at the Bristol 2015 International Youth Summit on the 21 April 2015. In the meantime, you can follow all the goings on via the Twitter hashtag #greentech2015.