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Your Twilio Hackathon Updates!

Are you making progress on your submission for the Twilio Community Hackathon? Let us know what you’re building and how far you’ve gotten!

This thread is for sharing ideas, gathering feedback, and generally just a place for you to get to know your fellow devs.

If you have a big update or just worked through a tough problem, we encourage you to publish a standalone post, but don’t forget to add the #twiliohackathon tag so we can read all about it!

And if you need help with a specific problem, check out our dedicated help thread where the Twilio team is standing by to answer your questions :)

Top comments (35)

itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

Current plan, because I'm not out to save the world:

Integrate Twilio Chat Bot with the Guild Wars 2 API, so I can ask it stuff about my account while I'm playing.

I tend to play with only one monitor, so this would allow me to not need to switch windows all the time. While the game itself has neat chat features like /age to know your character and account playtime, sites that hit the API like GW2Efficiency are way more useful to players.

Initial plan is to start with some endpoints that don't take auth keys for the proof of concept, then add requesting a key to get some simple account stats like age as mentioned above. Time permitting, add more complex data like achievements and guild information.

Since I've messed around with the GW2 API before (it's actually really nice for a videogame API... tons of info to grab and actual documentation), I'm toying with the idea of doing this in Python rather than going the safe route of Node. I've done Python with school but never really made anything with it.

philnash profile image
Phil Nash

I love this idea, both because it's something you care about, but you're planning to try something a bit new with Python too. Hope it goes well for you!

technoplato profile image
Michael Lustig - • Edited


I've been wanting to build a YouTube "clipper" app for a while now, and figured this was the perfect time. There are plenty of times where I want to save a clip from a long-form interview on YouTube and currently have no way of doing so.

For this competition, I'm going to build a text bot where you text the number your URL, a start time and either a duration or an end time and I'll text you back the URL to your uploaded clip on YouTube.

Super excited to play around with new APIs and good luck to all!


Almost have my first prototype working! Really excited about this. Going to get this minimally working and move on to more ideas! Will share a progress update tomorrow. Going to make a tutorial as well.

jess profile image
Jess Lee

Sweet 🙌

w0wka91 profile image
Waldemar Penner

I would like to hear some thoughts about an App that is related to COVID-19 Communications.

I'm thinking about an App that helps to connect those people who need help (Buying groceries, Take the dog out, Get medicine, Just someone to talk) with those people who like to help.
The first interaction would be with a text bot(via SMS, WhatsApp...) where the people specify some general information (What do you need?, Where do you live?, What do you want to help with?)
and the app would match and connect these people.

What do you think?

cesar_mostacero profile image
Cesar Mostacero

I think sounds good.

One update/adjustment that could work could be instead of "people who like to help" be replaced by same people that needs help, but in the following way:

  • Assuming that you're planning to buy some things on the store (this will act as "people who wants to help"), let's say for tonight; you post the info to the bot, for example: "will go to store ABC at 9 PM". This information will be stored: source location (could be extracted from the sender), target location (store) and store/place name.
  • Someone else, would need to buy something (not needed to be from an specific store/place) and could post or send a message to the bot, something like: "I need to buy [something] for today". From here, the information that could be extracted would be source location (from the sender) and the item that she/he needs.
  • The backend process would match: given the route for the people that are planning to go somewhere with the people that is near to this route and needs something (above bullet).

I don't doubt that there are many people that really wants to help each other, but I think there could be more people that actually are planning to go somewhere and I think they could take that route to help others.

w0wka91 profile image
Waldemar Penner

That's a good idea! I think both of our ideas could coexist in the app

wobsoriano profile image

I think it sounds like this post

w0wka91 profile image
Waldemar Penner

No, I don't think it does!

My idea is to connect the people who are in need in for support (Over 65 y/o, chronic illness, not feeling well, immune deficiency...) with those people who can support (young, healthy).
The idea of the referenced post is to connect consumers with shopkeepers. I think that both ideas could complement each other well

gabriela profile image
Gabi • Edited

Hello, I am working to create a platform where people that produce food locally can make an account using their email and phone number. I want to verify this phone nr is valid firstly and then I will want to send them a code by SMS. In order to do task nr 2, I presume I need a "virtual number" from where I will send the SMS, right?

I tried creating a number from Twilio Dashboard, and I am not allowed. Can you please give me some hints on what I am doing wrong here? Thank you :)

response message: "Trial numbers can't be provisioned to an upgraded account"

philnash profile image
Phil Nash

That's weird that you can't provision a number. I don't know why you would be seeing that message. Your best bet may be to get in touch with Twilio support to try to sort that out.

On the other hand, if you want to do phone number verification you don't actually need your own number. You can use the Twilio Verify API instead.

gabriela profile image
Gabi • Edited

Hi, I think this situation occurred when I first created a project in the Twilio dashboard and I didn't select it's for a hackathon AND I live in Romania, where (after documenting about this) I have 0 access to SMS API :) (Wish I had, because this enables other devs - myself included, to create integrations/apps with Twilio in products that can be used locally)

And thanks for the point, of not using my own phone nr, I did add it as an env property so it's not exposed in the code at all, but still, good to know I don't have to altogether. After I changed the type of project, I got a phone nr from the platform, but still using a real nr for SMS testing.

Thread Thread
philnash profile image
Phil Nash

I know that SMS numbers in Romania are not available, but you can still send messages from Twilio using an international number. So if you do need one, you can use a US number (for example) and send your messages from that.

petr7555 profile image
Petr Janik • Edited

My idea, which I am half-way through is to build a chatbot, which gives you 2 options. Either to make a confession or to react to someone else's confession. If you choose to submit one, it is stored on server, until someone answers it. If you choose to react to a confession, a confession from the server is fetched for you and once you answer it, the person who submitted it is notified with your answer.
Is it anyhow useful? I don't think so.
Did I learn something along the way so far? A LOT!
Is it fun? Hell, yeah. Finally someone answering my messages immediately 😂.

What do you think?

larisho profile image
Gab • Edited

My idea for my project is an application that can connect people who are suffering from COVID-19 with people who have already recovered. The people whom I've heard from who have the disease say that having someone who went through it to talk to has helped immensely. It would use the Twilio Chat API to connect sufferers with the recovered.

aschmelyun profile image
Andrew Schmelyun • Edited

Alright, I'm torn on a couple ideas and would love to get some feedback from the community. So, let me have it! Here's what I'm thinking:

  1. Budgeting app where you text a number as you spend money. e.g. "$4.51 at Starbucks", or "$125.23 on groceries at Publix". At the end of the week/month, get a quick tally of where you're spending the most money.

  2. An appointment scheduler that texts you a reminder when you have an upcoming appointment, and afterwards asks you how your service was.

  3. Get notified when a website changes. Text a website, and get a text back whenever any element on the site changes. Bonus points, identify it as a minor (product out of stock) or significant (complete redesign) change.

Any of these, or trash them all? 😅

Edit: I also thought of a 4th one: Schedule believable fake texts to get you out of uncomfortable or dangerous situations. Before leaving, schedule a time where you'll receive a message like "How's everything going?", and depending on if you include a scheduled keyword, it'll change the conversation to an innocuous and believable reason for you to leave.

technoplato profile image
Michael Lustig -

I think 3 is the coolest! Also seems the best UX in my opinion. Bonus bonus points for human readable summary of changes :P

mrsaicharan1 profile image
Saicharan Reddy


We all know that tens of thousands of hospitals in the world have a massive shortage in the number of isolation wards/hospital beds. On the other hand, there might be some other hospitals, stadiums and other public places closed down due to COVID-19. In the midst of this pandemic, the public places which are willing to set up beds/offer spaces as additional isolation wards would be able to aid the patients' need.
Think of it as an Airbnb for Isolation wards.
This web app would be able to connect hospitals that are in need of isolation wards with the providers.
Suggestions are welcome :D

mohammedasker profile image
Mohammed Asker

Hey, this is a legitimately good idea. This might actually work out as I frequently heard lots of hospitals don't have enough beds. If this problem exists in your area, they will probably use it from day one.

I wish I can give you useful suggestions, but wish you the best!

mohammedasker profile image
Mohammed Asker

It's great everyone have great ideas and some of them are really awesome. And here I am unable to come up with any ideas after going through Twilio documentation. 😔

While I don't know what I want to build, I do know that I'm not going to use chatting, voice, or video API as I'm not interested.

hakobyansen profile image
Senik Hakobyan • Edited

Nowadays people are worried about their symptoms, some of them keep bombing their doctors all day telling them about their cough, body temperature or blood pressure etc.

Many of them are just in panic, but some of them might need some care and monitoring.

Few words about the idea.
It's a platform for doctors and patients where patient send his data to doctor to review periodically. Some business logic will be implemented to determine how critical is the reported data.
Twilio Notify will be used to notify doctor whenever critical data reported, or to patient whenever he doesn't input his data on time.

For future it's worth to do some research for patient real-time monitoring using sensors with RPi or similar.

I know my idea isn't unique probably at this moment but I'll have something to play with.

Good luck everybody! Be healthy Always! :)

pachicodes profile image
Pachi 🥑

I am working to make an app that send daily SMS to the users with news about COVID.
I have never used Twiliio before so it has been challenging yet fun to learn, and I choose node.js as my server side tool. I am a front-end so I am touching backend for the first time.

dwertheimer profile image
David Wertheimer • Edited

Hey Twilio team,

As part of the Global COVID-19 Hackathon, we started a project to try to help local businesses weather the storm of COVID-19.

All local businesses are struggling. Many have set up fundraising campaigns (on GoFundMe or elsewhere), but their clientele has no idea how to find them. We created a website to try to help people find local businesses in their area and offer to support them.

Here's a Work-in-Progress. We are getting there, but have a ways to go:
Some background:

The problem is that we need the local business to be able to "claim" their listing so that they can attach their fundraising link. We think the best way to do that is to have Twilio/Verify call the number listed in the public google listings for that company and have someone verify the audio code. Obviously, the Twilio costs at retail price could be extreme if this becomes nationwide or global (which of course is the goal). I would love to put this project into the Twilio hackathon as we complete it.

However, the big question is...can Twilio donate the verifications for this site/cause? I'm sure you guys want to help local businesses as much as we do.


David and Dominik
Save our Small (SOS) businesses!


twilio #twiliohackathon

dkundel profile image
Dominik Kundel

Hi you two! This sounds like a great project. We started a grant for COVID-19 related projects that's referenced on that might be worth checking out for your plans :)

jethrojm profile image
Jethro Moller (He/Him)

I'm from South Africa and I've been seeing a lot of fake news recently. I saw an article about people saying they don't want vaccines and that the corona virus isn't really contagious and its just a government ploy to kill off people and they must do everything they can to not get tested (because thats how they get the virus - unbelievable) and vaccinated.

These messages are being passed around so easily and I feel like if people only were better informed it would go a long way to curtailing this.

In light of this I'd like to make a whatsapp bot that you can forward things to and it will tell you whether its fake news or not.

What do you guys think?

bolt04 profile image
David Pereira

I'm kinda overwhelmed with the possibilities and don't know what to do 😅. Currently I'm experimenting Twilio's APIs to see which one will help me build the app that I want... although I haven't figured out completely what that is. I was thinking an app that integrates with slack would be cool. At my job, we use an app called Donut, that matches people to talk, and now that most of us work remote, I think an app that could help you communicate with others is cool.

I find it hard to get topics to talk about, so perhaps the user could ask this bot some topics, maybe gifs to break the ice or something else to get the converstation started 😃.

gyocran profile image

Hi! I know I am a little late to the party but I just do not want pass up this opportunity. The project I'd like to make is a simple one. I intend to provide covid19 statistics to an end user via SMS. This will be achieved by connecting to this great, free api ( to get relevant data. What I want to achieve with this is to help people keep up to date with what is happening when they have limited or no access to the internet. I am hoping I can finish within the allocated time. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks!

philnash profile image
Phil Nash

Good luck! Feel free to post so we can follow your journey too 🙂