Inspiration

Marketing and outreach are some of the greatest challenges small businesses face. We hope for our application to give them a platform and to encourage everyday shoppers to consider alternatives to the mainstream.

What it does

Small businesses can register and create a profile on Canal. This profile consists primarily of their business details (a website, phone number, picture, and short, descriptive blurb) and key words that describe their products and services. From here, users can download and use the Chrome extension which will suggest small business alternatives to the products and/or services that they are currently viewing in their browser.

How we built it

Our web app is built in HTML, CSS, and Javascript and our database is hosted in Firebase.

Challenges we ran into

The Firebase documentation is fairly sparse yet simultaneously quite complex. It took a significant amount of time to integrate it into our project, but we managed to succeed in connecting it to the web application portion of our project. Unfortunately, we ran into some more Firebase trouble with regards to the Chrome extension and were thus unable to complete it.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

As a small team of hackathon rookies we're quite proud of the amount we completed! Also despite the virtual environment and timezone differences (and a wedding!?) we managed a consistent and effective workflow. We've all agreed that this is probably the most technically advanced project we have attempted to date!

What we learned

In short: a lot. To expand, learning to use and integrate Firebase was challenging and new. We also learned a lot about debugging and the magic of having fresh eyes on worn code.

What's next for Canal

Given the time constraints, we were unable to complete the Chrome extension portion of our project. We hope to finalize it soon!

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