Startups battle it out for charity in Dodgeball Invitational (photo gallery)

Code-slinging warriors from 17 Silicon Valley startups met for a gridiron foam-dodgeball clash on Sunday. The games, which raised money for charity, were part of the Octocat Dodgeball Invitational and were hosted by code repository company Github.

The event was a chance for members of the startup community to get together and do something good for charity. At stake were bragging rights for the winning team, and a prize purse of $57,000, to be donated to the victors’ charity of choice.

While the the idea of a bunch of geeks trying to annihilate each other with foam balls seems like the punchline of a joke, the level of competition was fierce.

“I was actually very surprised how intense some of the players were,” said Engine Yard’s Josh Lane, who was himself sporting a freshly-cut mohawk reminiscent of Robert De Niro’s character in Taxi Driver. “Some of these people definitely practiced before they came here. They wanted to win.”

Participating teams were from Github, Twitter, New Relic, Twilio, Zappos, Engine Yard, Source Ninja, UserVoice, Heroku, Perforce Software, Lookout Mobile Security, Open Stack, Context Optional (a part of Efficient Frontier), Plum District, Code for America and Sequoia Capital. In order to play in the tournament, the teams had to contribute to the prize pool. Cheerleaders worked the crowd with plastic jack-o-lanterns to collect extra donations.

Members of Heroku’s team, Dodging-Samurai-42, were the eventual winners, taking home the Dodgeball Octocat Trophy and raising $30,000 for the charity Heifer International.

“It was great to have all those companies come together for charity, and everybody just have fun,” said Lane. “Nobody took it too seriously.”

Oh really? You’ll have to take a look for yourself in our photo gallery.

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