#apoHackathon – apoBank’s first Hackathon

apoHackathon

Ready, set, go – from May 31 to June 2, developers, UX designers and creative thinkers comprising 11 teams of 2 to 4 participants competed at apoBank headquarters in a marathon of programming. It was a 30-hour sprint with the following goal: Develop innovative solutions for four questions (challenges) from apoBank. The coding ran from Saturday to Sunday, even overnight. figo supported apoBank in the organization and as on-site API partner.

 

What were the highlights of the apoHackathon? Who are the winners of the challenges? Cassie Kübitz-Whiteley and Julio Guerrero from apoBank share their impressions in an interview:

What did you like most about the hackathon?

Julio Guerrero apoBank

Julio Guerrero, Project Manager apoBank

Julio Guerrero: I was impressed with the passion and motivation of the participants in their tasks, especially in the face of such excellent weather on the weekend. It’s remarkable the kinds of solutions 11 teams put together in such a short period of time. In addition, there were many international participants, despite the event having been advertised and marketed in German. So we were also able to welcome participants from England and Belgium. In total, over 40 people participated in the hackathon. I was also pleased that the final pitches were so well attended on Sunday afternoon.

Cassie Kübitz-Whiteley apoBank

Cassie Kübitz-Whiteley, Head of apoBank Corporate Communications and apoHackathon Jury Member

Cassie Kübitz-Whiteley: The Speed dating on Friday evening I found great: All participants introduced themselves briefly: “Who am I?”, “What can I do?”, “What challenge interests me?” and “What do I bring to the table?”. The amazing thing: Within a short time, people who did not previously know each other have come together in teams. The focus was on a common goal – to develop the best solution for a challenge. I was impressed with the openness they all had with each other. The individual team members were completely free of reservations and complemented each other with their strengths. This group dynamic was very interesting to watch.

How was the mood?

Julio Guerrero: On Friday evening, I felt a great deal of euphoria and drive. Basically, there was a lot of curiosity at play. On the one hand, the participants wanted to know what they were going to be given and, on the other hand, find out who the apoBank is and what it does. On Saturday, the teams were very focused on their tasks. Saturday afternoon there were more and more questions about the challenges. Here, the respective supervisors of the challenges supported on the side.

What did the hackathon bring to apoBank?

apoHackathon

Julio GuerreroWith the hackathon, we implemented a completely new format in apoBank. The developers were enthusiastic about the hackathon and have already inquired about future events. At the same time, the participants developed 11 different prototypes for important questions facing the bank over just one weekend. As a result, the jury selected the most innovative and technically challenging solution for each challenge, so that in the end we were able to honor four winners: the team SuperPowers for Challenge 1, the team Avaloq for Challenge 2, the team Dr. med for Challenge 3 and the team med.Inion for Challenge 4. In addition, the SuperPowers team was honored as the overall winner of the Hackathon.

 

What makes the ideas of the winners so special?

apoHackathon

Cassie Kübitz-Whiteley: That needs a little bit of an explanation: The pitches had to meet very specific requirements. A prototype had to be presented – within 5 minutes. PowerPoint was basically “forbidden”. The solution approaches had to be vividly presented and comprehensible even for non-techies. For all solution ideas, the focus was clearly on customer benefit. Some participants even did “market research” during the hackathon by asking health care professionals. In the end, it was only small refinements that put the winning ideas over the top. Ultimately, the ideas that create clear added value for healthcare professionals and emphasize the simplification of their (professional) everyday life won.

According to which criteria did the jury evaluate the solutions?

Cassie Kübitz-WhiteleyThe pitches of the individual teams were evaluated on the basis of five categories: wow factor, impact, innovation factor, feasibility and quality of presentation, each on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (good).

apoHackathon Gewinner

What do you take from the hackathon?

Cassie Kübitz-Whiteley: The hackathon once again showed me how important common goals are and how they connect people. I am very impressed by the ideas that emerge  and ultimately solutions – in a very short time, when very different people come together and exchange ideas. But I also take from the event that great ideas do not require PowerPoint presentations with elaborately layered slides. Rather, the motto here is: “Just do it and try it out”.

 

Listen to the Payment & Banking FinTech Podcast #205 for further background information on the apoHackathon. (German)

 

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