Our 1st Hackathon ever!

Last Friday, March 11th, we held our first-ever Hackathon – and it was a resounding success! 10 teams ended up competing for the grand prize of attending FinDEVr NYC, the premier event for FinTech developers.

findevr_nyc

Idea Jam

The Strands Hackathon kicked off with a super energetic Idea Jam, where participants brainstormed together about different ways to improve the digital banking experience with the latest FinTech tools. No idea was deemed too big or too crazy – take it from us, the best way to innovate is to think BIG! We tried to make it as interactive as possible with our Argentinian colleagues beaming in their brilliance all the way from Buenos Aires.

hackathon idea jam

Hack Day

Once all the ideas were out and teams settled, it was time to get hacking. 10 teams of 2-3 developers participated in the Hackathon, a day full of learning and trying new things.

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Developers on both sides of the Atlantic (in our Barcelona and Buenos Aires offices) and from both business units (Strands Finance and Strands Retail) spent the entire day working on a range of different projects, from implementing revolutionary machine learning algorithms to improve categorization to making transactions ultra social to implementing cutting edge payments APIs, like the one Visa released a few weeks ago.

Presentation Day

Competition was tough, and on the following Monday the Strands Hackathon participants got together to present their creations to a jury of product managers and C-suite executives, including the COO, CIO and CTO of the company.

hackathon presentations

The Results

After an intense deliberation session, the jury finally decided on the winners: Andreu Araque, Pablo Reyes and Adrian Perez who built a real working prototype of a payments system in just one day! We wish them all the best and to bring back some more innovative ideas from FinDEVr for our next hackathon…

hackathon winners

The moral of the story? It’s amazing what can be done with the proper environment and space for innovation is created! Most important of all, the event received extremely positive feedback from the participants. Here’s some feedback we got from an anonymous post-event survey:

  • I like the spirit of the Hackathon; it’s an exciting challenge. The Idea Jam was really interactive: a lot of crazy ideas came up and we were able to carry them out later on.”
  • “I would be more than willing to participate in the next Strands Hackathon. This one was a good experience on many different levels. From the idea jam and to the solutions that were produced, I think company can benefit from it big time.”
  • “It was great time to explore new things out of our day to day. It’s a way to boost innovation and start new business ideas or projects that usually are not a priority. The sprit was great all the day and there was also time for trying new technologies and learn a lot by experimenting. Finally I think among the presented projects 3 or 4 are close to become actual features and some other interesting ideas to explore further in the future. So in general I’ve the feeling that it was a great idea and would definitely do it again.”

Check out the full photo gallery from the day below:

Strands Hackathon 2016