It’s been a while since I blogged as I haven’t really been involved with startups since graduating. But I’m back in the startup world, in fact I’m properly involved in the techie startup world. I’m working as an event intern for Startupbootcamp FinTech (SBC FinTech), a London based accelerator.
I started about ten days ago and apparently SBC FinTech only started about ten weeks ago. Since I started, SBC FinTech have had three events and FinTechAthon was one of them which ran over the weekend. This blog post will be about the FinTechAthon and my experience . This is my first time being part of a hackathon and some aspects of it isn’t what I expected. I’ve heard about it when I was studying at UCL as they have also organised one too. I remember some of my classmates participated in the event. I was really excited about it but at the same time I was really tired from previous events that happened during the week and was concerned how I was going to cope. Nevertheless, I survived!
Day 1 of FinTechAthon
|Preparing the room and badges|
The day started with a team meeting where we discussed the roles and tasks and the objectives of the event. The team have been organising this event for about three weeks so I didn’t have much to do for the event apart from logistics like printing and cutting name badges. Thibaut and Mela were in charge of setting the room up and Josephine putting the food and drinks out.
|Thibaut taking photo of each participants|
|Hackers warming up|
The event started with an introduction about the limitations and landscapes of payments and then presentation from payment experts. I would say the excitement didn’t start until Saturday.
|Hangout with Ripple|
After the talks from the experts, the participant split into groups to brainstorm ideas. They had about two hours to do that. Some participants were shifting teams throughout this session.
3 p.m. was the checkpoint where each team presented their preliminary idea. Some teams used power point slides and a couple presented without slides. Those who had slides, I must say their slides weren’t very good. They had too much text. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, I’ve mentioned how presentation slides should be- minimal text and replace any text with images. Too much text means the audience will be distracted from the text and will end up reading the slides instead of listening to the presenter. Ripple’s presentation slides were good. Clear and simple diagrams and images on each slide.
Day 3- The Last Day of the FinTechAthon
While the FinTechAthon is happening, the London Marathon is happening literally next to us. I could see and hear the crowd cheering for the runners. I went out of the office to get a few close ups. A couple of my colleagues saw Mo Farah! Yes, I work next to Tower of London and London Bridge. It’s really cool right?
|Hackers working hard|
The day started very calm and quiet as the participants were working and developing their ideas in their team. A few participants stayed over night and didn’t sleep. That is some hardcore hacking! Not much had happened until 4 p.m. which was the presentation of the final results.
Second up was Open MBC, there were six of them. They even built a MVP and it was pretty good. Apparently, one of the hacker in this team stayed up all night in the loft working on this and his effort was definitely worth it because he won the Best Coder Award which you will see if you continue reading.
This was a good and simple MVP. It did the job that it had to and in my opinion they had the best MVP.
|Open MBC’s MVP|
The last but not the least, Ashcroft. They also prepared a MVP.
The Best Coder was Sanyaade Adekoya. He is the man who stayed up all night coding. He literally had no sleep and he didn’t even look tired. Thumbs up to him. For his prize, he could choose either a beer tasting class or 2 for 1 Segway rally and he chose the latter.
The Best Team (Hack Hard Play Hard team) was Open MBC. Congratulations! They received a USB fridge, a mini fridge that you can plug into your computer. They also won “The Best Idea” award, but that wasn’t voted by the participants it was voted by the SBC Finyech Team. Their prize for this award is offering them an opportunity to join SBC FinTech’s accelerator program in August.
There was one last award that was awarded by Xignite, “The best use of Xignite” to Ashcroft. They received Amazon service vouchers. Well done!!
|Ashcroft won The Best Use of Xignite|
Overall, this has been a great learning experience in many ways and I was exhausted by the end. I’ve met and seen different kinds of people, the organisation and co-ordination of the event and developing a foundation knowledge of the FinTech. Thanks for reading!