Clair Challenor-Chadwick, MD of Cause UK worked with Railsbank, a Fintech company in London, to provide event management, marketing and social media services for their inaugural #openbankhack17, 10-12th November at Rainmaking Loft near Tower Bridge.
What the hell is a hackathon?
A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event in which computer programmers and others involved in software development collaborate intensively on software projects.
What was the aim of the event?
- To get feedback from external developers on the Railsbank API
- Promote Railsbank as a company
- Spread Railsbank’s shared mission to make global banking modern, affordable, and accessible
- Push their objective to increase diversity in technology
- Get new ideas on usages of the Railsbank API in ways not yet imagined.
Who took part?
The event attracted 120 registrations, 75 people took part over 48 hours and 13 teams gave 5 minute pitches in front of industry judges as well as investors, on Sunday 12th November.
#OpenBankhack17 attracted hackers from Brazil, Italy, France, Latvia, India and from across the UK, plus entrants from the University of Hertfordshire and University of Coventry.
Lucas Farah, aged 20 from Brazil said, “I have taken part in over 20 hackathons all over the world and this is one of the best. The event was really well organised and 48 hours gives you enough time to create a really polished product.” Lucas and his friends Heverton Rodrigies and Vinicius Souuza are all university drop outs, travelling Europe to learn English and take part in hacks.
The School of Code based in Birmingham, whose mission is to get more and different types of people into technology, sent a dynamic team of 5 students. 19 year old Celine said the hackathon was an ‘absolutely amazing and a great learning experience.’ She was one of five women coders who took part, she said: “It’s 2017 and its about time that gender equality is more widely recognised around the field of IT and technology. It’s great that Railsbank are encouraging more women into IT. I’ve loved taking part.”
Keen to support women into IT, Railsbank tasked Clair with encouraging women hackers to take part. Clair invited Gen Ashley from Women Who Code and a former NASA engineer to judge the category for the best female hacker, with Alexa Fernandez from BBVA. Gen said, “The industry take up of women coders fluctuates between 6-16%. My mission is to try and encourage more women into the industry. I am thrilled to have been asked to judge the best female hacker.”
Teams entered from across the world including Latvia.
Ralf Lagzda, 22 from Latvia said, “The Railsbank API is an awesome product.” His team of three created ‘Messenger Bank’ over 48 hours, connecting the Railsbank API to Facebook Messenger and Amazon Alexa.
Clive Mitchell, co-founder of Railsbank said:
“Clair – you have been (and are) amazing – we could not have done it without you – thank you so much.”
If you would like Clair to manage your event from inception to delivery, please contact us now.