Not simply webinars, digital hackathons are additionally on the rise


Corporates have been utilizing them to drive worker engagement and likewise discover options to issues encountered now and anticipated to increase into the post-COVID world

The pandemic has seen a spurt in digital hackathons by corporates. Of varied stripes, these hackathons are largely focussed on addressing the rapid issues round COVID-19. Options embrace bettering worker and buyer expertise. After which there are additionally options to long-festering social issues.

Two targets

Early this month, Razorpay carried out a five-day digital hackathon titled ‘Funds Innovation Week’ with a two-fold goal: Selling worker bonding; and resolving enterprise points ensuing from the present disaster.

Fifty groups had been within the fray, they usually labored on 100 concepts. A superb variety of these concepts will get carried out.

“We constructed an thought pool, and even reached out to cross-functional groups so as to add to the pool. Following this, individuals would work on a number of concepts of their selection and execute them via a workforce they’ve shaped,” says Pankaj Goel, head, Funds Engineering, Razorpay.

Every workforce was guided by a mentor.

Buyer expertise

One workforce sought to simplify the subscription expertise with a button; one other got here up with an answer to establish system defects. One other notable effort was creating another system that may kick in when the back-end system of a cost gateway fails.

Goel states that inner hackathons reinvigorate an organization’s innovation tradition, and likewise assist establish new expertise. “We’re planning to implement 80-90% of those concepts,” declares Goel.

Exterior digital hackatons are additionally occurring on the charge of knots, and they are often slotted into varied classes. Corporates organising a digital hackathon inviting different corporates to the tech-innovation celebration. Corporates organising a hackathon for varsity and school college students. There are additionally curiosity teams that organise hackathons for his or her members with company help.

Not too long ago, WiT (Girls In Expertise), organised ‘Girls CO[vi]DE Warriors’ in affiliation with IBM and Sequoia Capital, to create options for a post-COVID world.

A workforce from Jio addressed the problem of counterfeiting of medication out there by utilizing a blockchain mechanism powered by AI engine and IoT.

Reality checking

A workforce from Credit score Suisse sought to create a ‘fact-checking’ mechanism to fight the unfold of deliberate misinformation and rumours on WhatsApp. A workforce from Deloitte India that introduced an idea for a farmer help system that helps farmers within the pre and put up harvesting season

In one other occasion, the Pune chapter of FICCI FLO carried out a web based hackathon that aimed to search out non-medical options to include COVID-19.

Company mentoring

Regardless of the present disaster, some corporates are persevering with with their annual innovation programmes which are geared toward serving to college students prepare for a highly-digitalised tomorrow.

IBM and CBSE collectively carried out a digital ‘2020 IBM EdTech Youth Problem’, which inspired college students to leverage rising applied sciences together with AI, Blockchain to unravel present and imminent social issues.

Winners get a two-week internship and mentorship expertise from senior leaders at IBM in addition to alternatives to take part in nationwide or worldwide hackathons or conferences.

Of the 464 AI venture submissions, 103 initiatives submitted by 260 college students had been chosen for skilled mentoring by IBM mentors.

The profitable concepts embrace an ‘AI Well being Equipment for Rural Areas; a ‘Good Medication Field’; and an ‘AI-enabled Girls Security Platform’.

Implementation issue

Sathish Raghuraman, one of many organisers of Coronathon, a web based volunteer-led hackathon, says there are sufficient issues in society and hackathons are a fantastic platform to conceive and execute concepts to sort out them. And for a profitable hackathon, a practical and motivating downside is an effective begin level.

“Nevertheless it’s essential to make sure the passion surrounding the answer doesn’t die after a degree of time,” says Raghuraman, including that each organiser and the person have a job in holding the passion alive. Raghuraman says that the potential of “getting the answer to the person will assist drive enthusiasm.”



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