A FinTech hackathon challenges participants to develop financial technology for institutions and end-users. Companies host these events to inspire programmers, solve problems, gain publicity, and attract new talent.
You can host FinTech hackathons over any timeline, be it 48 hours or four months. As long as you follow a few key steps, you can reap the benefits of a hackathon in FinTech in no time.
What Is a FinTech Hackathon?
A FinTech hackathon, like this Fintech hackathon for Worldline, involves the development of financial technology products. These hackathons combine designing, coding, and marketing in one to create new financial products.
A hackathon in FinTech can involve topics like:
- Personal finance
- Risk management
- Retail banking
- Investing and trading
- Mobile payments
- Data management
- Regulatory compliance
- Enterprise social
- Financial transactions
FinTech hackathons provide application programming interfaces (APIs) and other technological platforms to their participants. They are not hardware hackathons, as attendees will brainstorm, write, validate, network, and display their projects to the judges.
Typical judges of a FinTech hackathon include entrepreneurs, company executives, and venture capitalists (VCs).
Depending on the details of the event, participants may act as an individual or teams. You may find FinTech as a local or virtual hackathon.
Benefits of Hosting a Hackathon FinTech Project
Financial institutions could enormously benefit from hosting a hackathon FinTech event. Whether they’re considered startups or established corporations, here are some of the benefits of hosting a hackathon FinTech project.
Gain New Business Ideas
Perhaps your programmers are a little dry on ideas, and you can’t find similar solutions to your business problems on Github. A FinTech hackathon could draw new coders to your company to take a stab at the issue.
If a company wants to explore new technology, they would typically assign the task to their R&D team. However, this situation limits you to the ideas of a few people. By hosting a hackathon FinTech, you can generate tons of new financial product prototypes in a few hours or weeks.
FinTech hackathons can accelerate the innovation process, kickstart rapid prototyping, inspire high-quality ideas, and lower costs.
Promote Your APIs
If you have an open API, you can expedite its adoption by hosting a FinTech hackathon, much like Microsoft’s Power Hack.
FinTech hackathons dramatically increase the number of active developers using the platform, thus boosting the number of applications using it. This process can also generate more revenue by increasing the number of API calls.
Hackathon FinTech events combined with GitHub posts and SDKs can help market APIs. The promotion will inspire more developers to use the software and provide feedback on improving it.
Find Future Employees
Another benefit of FinTech hackathons is that they draw tech talent to your business. Employers can attract young programmers looking to get some financial technology experience. If the winning teams deliver a particular project, you may have found yourself some new employees.
Also, companies looking to diversify can host hackathons geared towards specific groups underrepresented in computer science.
If you engage your current employees in the FinTech hackathon, you can reignite the spark in them.
Also, you can learn more about their talents to see if they could take on work in a different area. Internal hackathons will also help accelerate the development process from people you already trust.
Hosting a FinTech hackathon can create substantial publicity for your company. Marketing the event on websites like Hackathon.com can attract thousands of coders interested in improving your financial services.
The developer community will learn more about your business model, technology stack, and initiatives. They can spread the word about your company further than you’ve ever imagined.
How to Run a Hackathon in FinTech: A Full 7-Step Guide
Here are the fundamental steps you need to take to run a FinTech applications hackathon.
Step 1: Define the Purpose and Problem of Your Hackathon FinTech Event
Begin by defining the purpose of your hackathon FinTech event. Some FinTech hackathon cases include exploring emerging technologies, publicizing your company or API, searching for new employees, and challenging your current staff.
Now, figure out the problem at hand. You can decide if you want attendees to focus on a topic like the blockchain or use your API to develop something new. If you have some business problems that you feel stuck on, the FinTech hackathon participants can try their hand at it.
Make sure to give the attendees as much information as possible to help them along the way.
Step 2: Plan the Date and Time Frame
It takes between 4-8 weeks to plan FinTech hackathons. The time frame will depend on the scale. You need to choose if you will handle it virtually, in person, or a hybrid of the two. Virtual events will take less time, but in-person ones will require more planning and investment to get in order.
Step 3: Market the FinTech Hackathon Cases
Advertise your FinTech hackathon using social media, hackathon websites, and paid ads.
Try to engage people from inside your company, colleges, high schools, and anywhere else they would be interested. Look to attract people from many disciplines to provide creative input to different facets of the project.
Step 4: Provide Entertainment During Breaks
Most hackathon attendees aren’t interested in coding nonstop for 24 hours. Make sure to define some breaks for the hackers to rest.
During these periods, ensure you have plenty of food and beverages on hand. Also, you can get some keynote speakers to increase morale as the time cuts closer. If possible, try to leave some space for tired hackers to take power naps.
Step 5: Create a Deployment Process
One way to inspire attendees is by having a deployment process that will turn successful hackathon winner ideas FinTech into actual business services. Choose a team of judges who can gauge the value, simplicity, creativity, realisticness, and project design.
Company executives, venture capitalists, financial experts, and entrepreneurs all make excellent judges.
Step 6: Make Incentives
The winning teams should receive some sort of incentive for their hard work. You can provide swag bags, monetary prizes, promotions, or even jobs to those who succeed.
Step 7: Publish the Results
Once you have finished your FinTech hackathon, publish the event online. Take plenty of pictures during the hackathon to post.
Also, share the winners’ names and a summary of their project. Publishing the results will help with marketing future FinTech hackathons while also rewarding those who succeeded this time.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Organizing FinTech Hackathons
Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when organizing FinTech hackathons.
Mistake 1: Not Providing Mentors to Guide Participants
If you need business support, trust that your hackathon attendees require help too. Many people engage in hackathons to gain experience in financial technology. Very few participate only for a cash prize as they would rather demonstrate their skills and push themselves to the next level.
How to Fix Mistake 1
Ensure you give the hackathon FinTech attendees guidance on completing the project, especially if the purpose is to assist the financial institution. Try to have designated mentors for each team who answer people’s questions and steer them in the right direction.
If your FinTech hackathon is individual-based, the mentor can go around to help people as needed. Regardless of the setup, you need experienced professionals who can offer guidance and technical support.
Mistake 2: Boxing Yourself Into One Form of Hackathon
Another mistake that hackathon FinTech organizers make is by making it exclusively virtual or physical. While you may need to stick to one form for financial or practical reasons, opening the opportunity for both can attract more participants and diversify the ideas.
Fully online hackathon FinTech events reduce the communication and engagement of participants. Furthermore, they prevent the community-building and educational experience that a fleshed-out hackathon with keynotes, games, and face-to-face guidance provides.
Also, exclusively in-person FinTech hackathons limit the participants to those who live in the area or can afford to travel. Some individuals may perform better in a more isolated, home environment as well if they feel pressured by other teams.
How to Fix Mistake 2
You can fix this mistake by offering a virtual and physical hackathon FinTech in tandem. Those who live in the region and prefer to work in person have that option, and programmers who need to work remotely can do that too.
Another idea is to make an Online and Onsite (O2O) hackathon. O2O hackathons begin with virtual events where participants develop their projects remotely with a mentor’s guidance. After the time frame passes, it culminates in an onsite event for networking.
Mistake 3: Relying on Your Brand Name for Marketing FinTech Hackathons
Even Amazon could host a FinTech hackathon and not have any participants if they do not market it. Every company organizing FinTech hackathons needs to advertise the event to attract programmers. Otherwise, they will have little to no attendees.
Internal hackathons also require marketing with genuine incentives for employees participating in them.
How to Fix Mistake 3
List your hackathon FinTech on multiple websites to get the word out about your event. Post flyers around the office, make social media posts and pay for advertisements on FinTech websites.
Also, show people that it’s worth their time by providing a tangible incentive for their efforts. If you can’t afford a cash prize, show that you will consider their ideas for your company.
3 Inspiring FinTech Hackathon Ideas
Here are some hackathon ideas for FinTech that you can employ for your next event.
Idea 1: Credit Score Calculation
The first idea for FinTech hackathons is to develop a credit score calculation software. It should operate in real-time. This calculator should consider a person’s credit and financial history, rent, bill payments, subscriptions, student loans, and utilities.
The calculation program could also generate a realistic timeline and plan to improve one’s credit score to achieve their financial goal. For instance, it could display the minimum score required to get approved by the financial institution and say how one can get there.
Idea 2: Cash Flow Management
Another successful hackathon winner ideas FinTech is a cash flow management app. This app can securely sync with one’s bank account to analyze their purchase history.
From there, it can create data visualizations of how much a person spends in various categories (e.g., clothing, food, entertainment, rent, and utilities).
Then, the user can design an ideal budget with the app. It can provide ideas of what spending that much would look like.
For example, if the person wants to spend $50 a week on groceries, the app can remove items to show the slimmer grocery list. The user can mark items they deem necessary to whittle down anything unnecessary.
Idea 3: Subscription Management
The last hackathon FinTech idea is a subscription management platform. Many people sign up for subscriptions to business services like Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Spotify.
The management platform can help someone see all of their subscriptions in one place and track their use.
The platform should display how much the customer spends on subscriptions each month. Then, it will show how often they use each program. From there, the user can decide whether they want to keep this subscription or discontinue it.
Looking For a Good Hackathon Platform to Organize Your FinTech Hackathon? Try Hackathon.com
If you want to run an external, internal, or online hackathon, consider using Hackathon.com for your hackathon FinTech needs.
Our corporate services can provide you with experts to aid in your hackathon. We have a global network of judges, mentors, tech partners, and keynote speakers for your use.
We also have a database with innovators, developers, and designers. If you host a physical hackathon, we can also link you to caterers and entertainment suppliers.
We work across the United States, Middle East, Europe, and Asia. Whether you want your event to be local or global, we can help. Our platform provides hackathon management technology, thorough challenge creation guidelines, templates, and judging tools
Our team at Hackathon.com has worked with more than 300 blue-chip clients, including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Oracle. If you wish to run a FinTech hackathon, you’re in good hands.
If you need to host FinTech hackathons, make sure you:
- Understand what FinTech hackathons entail
- Learn how you can benefit from organizing one
- Follow the basic steps to create the event
- Fix some common mistakes made by hackathon FinTech organizers
- Explore some FinTech hackathon cases and ideas
- Consider using Hackathon.com to help host your event
If you’re ready to get started with organizing your hackathon, contact us. Our team is ready to help you!