The winner of the Startup Slalom Fintech hackathon is a solution for expenditure accounting
At the end of last week, another Startup Slalom Fintech hackathon took place in Riga. The subject of the hackathon was financial technologies, or fintech. Its goal was to create business solutions based on technologies.
The event was organised by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) in cooperation with the Latvian Startup Association Startin.lv. The main award for the winners was EUR 1,000 from Transact Pro and tickets to the eCom21 tech conference from Rietumu Banka. The hackathon participants had 48 hours to formulate their ideas and develop an operating product prototype.
The winner of the hackathon was the CACTUS team, which, in two days, developed an application for expenditure accounting. Similar apps already exist on the market; however, the team managed to make the idea more up-to-date and flexible. The team’s idea is a personal budget planner that collects user bank data and maintains an automatic account of expenditures. The programme also makes it possible to enter data manually when a user makes cash payments. The programme divides expenditures by groups, e.g., transportation expenses, food expenses, everyday expenses, etc. Data on expenditures are systematised and can be analysed according to amounts spent, the spending period, the largest expenditures in each spending category, the point of sale and many other parameters. Team representative Zane Bojare stated that the team’s victory in the hackathon was a complete surprise: “The hackathon is the perfect opportunity to evaluate the viability of an idea quickly, as well as identify its disadvantages and advantages during implementation thanks to teamwork and with help from mentors.”
Initially, 18 teams applied for the hackathon, but after the presentation of business ideas, hackathon participants were regrouped into eight teams. Each team developed its own business idea. Mentors, Baltic fintech experts, and one expert from Great Britain assisted in formulating, shaping and creating working solutions.
On the third day, all of the projects were evaluated by a professional jury. Yuri Bordulan, a member of the jury and Head of the Business Development Department at Transact Pro, which provided the main prize for the event, noted that this year’s hackathon brought more participants together. “There were also more ideas that could be implemented in practice. This is impressive when you can see that there is potential for growth. Although there were ideas not related to fintech, perhaps this is something that can be adjusted during future hackathons.”
Second place was awarded to an insurance solution, along with a trip to Startup Day 2017 in Tartu from Science and Business Professionals Latvia. The USURE team developed an application that finds the best CASCO insurance offer according to insurance history. Third place and tickets for the entire team for the largest start-up conference in the Baltic States from TechChill were given to the team of DigiTurn, which developed a solution for accounting and storing cheques in electronic form.
Bordulan also mentioned that there was an interesting solution, though unrelated to fintech, from the Salary Storage team, which makes it possible to determine one’s value in the labour market. The application allows for identification through Facebook, asks for information about your current salary, connects market data form various sources to its analysis, e.g., CV.lv and LinkedIn, and analyses the data and determines your market value.
In addition, jurors showed interest in an application for the preparation and signing of documents related to the sale and lease of real estate. According to the team that developed the app, the app can combine a search for real estate with a search for clients and model legal agreements for a variety of transactions.
“For Transact Pro, it is important to take part in such events, as they bring together future specialists with their own vision and new ideas that can be evaluated on the basis of existing experience, market regulations and legislation, and find new, sometimes revolutionary things. This is the perfect market motivation,” says Bordulan. “Fintech hackathons bring together professionals from the industry and provide an influx of new ideas and opinions, provide opportunities to meet professionals and promote ideas or find promising new developers.
We are striving to develop the fintech industry and support young companies, to offer them help in realising their ideas and products. We supported Startup Slalom Fintech for the second time and can see that the event is developing and attracting more participants and experienced mentors and jury members from year to year. The level of the event itself and the ideas presented here is increasing, as is the level of implementation of such ideas in business solutions.”