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#Hackathon21: Coding the future together
Let’s be honest: we have all wanted to chance a glance into the future at some point in our lives. To get an idea of what the world has in store for us one, five, ten years from now. While that’s certainly an appealing thought, why be satisfied with looking into the future when you can actively shape it?
Well, our #spghackathon21 aimed to do just that.
Under the theme 'Let’s code the future', fall 2021 set the stage for our first-ever global hackathon, a thrilling competition around solving real-life challenges. Previous internal hacks had shown that there is a lot of potential there that can be tapped into. “By opening our hackathon to a broader, external audience, we wanted to capture both this insider knowledge while also getting fresh perspectives that could further drive us forward,” explains Holger Hackstein, Chief Digital Officer.
Tapping into unexplored (business) potential
For this first global hack, we channeled our efforts on the topics of digital manufacturing and industry 4.0, which both combines being incredibly intriguing with being essential for the future of business. “Schenck Process has always been big on innovation,” Holger proudly states. “Therefore, the idea was to create challenges that, on the one hand, would question the status-quo and offer new impulses while also having the potential to truly have an impact on the way we do business.”
What started as a pilot event quickly became a very inspiring experience for everyone involved. “I was delighted to work more closely especially with the younger generation,” reminisces Robert Francis, Product Manager and hackathon mentor. “It really helped see things from a different perspective and provided impressive insights that we can apply to our industry solutions.”
For the teams as well, the hackathon provided great possibilities. One team shares their favorite part of Hackathon was working as part of a team. “We can share our ideas and knowledge with another. It’s not only a competition but also an opportunity to learn from high-level players.”
Getting ready to hack
Aspiring innovators came together from all walks of life – whether soon-to-be graduates or seasoned professionals. Everyone was invited to join forces to code the future with us. Ultimately, over 20 participants spread across four final teams and three countries set out to bring their ideas to life. Not bad, for the first run in quite a niche field.
With the kick-off in late September, teams now had an intense eight weeks of hacking ahead of them, each on a different challenge track just waiting to be explored. Their efforts culminated in a brilliant final pitch in front of our expert panel end of November.
And the winner is
Of course, there is no challenge without a winner (or a price, for that matter). After a tough competition with impressive ideas and excellent presentations, two teams emerged as the winners: team DIB of China and team SADS of India.
Chosen by our expert panel, the teams secured a prize money of 1,500 euros and, in addition, a lot of hackathon merchandise that will remind them of the event and their achievements.
Chancing a glance into the future, we say all participants have bright times ahead of them – maybe even crossing paths again with Schenck Process and their hackathon solutions.