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Pirate, Technology Enthusiast, Open Bank Project

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ichaibEmirates NDB Group Fintech Challenge 2016 (evis)

It was a pleasure to work with Emirates NBD in one of the largest middle-eastern innovation project of its kind. For about 5 weeks we accompanied one of the most innovative banks in the region in a journey which culiminated in a hackathon with the finalists in London.

Before the 3 day long hackathon at Level 39 in Canary Wharf the heart of the financial district of London, Emirates NBD and the Open Bank Project embarked on a world tour hosting meetups in: Berlin, Singapore, New York, Dubai, Paris and London. As the event gathered momentum and meeting interesting people with exciting ideas the enthusiasm/trepidation was building for the big day.



It was a tremendously difficult task for the judges to narrow down the 230 great applications to only 18 to attend the hackathon in London.

At the hackathon, the 18 chosen teams received mentoring from business, design, technology and communication experts; and also present were senior Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic executives.


The challenges the teams need to address are: 


How can we acquire and on-board retail or corporate clients seamlessly?


How can we retain retail customers and strengthen engagement?


How can we help SMEs do business better?


How can new technologies such as the Blockchain and Internet of Things transform banking?


How can Islamic Banking disrupt conventional banking?

Tha hackathon started with the bank greeting the teams with a boat tour of London on the Thames River with a English afternoon tea. This was a chance for all the teams to meet each other and share some insight into their backgrounds with the bank.

Saturday morning was kicked off with a hearty breakfast spread to ensure all were fueled for a jam packed day. Then the Open Bank Project provided a very insightful workshop into our API which was used throughout the competition by the teams to develop and prototype their ideas.

In classic hackathon style lunch of pizza. Then on to the mentoring sessions. The wealth of knowledge on hand was of high collaborator with expert specialist mentors present to help the competing teams.

As the evening was coming to an end it was visible to see the teams project coming to life.

Teams maintained great levels of focus throughout the whole of day one and late into the evening, a winning spirit was heavily present.

Sunday morning, saw the levels of excitement, nerves and determination as the finish was near.

We kicked the final day off with Maren Drews, an expert pitch trainer flown in from Berlin to help the teams perfect their pitches.

Also on sunday to relax and pamper the teams before their big reveal of their final project, a massage service was on offer.

First Prize went to Momentum Platform SME

Second Prize went to The Fluid Motion


Third Prize went to VLendRight


Over the weekend we saw Emirates strengthen its position in the global fintech market as one of the major players. I feel like this is only the beginning for Emirates NBD and we will be seeing a lot more from them in shaping the financial future of the banking industry.

5 months, 2 weeks ago, 1 Comments

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    OpenBankProjectHack Make The Bank London 2015 (evis)

    Hack Make The Bank London 2015

    Over the weekend The Open Bank Project and Level39 together with the sponsors Accenture, Temenos put yet another great fintech Hackathon on.

    Friday night was kicked off with a social gathering with drinks and creative ice breaker.

    Saturday the main event was started with some informative speeches about the APIs on offer including the Open Bank Project API, Xignite, OpenCorporates, Temenos and Thomas Reuters OpenCalais API. As the excitement built in the room and people were raring to go.

    The views from Level 39 was inspiring in every direction.

    People come on stage with their light bulb moments and the intrigue heighted.

    We focused on maximising diversity, creativity and innovation while having fun, challenging oneself and learning something new. People decided on what they liked and where they wanted to collaborate. With our team of on hand experts on API’s the planning stage was in full swing. The hard work in the room was contagious and people only Breaked to refuel.

    We saw different generations in full collaborations. 

    As progress was being made our teams were given wise words of wisdom from our guest mentors. Kudos to Amit Mallick, Jack Gavigan, Mike Kennelly, Stuart Coleman, Anish Mohammed and Stefano Tresca.

    Some were feeling energised by this and were ready to take it to the next level, other were seen to do a 360 with their initial idea, it was a nail biting watch.

    Sunday saw the race to the finish, teams doing their best to get a working demo ready to pitch to our judges.


    The moment of truth and the pitches in front of the judges, we had 12 teams pitch, with another 2 teams with fab ideas but not quite ready. Among the pitches where some impressive projects, from the latest stock market information teamed with the latest tweeter feed from team Equitus, making the stock market more accessible. To the best way of gift giving with project Gifty, which allowed people to exchange gift cards without waste. Another (by Team Objects of your Desire) was an idea that saw loans made easy, using the Open Bank Project API, which used your income and outgoings to find the right loan for you.

    This was to just name a few of the fabulous project we had pitched many with working demos, it’s a great accomplishment in the time frame.


    Vision sketch of the hack ideas presented by Jacqueline Adriano@jacqsadriano

    But no matter what the project, the spirit of a hackathons remains the same, try something new and walk away having learned a valuable lesson.

    Watch this space for the next Hackathon.

    11 months, 2 weeks ago, 0 Comments

    OpenBankProjectUpdated Architechture diagram 2015 with new logo (evis)


    1 year ago, 0 Comments

    OpenBankProjectUpdated Architechture diagram 2015 (picture)


    1 year, 1 month ago, 0 Comments

    OpenBankProjectRecap Hack/Make The Bank #7 in Paris (evis)


    Hack/Make the Bank is becoming an important 'rendezvous' in the fintech world in Europe. We just came back from our 7th edition in Paris after organising hackathons in Barcelona, Berlin and London. At each stop, we want fintech developers to connect, learn and experiment using different tools and APIs. We believe that's how true innovation emerges!

    On Saturday 15th, we met at Mutinerie, a legendary coworking space in the heart of Paris. It all started at 8:30am and ended with the demos at 6:30pm. We begain with a short intro from Antoine, one of the cofounders of La Mutinerie - and we then moved to the API presentations and our very own and special "flea market of ideas". The rest of the day was reserved to 'hacking' except for few breaks for lunch and coffee.

    This time, our API partners included Xignite and their financial APIs, Mailjet, OpenDataSoft and of course the Open Bank Project API. Interestingly, we had the chance to have Stephane DuBois, CEO of Xignite with us at this event!

    At the end, 4 teams pitched their hacks. One trend that came out was financial inclusion - two of the hacks were about providing better financial services to disadvantaged people.  

    Here is the list of hacks:

    JoeBot, your personal financial assistant.

    Joe is a bot that helps you manage your finances seamlessly. Ask joe anything via email and he will get back to you immediately. Joe will tell you about your balance, when you are about to go overdraft, when your salary hit your accounts...etc

    Safe2gether, no more overdraft for you and your fellows.

    With Safe2Gether, you can help other clients like you manage the small bumps of our financial lifes. By subscribing to Safe2gether, you'll be able to help your fellow safe2gether subscribers by lending your un-used balance. And on the other hand, if you lack some funds to stay green, you'll be able to receive help from your Safe2gether Mates.

    Easy day, Make the entrepreneurs day easier on the accounting side.

    A platform which gathers all the information and tools needed by a one-man company from the invoices, accounting, VTA, taxes…providing a clear vision of the day, the year, and the future.

    Pas d'Cash, A digital/local currency for homeless people

    Pas d'Cash is a gift service to homeless people to be spent on specific commercial partners (food, accommodation, clothes...etc). It facilitates money donations to homeless people and enable a responsible consumption.


    As well as brilliant hacks, the team journeys we witnessed leading up to the demo sessions were truly inspiring. It is a great feeling to share stories with developers from so many different cities, to hear their successes, frustrations and ideas - and support them technically too. Every city we go to has a different vibe but a similar energy and willingness to disrupt finance unites the events. The FinTech industry smoulders with so many unborn ideas, businesses and Apps - and out there, there is a special kind of person or team getting ready to bring them to life!

    Thus, we are really excited to bring Hack/Make The Bank and the Open Bank Project API to even more developers and cities. Our next stops are Dublin and Belfast in February for a series of hackathons with Ulster Bank (more details to follow soon) and then back to Paris on March 28th-29th for another thrilling hackathon - save the date!


    1 year, 11 months ago, 0 Comments

    OpenBankProjectHacked @ Hack/Make The Bank #6 in London (evis)


    We had great fun in London this weekend thanks to the almost 100 participants who joined us during two days for #HackMakeTheBank hackathon at the amazing Level39. It turned out to be a great event, with some really exciting hacks that came from it!

    Check out Underdraft, a mobile app that prevents you from going overdraft. Syndik8, a crowd-funded property investment market place. Athena Xchange, an invoice FX risk mitigation platform or Teller, a reverse-engineered banking API.

    See the complete list of hacks here.

    The hackers were using and mashing up different APIs provided by Open Bank Project IBM Watson, S&P; Capital IQ,TEMENOSMortgage27Currency Cloud and OpenCorporates. They also had the chance to pitch their ideas to a group of expert mentors and fintech judges.

    Many thanks to our sponsors IBM and TEMENOS for making this happen – it was truly a great experience!

    Our next hack/make the bank will be in Paris on Nov 15th-16th, organised jointly with our good friends at La Mutinerie. Feel free to register or share the link with your network.

    1 year, 12 months ago, 0 Comments

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