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.
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:
ACQUISITION & ON-BOARDING
How can we acquire and on-board retail or corporate clients seamlessly?
LOYALTY & ENGAGEMENT
How can we retain retail customers and strengthen engagement?
How can we help SMEs do business better?
BANKING IN THE AGE OF BLOCKCHAIN & IOT
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.