Announcing the Winners of Charlotte Payments Hackathon 2014

Open Innovation is the most powerful business model of the century and it has the potential to create and foster the next new hubs of economic activity. The money Event Charlotte Challenge, concluded yesterday, was focused on creation and growth of vibrant ecosystems for Open Innovation in Commerce by bringing together local talent and technology at the intersection of Money and Mobility. The event witnessed 24 hours of intense competition in which programmers developed codes and used algorithms to create apps and products that could one day change the way people use technology.

The event was organized by Let's Talk Payments in partnership with The Money Event, and was supported by multiple partners including Thinaire, Swipeout, RapidOS, Inmar, Microsoft, Saylent, University City, Harris Teeter, Swipeout, Uber, Tech Talent South, Seismic, UNC Charlotte, Rethink CLT, PayCLT, The DreamLife Agency and Zwitch.

The Hackathon officially began with a talk by Aditya Khurjekar (Co-Founder, Let’s Talk Payments and The Money Event). He spoke about issues in the Payments Industry, and the reason organizers decided to do a Payments Centered Hackathon. We are focusing on everything at the intersection of mobility and money and commerce for the mobile generation, he said.

There were more than 50 people attending and participating in the Hackathon and the teams started working on their applications from Saturday noon.

The energy levels exhibited by the participants was unparalleled. Most of the participants stayed up the whole night to make the most out of the 24 hours assigned to them. You just cannot sleep for 24 hours, you have to restrain yourself from sleeping and just come up with something that is really new, said one of the participants.

There was a midnight session organized for the participants, in which the winners of the Bangalore Payments Hackathon (organized last weekend) came up with a presentation on the solution designed by them using Google Hangouts.

The Hackathon was based on the following theme:

A digital shopping and payment experience for the mobile generation.

How can the mobile phone enhance a traditional retail shopping experience?

Participants were provided the building blocks to create a proof-of-concept for a mobile shopping experience that demonstrates how a consumer, retailer and advertiser can all benefit from mobile connectivity and digital payments.

The hackathon was overseen by judges from companies that benefit from consumer's quick access to money through technology, Harris Teeter and commerce tech company Inmar. The event's winner heads to Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas this fall to present their work.

Various other prizes were also offered to the teams, including free software worth $25,000 to every team that created a startup from their concept in the hackathon. Special prizes were awarded to the Winner and Runner-up teams.

The Winning Team of The Money Event Charlotte Challenge

The winning team came up with a Gamified shopping app solution that includes loyalty and coupons. The solution uses Beacons as well as NFC for engagement of the customers. Although the solution is optimized for grocery stores, it can also be used in a wide array of situations beyond grocery stores . The app works in a unique way: It detects the Beacon and shows relevant coupons using the coupon API with a lock on every offer. All consumers need to do is swipe the screen to unlock the offer, and they earn points by seeing the offer. There is also the provision to earn points by redeeming the offers.The points earned by the consumers integrate with the loyalty program.
The runner-up team came up with a solution that can help skip lines at different stores. The solution offers queue busting, and involves lots of data processing and analytics in the back end.