14 Teams, 90 Participants, 48 Hours, 15 Mentors, 5 Judges, £2800 Total Prizes
HackLBS was founded on the assumption that for many developers and designers, the goal of their effort is to create value and either capture that value (get rich) or give it to those in need (social impact). Increasingly developers and designers realize that creating value requires more than a great product vision, architecture or engineering process.
Therefore, HackLBS gives developers and designers an opportunity to interact with business minds from Europe’s #1 ranked business school in an environment that is designed to foster entrepreneurship as opposed to pure technical wizardry. It is not enough to create a neat technical solution; to be competitive, teams must show customer validation and articulate a workable business model.
Day 1 started with an informal networking event for all participants followed by the opportunity for them to pitch one idea each to the audience, under 1 minute. After 30 ideas were pitched, 2 rounds of voting allowed the 90 participants to be divided into 14 competing teams, such that each team comprised of at least 1 coder and 1 designer.
Day 2 allowed each team access to three rounds of 30-minute slots, to engage with mentors from backgrounds in coding, product management, UX, marketing, and venture capital. Each team received feedback on their product with regards to design, sale-ability, scalability and concept etc. Finally, the evening closed with each team submitting a final status report on their final product and a 140-character description of the same.
Day 3 built up to the much-awaited final presentations, as each team showcased their product to a panel of judges for 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes of Q&A. The criteria for the same included:
- Business Model: Does the model have what it takes to succeed and scale?
- Customer Validation: Does the solution cater to a real need? Has the team validated the value proposition and gauge potential customers?
- Execution & Design: Is the team able to present a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)? Does the product deliver on a good user experience (UX)?
A platform to learn, network and create something original under the mentorship of heavyweights from London’s startup community, the LBS hackathon 2016 delivered its promise to be an action packed weekend, with the following results:
- The Fintech prize went to Team Merx, which developed a trusted compliance platform to connect purchasers in the Middle East (where e-commerce is severely limited by merchants) with global e-commerce.
- The Title prize went to Team Merchant Bot, which developed a chat bot that allowed e-commerce companies in the auto-insurance space to capture price sensitive customers, through dynamic online negotiation.