The Digital Leaders of Tomorrow: Throwback to the LTS Hackathon weekend with Visicred
What does the bank of the future look like? This is the question that was addressed to the 27 students of the Luxembourg Tech School, gathered for a hackathon weekend hosted by the LHoFT Foundation, supported by Digital Lëtzebuerg and Temenos Group.
The students, split into 7 teams, competed over the weekend to create the most compelling vision for a bank of the future. We asked Fabien Schanet, Sarah Faber, Raphael Proneca and Jil Kess from the first prize winning team Visicred how they enjoyed the weekend, tackled this difficult question, and what excites them about the future of financial technology.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and the LTS? What motivated you to be part of this event?
Our group consisted of four 18-year-old students, attending their last year of High School in Luxembourg. We are two girls, Jil Kess and Sarah Faber, and two boys, Rafael Proneca and Fabien Schanet. Although we go to different schools and chose different areas of interest, we were all told about the new project — Luxembourg Technology School — which seemed extremely innovative an interesting to us.
The frightening evolution of technology and the significant numbers of jobs being replaced by robots is what makes us attempt to keep up with it. The three modules (Game Developing, Big Data and Fintech) with their great events such as pitch competitions at the Technoport, ICT Spring, and the hackathon at the LHoFT made the project sound like a unique challenging opportunity, something we are constantly looking for.
Describe your project Visicred, and what you tried to achieve during this Hackathon?
Visicred aims to simplify the loan procedure which, seemingly antiquated, remains particularly complicated. People spend an unnecessary amount of time preparing their personal loan application without being clearly aware of their loan capacity. When refused, both banks and the person in need of money waste time and effort.
We strongly believe a solution to this problem can be found in our fast-paced technological evolution. In fact, through our app, people would only have to send in their traditional data once, which is then analysed and compared to their digital footprints. With this package, containing a vast variety of important information and personal data we algorithmically form an individual profile. This profile entails a corresponding loan capacity which is then distributed to the user in a structured and clear manner. This procedure has a further advantage: Since the package can easily be transferred to several banks, the user can obtain his loan capacity information from all requested banks in only one easy step.
Which other products or companies did you look at for inspiration?
During the hackathon, we could hardly find any other businesses with the exact same idea. However, we have recently discovered Kreditech, who seem to have similar goals which they are about to transform into reality in a cleverly innovative and very interesting way. We admire this execution of matters and hope to get inspired.
What was the biggest challenge you faced as a team during the hackathon?
The most significant challenge was remaining realistic with our idea. Since
Fintech was new to us, it was not evident to find implementable solutions to
complex problems. Hence, we worked on becoming more familiar with the
current credit procedure before getting to the realisation of our idea; a very time consuming beginning to our project. In addition, we were working on unfamiliar grounds in preparing a whole concept, app simulation and pitch in only 21 hours. The time pressure we had to deal with made it even more nerve-racking.
However, working as a team, drawing from a variety of different skills and
specialised fields of expertise from individual group members, we believe that we managed to deliver a relatively great performance.
What input did you get from the mentors over the course of the weekend?
It is hard to say which mentoring conversation was the most helpful, because every single professional helped us to gain a clearer overview of the complexity of our subject. We were lucky to have had an interesting discussion with Melvin Tjon Akon who is, amongst other things, specialised in financial regulation, a chapter we had many unanswered questions about. Especially in moments of frustration arising from time pressure, it was relieving to hear reassuring words about being on the right track.
What do you think is the biggest challenge regarding the digital transformation we are facing today?
It is crazy how complicated and old-fashioned some procedures still tend to be. With innovative projects in Fintech we believe that financial services can be completely revolutionised. Seeing what great and helpful ideas creative people come up with around the world is what excites us the most. The hackathon was a great opportunity for us to form our own idea of the Fintech evolution as well as getting in contact with very interesting people whom we could present our own ideas.