SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., Dec. 13, 2022 -- Virtusa Corporation, a global provider of digital strategy, digital engineering, and information technology (IT) services and solutions that help clients change and disrupt markets through innovation engineering, sponsored the Emirates NBD FutureHack Hackathon at the 2022 Gitex Global DevSlam event in Dubai with Amazon Web Services (AWS), who provided organizational and infrastructure support.
FutureLab™ is Emirates NBD's strategic think tank and testing center, dedicated to creating new solutions that can benefit their clients and respond to their ever-evolving business needs. FutureHack 2022 was powered by Virtusa's Open Innovation Platform (OIP) hosted on the recently launched AWS Middle East (UAE) Region. Virtusa's OIP connects banks and financial services firms with third-party FinTechs to accelerate digital transformation. Using the Open Innovation Platform, customers can improve their competitive edge and keep up with the expectations of their customers.
The 2022 FutureHack Hackathon organized by Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey (MEANT) region and sponsored by Virtusa, was aimed to tap innovative talent and foster the culture of competitiveness and best use of emerging technologies to develop industry-leading solutions and Proof of Concepts (POCs). AWS also sponsored by providing the hosting infrastructure for the Virtusa OIP Platform that was used for the hackathon. The challenge statements provided by Emirates NBD were focused on Seamless Smart Payments, SME Simplified, and Monetizing Your Data. The hackathon attracted participation from over 50+ teams comprising 250+ hackers across the globe.
"It was great to witness teams travelling from across the continents to participate in the FutureHack," said Ashish Devalekar, Managing Director and Head of UK, Europe, and Middle East, Virtusa. "The solutions and POCs demonstrated were aligned with emerging trends, demonstrating the depth of talent and new opportunities in the industry. The top 3 solutions were focused on digitization, open banking, and cloud, showcasing a scope for scale and industrialization."
The participants leveraged SmartBank Open APIs on Payments and SME lending, available on the Open Innovation Platform, to curate end-to-end solutions for the challenge statements, during the Pre-Hack period from October 5th - 11th, 2022.
The Hack-day on October 12th, with a booth at the Gitex Global DevSlam Event, 2022, saw the physical presence of approximately 100 participants, with the rest of the participants joining virtually, where the participants received expert advice from a team of mentors from Emirates NBD bank, HackMasters, and Virtusa. The mentors shortlisted eight teams, evaluating them on parameters such as POC demo, pitch, presentation, usability, solution fit per the challenge statement, and innovation, among others. The shortlisted teams presented a demo of their pitches to the judging panel from Emirates NBD, HackMasters, and Virtusa.
Miguel Rio Tinto, Group Chief Information Officer, Emirates NBD, said, "As a bank that has always been committed to driving innovation in the region, we strive to create opportunities for young talent to demonstrate their digital capabilities while encouraging innovation. With the support of our partners Virtusa and AWS, we provided the world's brightest tech minds a platform to develop and showcase their creative solutions. We look forward to the possibility of working with some of these bright minds in the future to support our digital journey."
Hemant Julka, SVP Head of Fintech and Partnerships, Emirates NBD, added, "It was a great experience to work closely with Virtusa, AWS, and HackMasters, to make FutureHack 2022 a success, with participation from hackers across the globe. We were pleased to see the creative and futuristic ideas brought to the table by the participating teams, each having the potential to get deployed in large-scale transformation programs."
The winning teams collectively received cash prizes worth 18,000 USD, an Oculus VR set, a London trip, and other goodies. The winning team has also begun incubating its ideas further and exploring career development opportunities and vacancies at Emirates NBD.