Finance Hackathon: Edinburgh April 2016



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Fin-tech means financial technology.  This event will see software developers, designers and marketers converge to pitch ideas to each other, form teams, design and build products and present these to a carefully selected panel of judges – all within 48hours!  The hackathon theme is finance so ideas pitched and products built will relate to financial services.  For this event we encourage you to focus on ideas around financial inclusion and designing finance products for millennials. 

A speaker will open the event on the Friday night; mentors will be made available to all teams on Saturday; and a panel of judges will be invited to assess the teams on the Sunday.  For the rest of the time, teams will be busy working: designing, coding, researching, as well as (hopefully) laughing, making friends, and laying solid foundations for future professional relationships.

Intellectual Property:

  • Any designs created, code written, products built, presentations, marketing material etc created during the hackathon will belong to creators of the codes/designs/content .  
  • Any tools or data sets supplied by sponsor/partner companies, will belong to those companies.
  • Teams that wish to continue working with specific data sets/tools supplied will be responsible for negotiating with the relevant organisation after the hackathon.  
  • Sponsors/partners interested in code/designs/content created during the hackathon will be responsible for negotiating with the creators.  

This paragraph is not exhaustive but it serves to highlight our position on the subject as organisers of this event.  

Under 18s: If you are a developer under 18 and want to take part, please email and we will see if we are able to make the appropriate arrangements.



Location:  Saltire Court – 20 Castle Terrace Edinburgh EH1 2DB GB


Fri 1st April at 6.15pm – midnight

  • 6.15pm: Drinks, food, chat with fellow participants, organisers, mentors and sponsors; ask questions, think about pitches
  • 7.00pm: Key speaker and sponsors address audience; APIs are presented and challenges are proposed
  • 8.00pm: Short break
  • 8.15pm: Attendees pitch ideas
  • 8.45pm: Teams form
  • 9.00pm: Teams submit their Group names, and roles for each team member
  • 9.15pm: Teams brainstorm and do prep for the next day
  • Venue closing time: midnight

Sat 2nd April at 9am – midnight

  • 9am: Breakfast; and teams present their plans to the event organisers and mentors
  • 10am: Teams work on their designs/prototypes/marketing
  • 10am-12noon: Mentors available for any advice
  • 1pm: Light lunch served
  • 2pm: Teams get back to work; mentors are available for any questions/advice
  • 4pm: Teams provide status update to organisers and mentors
  • 6pm: Dinner served and then teams continue working
  • Venue closing time: midnight

Sun 3rd April at 9am – 7pm

  • 9.00am: Breakfast; and teams provide status update to organisers
  • 12noon: Lunch, and dress rehearsal for presentations
  • 4.00pm: Teams present to judges: consisting of 5min presentations and 5mins of Q&A
  • 5.00pm: Judges deliberate; refreshments are served
  • 5.30pm: Judges’ verdict; any prizes are awarded;
  • 6.00pm: Closing speeches
  • 6.15pm: Networking drinks
  • Venue closing time: 7pm

Email if you have any questions.




The Data Lab is an innovation centre focused on helping Scottish industry to capitalise on a growing market opportunity in data science in Scotland.  It enables industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from big data.


miiCard provides global, consumer-centric online identity verification services – the miiCard digital passport and DirectID – that can be relied on in the same way as a physical ID check. We reduce friction for both consumers and businesses by replacing a process that normally takes hours with a quick and easy online experience. By leveraging the banks as a trusted data source to prove real identities and putting control in the hands of the consumer, miiCard makes today’s transactions faster, easier and stronger. Headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland miiCard is available in over 30 countries and can verify over 500 million people today.



Deloitte in Scotland delivers audit, consulting, corporate finance and tax services to many leading businesses. Our approach combines insight and innovation from multiple disciplines, with business and industry knowledge, to help our clients excel anywhere in the world.



More than just another recruitment business

In a field saturated by many lookalike recruitment consultancies, MBN is a truly different business.  Priding ourselves on values of deep, real subject matter knowledge in the Data Science, Big Data, Analytics and Technology space, a passionate approach to developing our own consultants and a strategy placing our clients at the heart of our business, MBN are a true market defining ‘People Solutions’ business.


Administrate is a training management solution that saves training providers time and money by streamlining their day-to-day administration. Training companies and departments use our products to increase bookings, manage their operations, and deliver exceptional learning.  Every day our customers (on 6 continents and over 25 countries) use our system to deliver education around the world.

FNM logo is 241x90 pixels 241pixels

Finmeccanica is among the largest global players in Aerospace, Defence and Security.  Finmeccanica is multinational and multicultural and is renowned for its technological excellence. Helicopters, Electronics and Defence, Security, Aeronautics and Space Systems are the core business of our Company.

In 2015 Finmeccanica recorded revenues of about EUR 13 billion and orders for about EUR 12.4 billion. The annual investment in Research and Development is 11% of revenues. The technological excellence of our products has made us not only a global competitor, but also a reliable partner in many important international projects. The following are only a few examples of partnerships that Finmeccanica has established with leading global players in Aerospace, Defence and Security: Eurofighter Typhoon, B787 Dreamliner, ATR, Joint Strike Fighter, Superjet 100, Galileo, the International Space Station, FREMM, NH90, NATO AGS.






Kate Ho – Senior Product Manager – Freeagent – will talk about mobile product design and what to consider when designing for millennials


Kate Ho is a Senior Product Manager at FreeAgent, one of the UK’s largest, most popular online accountancy software providers. She’s passionate about creating user experiences that engage and delight people. Previously, she was Head of Product in the Digital Public Services team at the Scottish Government, and founded education apps company, Tigerface Games.

Kent Mackenzie – Director, Deloitte (Edinburgh)


Kent is a Director in Deloitte’s Edinburgh practice. He has spent over 12 years in a range of financial services roles and has a passion for FinTech, data and advanced analytics.  Kent leads Deloitte’s Risk Analytics practice in Scotland and has worked with a number of local, national and international clients to support and develop tech and data solutions to support in managing financial crime, regulatory compliance (‘RegTech’), credit risk, and collections & recoveries.  Kent also leads Deloitte’s work with IBM in developing the next generation of risk intelligence solutions.

Mirren Fisher – UX Designer, Sapient Nitro – will talk about user experience in financial services.



Mirren is currently working on a project with Scottish Widows; she previously worked on projects with Royal Bank of Scotland.


Devon Walshe – Glasgow City Council – will talk about a project he is working on that aims to widen financial inclusion.

© Christopher Rubey, 2014 -

An experienced technologist whose focus is data, design and the human side of technology, Devon has been involved in a wide variety of projects as a business owner, digital transformation strategist, community developer and technical lead. He started his first business in 2007, a web-to-print digital media company with a monthly audience over 60,000.

He also co-founded Scotland’s first privately funded technology incubator, TechCube, and co-produced a two year, nationwide prototyping programme, Sync, aimed at supporting technology in the creative industries in Scotland.  He is a frequent collaborator on technical projects, web applications, big data projects, is an active mentor and teacher in the creative and technology sector. 

Devon is currently working with Glasgow City Council on their £100m+ transformation program.




Mentors will be present from the following companies: Deloitte, The Infinite Kind, Administrate, Freeagent, and more .


Category: Most Developed Concept & Prototype : prize TBC

Have you come up with a brilliant idea using technology to make life simpler, easier or more fun? Have you designed an imaginative solution to a clearly defined problem? This category is for participants who have come up with a great idea, explored the concept and built a prototype of part or all of their concept.


What sort of ideas should be pitched / fit within the FinTech theme?

There are two main areas that we will encourage participants to consider during the weekend:  products to improve financial inclusion; and designing financial products for millennials.  However, you may work on any idea so long as it is finance-related and you are part of a team with at least 3 people. Additionally there may be challenges supplied by companies that you are welcome to tackle if you prefer.


Financial inclusion

Last year, a World Bank report had the number of ‘unbanked’ adults in the world at 2 billion! That’s two billion who are underserved or excluded by the existing financial services infrastructure.  These people may not have access to bank accounts, be able to apply for loans, or have the financial literacy or tools required to adequately manage personal finances.

With so many left marginalised from access to financial services, tech companies have seen an opportunity to take the lead and disrupt the finance sector by designing and delivering services in a smarter and more inclusive way.

For example, companies like Aire are looking at new ways to establish credit histories – necessary for those who are new to a country and don’t have appropriate credit scores and struggle to access basic services. Companies like Prodigy Finance and CommonBond are making it easier for international students to access loans to pay for further studies like MBAs by considering future earning potential in the decision making process. 

Sending money back home to family in other countries has typically been a time-consuming, inconvenient and expensive process.  Some of the lowest earners are losing chunks of their income just by moving it around. New companies are making it easier for people to send money abroad to families and friends without having to go to a branch, and at a fraction of the cost.  

These are just some examples of areas where companies are using technology to make financial services more inclusive.  Can you identify a trend at the grassroots level and then use technology to amplify and accelerate it?  



Designing finance products for millennials

Apparently most millennials would rather see their dentist than deal with their banks!  All four of the big banks are in the top 10 least loved brands by millennials.  Furthermore,  73% of millenials would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from a tech company like Apple or Google than from their own banks.

So what exactly is it that millennials want in a financial partner?  What should finance products aimed at millennials look like?  Facebook mined conversations from its millennial users and came up with some insights about how millennials relate to financial services, what they want from banking providers and where the industry could have the most impact.

Millennials’ financial priorities are reducing debt and saving for the future. They want financial partners to understand them.  They want to be recognised and rewarded for their loyalty (who doesn’t?!).  And they want transparency/honesty. Products for millennials should be easy to use and convenient.  Banks should take a mobile centric approach.

The size of the opportunity here is huge.  There is yet to be a Google or Facebook in the financial sector.  App-only, challenger bank Mondo is an example of a fin-tech startup that is aspiring to be just that.  

Take a look at the full Facebook report to help get some ideas on the sorts of product ideas you could pitch or help build during the next Edinburgh finance-themed hackathon.


Why should you as a designer/developer/marketer participate?

To make the world a more efficient, easy and exciting place to navigate.  Fintech could change the way we live our lives and do business.  Other reasons to participate are:

  • To use the skills that you don’t get to show off at your current day job
  • To meet potential hirers
  • To meet more of your peers, make like-minded friends and professional acquaintances
  • To gain startup experience
  • To add a new project to your portfolio
  • To win recognition from your peers for your effort
  • To meet your future co-founders for the billion pound startup you may wind up creating one day
  • To surprise yourself at how much you can achieve in 48hours!


Additional reading (optional): These links offer information about how tech is changing financial services and may help you come up with ideas that you’d like to work on or pitch at our event.

  1. A good table on emerging Fintech business models taken from Fintec Futures (a UK Gov report)
  2. 2015 Banking Trends:
  3. Disrupting traditional finance:
  4. What do the 17 hottest financial tech companies in Britain do?
  5. More examples of companies that are helping to reshape the finance industry:
  6. “‘the biggest areas of FinTech investment for top VCs since 2007 are the following: payments, personal finance management, lending, and bitcoin.”
  7. Slides from a recent financial technology conference in Scotland:
  8. What do the 25 top financial tech companies in the world do?


APIs that will be available:

Moneydance API (details to follow shortly)

Open Bank Project APIs:  The Open Bank Project provides an open source developer friendly “API for banks” that developers and companies can use to build innovative applications and services based on the account holders transaction data.  Information for developers:  If you have any technical questions when using these APIs you may direct them to:

You will not be restricted to using specific APIs at our event – use whatever you can get your hands on!