Finance-themed Tech Hackathon: Edinburgh Nov 2015


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It is an event which 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 event theme is financial technology so ideas pitched and products built will relate to financial services.  Event sponsors and mentors will be sourced from the finance and tech industries.

A few speakers 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.

While prizes will be awarded, remember that the point of a hackathon is to come together with other like-minded people to work on solving an interesting problem, share ideas and learn from each other.

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: We’ve had enquiries about minimum age requirements. If you are a developer under 18 and want to take part, please email so we can make the appropriate arrangements.



Location: TechCube, 1 Summerhall , Edinburgh EH9 1PL

Fri 20th Nov at 6.15pm

  • Networking drinks to open; food will be supplied; participants can meet each other and ask questions;
  • industry speakers; information about access to APIs; ideas pitched by participants, team formation and initial brainstorming;


  • 6.15pm: Drinks, food, chat with fellow participants, organisers, mentors and sponsors; ask questions, think about pitches
  • 7.00pm: Speakers from: Deloitte, Standard Life, Barclays Accelerator, miicard; APIs are presented and challenges are proposed
  • 7:30pm Attendees pitch ideas
  • 8.00pm: Teams form
  • 8.15pm: Teams submit their Group names, and roles for each team member
  • 8.30pm: Teams brainstorm and do prep for the next day

Sat 21st Nov at 9am – overnight (if you want to keep working)

  • Teams work on designs, build prototypes, speak to potential users, marketing; mentor sessions are made available to teams


  • 9am: Breakfast; and teams present their plans to the event organisers and mentors
  • 10am: Teams work on their designs/prototypes/marketing
  • 10am-12noon: Mentors are available for any questions/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 TBC

Sun 22nd Nov at 9am – 7pm

  • Teams finish work on prototype; prepare presentations; present to audience and panel of judges; judges verdict & prize giving; closing speeches; networking drinks


  • 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; prizes are awarded;
  • 6.00pm: Closing speeches
  • 6.15pm: Networking drinks




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


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.


  • Standard Life


At Standard Life we believe everyone should have a future to look forward to, and that means looking after our customers, our shareholders, and our people. We’re a long-term investment savings business. We endeavour to help people achieve more, live better and have confidence in their own futures. We specialise in asset management and long-term savings. We want to lead the way in helping people save and invest for their future, by offering the types of products and services that they need throughout their lives.

We have a passion for cutting-edge technology and leading industry innovation. It’s this energy that keeps our business moving forward towards our ultimate target – to be unrivalled leaders in the next generation of financial services.



TechCube is a world class space for technology startups in Edinburgh. It provides affordable office space, services and community support for companies trying to tackle big problems. Situated two minutes walk from the University of Edinburgh and directly adjacent to the Meadows, TechCube is at the heart of Edinburgh’s rapidly developing startup scene.


  • Amazon Web Services


Amazon Web Services provides startups with the low cost, easy to use infrastructure needed to scale and grow any size business. Some of the world’s hottest startups, including Airbnb, Spotify, and Dropbox, have leveraged the power of AWS to easily get started and quickly scale. AWS Activate is a free program designed to provide you with the resources needed to get started on AWS. Sign up today and get your ideas and your business powered-up with AWS.


StartEDIN is a community inclusive to Edinburgh which is focused on promoting the city’s dynamic tech ecosystem. The aim of StartEDIN is to create a collective of members as well as a wider network of companies in achieving and promoting a strong local ecosystem to retain and attract new talent to the city.

Edinburgh has a long and highly respected history of innovation, discoveries and investment and it is still the forefront of research and creation. StartEDIN is a collective of those businesses that want to voice this on an international stage, make a difference, grow the existing colourful tech scene and create an opportunity to tap into a wider pool of talent.

StartEDIN is motivated to promote the city’s thriving and vibrant ecosystem and launch it on a national and international stage, while also directing its focus on bringing awareness and support to its members by the sharing of skills, knowledge and contacts.

FreeAgent launched in 2007, hewn from the frustration that managing company finances was just too damn hard for most small businesses and freelancers. Since then we’ve doggedly stuck to our mantra of demystifying accounting and redefining the relationship people have with their finances.

FreeAgent provide an intuitive, jargon-free alternative to using complicated spreadsheets or rigid desktop software to manage your small business accounts. They put their customers in full control of their finances all through the year – from managing expenses and tracking time through to creating and sending invoices and estimates and running RTI-compliant payroll.

FreeAgent also make it easier to keep track of cashflow, see how much tax is due and file VAT, RTI and Self Assessment returns directly to HMRC.



Workpro is developed by CAS Ltd. The company has been developing software since 1969 (the first software company in Scotland we believe.) Workpro is ideal for any organisation looking to manage complaints, cases and issues more effectively, whether public sector or private industry. It is a case and complaints management product which can be adapted to meet the needs of all kinds of organisations.

Ensuring that firms treat their customers fairly is at the heart of our consumer protection agenda. It is vital that customers know that if something goes wrong, their complaint will be dealt with in a reasonable way and that they will get a fair outcome.



StartEDIN, FreeAgent, miiCard and Workpro Casework for Financial Services are sponsoring the travel and accommodation for 10 lucky applicants from Manchester to participate in the Edinburgh FinTech Hackathon!!  More




Robert McGill – Head of Digital Delivery at Standard Life


As Head of Digital, Robert is passionate about finding better ways of delivering change. Through his work at Standard Life he’s faced many of the challenges associated with embedding new methodologies and technologies in a large organisation. He is an ambassador for innovation and his broad focus extends from disruptive innovation to incremental improvements, from security to social media. By taking the learns from our own internal startup he is now scaling a highly capable digital team and strong external partnerships.


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.

Jessica Williamson – Director, Techstars

Jess Williamson Techstars Nov 2015

Jess is Global Programme Director for the Barclays Accelerator Powered by Techstars, working with startups across the financial services industry. Originally from California, she has spent over nine years in the UK with adventures including two startups in Scotland, joining to run Springboard accelerator in Cambridge, and merging to become Techstars London. With the FinTech accelerator now across four continents, she is based in the UK but works across Techstars programmes in London, NYC, Tel Aviv, and Cape Town.

  • @jessinblue

James Varga – CEO of miiCard

James Varga is the Founder and CEO of miiCard (My Internet Identity), the first Identity Service that can accurately prove a user’s true identity purely online.

Over his more than 20-year career in technology, James has held a number of senior level positions in marketing, technology and management roles. Most recently, he served as a co-founder and director of Money Dashboard, the UK’s leading personal finance management tool.  He also created beblu, the first mini-component computer system designed for the living room; led a knowledge assessment service; a digital agency for websites and financial service applications named lightershade; and founded Squarepeg, an eBusiness consultancy specializing in CRM and sales management.

  • miiCard:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Twitter: @jamesvarga
  • Website:


Dug Campbell – Product Manager, miiCard

Dug Campbell is fascinated by Bitcoin and the disruptive influence that the blockchain in all its forms will have on the future of business and society. A keen blogger (, he speaks regularly on the topic, helping organisations and financial institutions understand the potential of the technology. He has provided press commentary to BBC, STV and CNN amongst others and given a TEDx talk on the subject whilst also running the Scottish Bitcoin Meetup and founding the Scottish Bitcoin Conference.
After spending over a decade as a startup lawyer to technology entrepreneurs and investors, he became an independent digital strategy consultant, working with UK technology businesses including Skyscanner. When he’s not speaking about the blockchain to anyone who’ll listen, he works as Product Manager at miiCard, the Edinburgh-based FinTech startup that gives consumers control of their own identities online.



Mentors will be present from the following companies: Deloitte, miicard, The Infinite Kind, plus more.


While prizes will be awarded, remember that the point of a hackathon is to come together with other like-minded people to work on solving an interesting problem, share ideas and learn from each other.

Category: Best Insights App : £10,000 in Prizes  – Sponsored by Deloitte and miiCard

Online identity specialists miiCard, and Deloitte a recognised leader in analytic services, are working together to develop ways in which Deloitte Analytics can help provide additional insight on the rich financial transaction data that is accessed through miiCard’s customer onboarding and verification service DirectID.

We are looking for the best use of insights on the bank statement transaction data that comes through the DirectID API. How can we use consumer’s financial data to help with:

  •         Identifying fraud
  •         Managing risk and credit abuse
  •         Assessing affordability
  •         Highlighting emerging conduct risks or poor customer treatment
  •         Product matching
  •         Profile customer intent or predict future behaviours

With up to £10,000 in prizes for the winning team, this is a fantastic opportunity to build a finance app that delights customers and helps businesses make smarter decisions.

Prizes to the value of £10,000

  •      Take your idea forward with ongoing access to the DirectID API for 12 months and the first 1,000 transactions free
  •      Deloitte mentoring x 8 hours, across a range of SMEs
  •      miiCard mentoring x 4 hours
  •      Phantom 2 + H4-3D Drones x 2
  •      X8 AirWheels x 2
  •      The 21 Bitcoin Computer x 2
  •      Ultimaker to Go 3D printer x 1

Criteria – the app must use the DirectID API.

Click here for info on how to access the DirectID API.

Category: Most Developed Concept & Prototype : £1000 cash prize  – Sponsored by Standard Life

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.


  • Three months free access to hotdesks at a co-working space – Sponsored by Techcube.
  • 3 x Kindle Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8GB – Sponsored by Amazon Web Services.


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

Product ideas could cover the following areas plus much more:

  • Financial inclusion: products for with the unbanked
  • Online rewards: make these relevant and simplify signups
  • Financial education/literacy: tool to enhance knowledge and skills
  • Personal finance: tools to make financial mgnt easier
  • Hyperlocal transactions: helping small businesses and retailers improve digital payments
  • Cyber-security
  • Blockchain
  • Alternative lending
  • Plus lots more

The finance industry may have been resistant to the rapid, technology-driven changes that have turned other industries upside-down and inside out, but it can’t afford to be that anymore. Every area of financial services is being disrupted by new players in the digital space and this could change the way that we, as customers, live our lives and do business.

What changes would you like to see in the finance industry?  Can you think of processes that could be made more efficient, secure, transparent and inexpensive?

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 hackathon 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?
  9. Disrupting finance industry using blockchain tech:
  10. Why you should care about blockchain:

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 your future co-founders for the billion pound startup you may wind up creating
  • 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 a cool prize and recognition for your effort
  • To surprise yourself at how much you can achieve in 48hours!


APIs that will be available:

DirectID provided by miiCard


DirectID – Smart Decisions and Happy Customers

DirectID lets a consumers leverage the identity and data they have with their current bank to prove they are who they are and share information about them such as their certified bank statement purely online. Speeding the verification and onboarding process for a frictionless experience and using trusted bank data to make smarter business decisions, DirectID is enabling the next generation of finance applications in areas such as lending, payments, cryptocurrency and retail banking.

The DirectID API provides Live Bank Data. A customers connect to their online bank account, in a secure and read-only environment, to verify their identity and share bank statements. This helps businesses verify customers quickly, tailor products, make more accurate risk decisions and reduce fraud.

The service offers two key integration points, a Widget for capturing the data and a RESTful API to retrieve user data processed during the verification process.  Find out more at

Other APIs you could use;

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:

Blockchain APIs

Here’s a site with a list of blockchain APIs:  If you have an interest in blockchain technology then you could talk to Dug Campbell, who heads up the Edinburgh Bitcoin Meetup Group, on the opening night where he will speak on blockchain and disruption. There will be no mentors specifically to help with these APIs so we would advise that you are technically proficient, able to solve your own problems and confident/interested in blockchain if working with these APIs.  There has been a good update to the developer docs: