5 Reasons Why You Should Apply for the F10 FinTech Hackathon in Zurich Now

February 11, 2019

After having written successful Hackathon stories in Singapore and Vienna in fall 2018, the F10 FinTech Hackathon is coming to Zurich in March 2019! Zurich has established itself as vibrant finance technology hotspot both inside and outside of Switzerland and is the home of F10. We are excited to launch Europe’s biggest FinTech Hackathon in the city where it all started. Here are five reasons why you should hand in your application for the F10 FinTech Hackathon in Zurich now.

1. Develop business ideas with like-minded people

Are you fearless, eager to be challenged and ready to generate new ideas? Perfect! But we aim to take it one step further and transform the inputs into validated prototypes. Andrea Girasole is living proof that Hackathons are the place where game-changing ideas are born: Andrea was sent to the SIX Hackathon in Zurich by his then-employer in March 2017. F10 had played an integral part in designing and executing the legendary SIX Hackathon.Andrea’s Hackathon mission was to scout talented developers for the company he was working at. But everything turned out different: “One of the workshops offered at the Hackathon was about the digitalization of paper invoices. As I often forget to pay my invoices and was convinced that we have the technology to digitalize the invoicing process, this challenge appealed to me. My teammates and I came up with a good idea that the jury liked too. After the Hackathon, I was approached by SIX to develop the solution further.” Andrea ended up founding the Startup Billte and applying for the F10 “Prototype to Product” program. “As I knew there were 300 applications, I did not think that the probability of Billte being accepted into the program was very high. But as we made it into the Top 25, I resigned from my previous job and fully committed to Billte from then on.” Needless to mention that Andrea’s previous employer – who had made him participate in the Hackathon - was not thrilled about that decision. “I have never dreamed of having my own company, but when the potential of my Hackathon idea was recognized, I wanted to exploit it.” Ever since, Andrea has been successfully developing solutions to digitalize invoicing processes with his Startup.

Great prototypes will be rewarded at the F10 FinTech Hackathon in Zurich. The best performing team has the chance to win a Golden Ticket for the Top 25 of our Incubation Program in which Startups are being guided and supported on their journey from transforming business ideas and prototypes (that have for example been developed at the F10 FinTech Hackathon) into sellable products or services. The program members receive 6-months training in Zurich, in close collaboration with specialists and experts from various fields.Andrea advises everyone still hesitant to apply for the upcoming F10 FinTech Hackathon in Zurich to rid themselves of restraints, experiment with being an entrepreneur and realize their ideas: “There is nothing to be afraid of, it’s an opportunity to be taken!”

2. You may meet your future business partners

We are looking for talents beyond national borders to boost innovation in the finance industry. At the F10 FinTech Hackathon, attendants with backgrounds in tech, finance, banking, computer science, management and web design come together in Zurich, the vibrant FinTech hotspot inside and outside of Switzerland.Gino Wirthensohn and Jelena Jakovleva, co-founders of the RegTech Startup Riskifier, had met during the SIX Hackathon in March 2017 and founded a Startup together after the Hackathon: “Even though each of us was planning to start their own business back then, the trigger to go further with Riskifier was the Golden Ticket for the final round of the F10 “Prototype to Product” program that we won at the SIX Hackathon. From that moment on, life changed into 24 hours of commitment to the Startup. For some of us this meant relocation to Switzerland and quitting ongoing commitments, for others saying goodbye to the stable Swiss banking corporate job. Later in the summer of 2017 we joined the F10 Accelerator Program, during the second half of which we incorporated the company.”

3. Learn something new

Spend 48 hours with us to transform innovative ideas into validated prototypes and gain valuable insights into the worldwide FinTech sector. Find new ways to approach actual problems of the finance industry and be disruptive. Hackathon participants are invited to solve real-life challenges or realize their own ideas. Sponsors, mentors and F10 team members will provide tips and insights into relevant topics during mentoring sessions and workshops.Build complementary skills teams to benefit as much as possible from each team member’s talents and abilities. Learn from your teammates and exchange knowledge with people from other countries and continents. At the end of the F10 FinTech Hackathon, you can practice pitching and present your idea in front of a constructive-minded audience.

4. Contribute to the ongoing revolution in banking and finance

Changing customer demands, digitalization and globalization: the global finance industry is undergoing far-reaching changes with banking being one of the sectors that are most affected by this transformation. “Advances in security and verification will enable all aspects of sales, service and delivery to be conducted online. Technology is making it easier for customers to switch banks, making relationships much less sticky”, a PwC study states. This means that banks’ target markets are no longer “defined by its physical footprint, but by its technology, regulatory boundaries and marketing budget”. The PwC experts forecast growth in the importance of smart devices and predict that it will take its place alongside cards as the primary medium for consumer payment.Demographic changes provide opportunities for growth and require innovation to develop new products and services. Developed-market populations are ageing, driving focus towards savings and investment and away from credit and consumption. Customer expectations are being reshaped by interactions outside of the banking industry, according to the PwC study. The next generations of customers want the type and quality of service they receive from sectors that place significant focus on customer experience. Also, an increasing number of women is heading households. They are controlling wealth and spending and becoming the primary earners. Market observers agree that most banks have recognized the need to deepen customer relationships. FinTech offers financial institutions opportunities to improve user experience and customer relationship management.One example for new banking models conquering Europe is the German mobile bank N26 with more than 2.3 million users in 24 countries. N26 enables users to manage their bank accounts directly from smartphones. When the mobile bank announced their entry into the Swiss market in October 2018, N26 attracted a high level of media attention.“Many have predicted the fall of the traditional bank, as disruptive new entrants win share by offering a better customer experience through new products and channels. Yet, despite the emergence of new competitors and models, we believe the traditional bank has a bright future – the fundamental concept of a trusted institution acting as a store of value, a source of finance and as a facilitator of transactions is not about to change”, the authors of the PwC study mentioned above conclude.Recognize the opportunities of FinTech at the F10 FinTech Hackathon in Zurich and help shaping the future of banking and finance.

5. Spend an unforgettable weekend with us

Develop business ideas, acquire new skills, network with other visionaries and enjoy tasty midnight snacks with interesting people within one weekend! Despite the ambitious goal of fostering innovation in the finance sector within 48 hours at the F10 FinTech Hackathon in Zurich, we want to provide the participants an opportunity to escape daily life and have a great time. Therefore, we not only offer demanding challenges, workshops and input sessions, but also fun activities, delicious food and space to recharge your batteries.The feedback from the first F10 FinTech Hackathons in Singapore and Vienna in fall 2018 overwhelmed us with an overall rating of 9.8 out of 10! Gordan and Mihajlo from Serbia spent exciting and insightful 48 hours with us in Vienna: "As two software developers, we had participated in Hackathons before. However, the organization of the F10 FinTech Hackathon was impressive. The F10 team was always supportive and giving valuable feedback." What Mihajlo appreciated most was the "opportunity to discuss our idea with people from a variety of backgrounds".

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