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Jorg Fischer ( Full image set)
News 5 Sep 2023

Standard Bank hosts 9th Annual Group-wide Hackathon

Standard Bank Group will host its 9th annual Kuunda Disrupt Hackathon. This dynamic two-day event is geared towards harnessing the creative power of its people to tackle client pain points. These solutions will harness cutting-edge technology while aligning with Standard Bank’s digital strategies and core values.

“As the event enters its 9th iteration, it underscores the bank's steadfast dedication to nurturing innovation to solve real client challenges creating solutions that are not only technically brilliant but also socially relevant and impactful”, says Jörg Fischer, Group Chief Information Officer of the Standard Bank Group. The event further emphasises the importance of innovation and collaboration in devising client-centric solutions.

Citing research from the international organisation Hackearth, it is evident that over 80% of Fortune 100 companies have embraced hackathons as a strategic cornerstone for fostering innovation. Notably, more than half of these hackathons have evolved into recurring events.

Adapting to the crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Standard Bank Group demonstrated agility by transitioning its 2020 and 2021 Group Hackathons into virtual formats. In 2022, a successful hybrid model was adopted. In a notable move, this year's hackathon is set to return as a full-fledged in-person event.

With a legacy spanning 161 years of serving clients and championing economic development across Africa, the Standard Bank Group is poised to leverage this rich heritage. The institution maintains an unswerving commitment to generating novel solutions and forging fresh partnerships to enhance client experiences.

The current edition of the hackathon had a record breaking 274 ideas submitted from across Africa. From these, the top 42 teams consisting of 229 hackers have been selected to participate in the Hackathon.

During the initial judging phase, these teams will present their client-focused solutions to an experienced panel of judges, which will subsequently narrow the field down to 15 finalist teams. The ultimate stage will see these top 15 teams competing in front of a panel of experts, passionately pitching their refined solutions.

Each participating team is bound by four pivotal criteria for their proposals. The proposal submission must be anchored in a cloud platform. Secondly, they must leverage one of the organization's contracted hyper scalers to establish real-time connections with clients.   Thirdly, the idea should align to the Standard Bank Group's Strategic Value Drivers. Lastly, the envisioned outcomes should ideally lead to improved costs and efficiency, and an enhanced client experience.

Fischer concluded that “This hackathon is an extension of our commitment to drive Africa’s growth, challenge the status quo and to disrupt conventional thinking”.

This annual event is open to all employees across all levels within the Standard Bank Group including both permanent and contracted. This encompasses South Africa, Africa Regions, International, Stanlib, and Liberty. Prizes will be generously awarded to the top three teams, with the winners poised to be announced on the last day of the event on September 6th.