Three students from the College of Engineering in Pune won HackD 2016 – Code for a Cause Hackathon organized by Envestnet India last month. Out of 40 teams competing from reputed colleges all over India, including IITs and NITs, 10 teams were shortlisted for the final 24-hour hackathon round at Envestnet office in Trivandrum. The team of Ajit Rajurkar, Reshul Dani and Jay Lohokare from College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) won the competition and Rs. 3 lakh prize money for their innovative personalized credit scoring system for the finance sector. Winning a competition of this scale is a dream for every engineering student. Team buzzingg contacted the trio to know their success story.
The winners developed an innovative personalized credit scoring system based on alternative and inclusive scoring mechanisms like bill payment and social media scores, divulging from the traditional credit scoring models that may limit financial inclusion – statement by Envestnet India
It all started when Jay, Resul and Ajit received a mail on their college email id informing about a national level Hackathon in which only few prestigious colleges were going to participate. Theme for the competition was Fintech and Healthcare Domain and problem statements were given by the organisers. Only one team of final year students was allowed to represent a college in this event. The trio, who have already won many accolades in hackathons in the past was the unanimous choice to represent CoEP for the event. Apart from strong technical knowledge, each member brought unique skills on the table that made their team complete. Ajit has good command on coming up with innovative solutions to problems, Reshul’s expertise is in converting solutions into reality and Jay can present and convince the jury members very effectively.
Laurels won by this team in the past
Pune digital Hackathon (3rd prize), Avaya smart Project competition (Runner- up), Barclays hackathon (top 5), Honeywell mobility hackathon (3rd prize)
Before the hackathon finals, the teams were asked to submit Synopsis of their solutions and only 10 teams were going to be selected for the final showdown in Trivandrum. The CoEP team’s problem statement was to create a solution that will tell customers about their CREDIT SCORE which is to be calculated using new parameters that are currently not used by the existing system. The team did extensive research, went through papers and learned how existing system works. They came up with new ways to improve this system, decided technologies that can be used to realise their solution and also learned those technologies. They were having their exams around the submission date so they had to put extra efforts in order to prepare for the competition, handling both academics and event. However, their hard work paid off and they made it to the top 10 and were called to Trivandrum for the finals.
For the finals, the team’s strategy was simple – First complete what they thought of and make it working and after that, if time permits, add new features. The 24-hour hackathon started at 1030 AM on 16 Oct. During the competition, it was all tense situation as other teams were equally good and confident about their solution. What made matters little complicated was also that, after the first review on Day 1, the CoEP team was little dejected because it didn’t go well. At one time, around 3 AM on 17 Oct, all of them were feeling very sleepy and tired. But then they had a little pep talk over a strong coffee, pulled their sleeves and decided to give their best shot without worrying about the result. On second day, early in the morning, they were ready with the first cut of their solution. Then they came up with a new feature, coded it and implemented in their solution, taking it a step further than what they first decided.
To prepare for this event there were many sleepless nights and juggling between the academics and preparation. We had to bunk our lectures and also our exams – Reshul Dani on efforts put up by the team
Best 4 days of my life. Bunked college exams, came all the way from Pune for this competition, gave our best and after all the efforts here we are, on top of the world. I’m very happy – Ajit Rajurkar on winning the competition
This can change how credit score system works in India as well as other countries. We can replace organizations like CIBIL with our solution. We already have some financial companies asking for a presentation and Business plan so that they can fund us – Jay Lohokare on future prospects of their solution
After pitching their solution to the judges, the team was were very happy with their performance. There were only two Prizes to be awarded for the event – Winner and Runner-up. The Organisers first announced the name of the Runner -up team – NIT Trichy and then before announcing the winner, they asked all to guess the name of winning team. Those were some anxious moments! When their name was announced as the Winner, team CoEP was ecstatic! They called their dear ones to inform them about their success. When we asked about how did they celebrate their win, Ajit said with a smile, “We went straight to our hotel rooms and caught up on sleep as we were sleepless for around 40 hours !”