Every hackathon is different and as we conclude the Asia Pacific series with our last stop in Singapore, we can now look back to all the elements that made these a success.
First of all, the numbers are impressive and Hong Kong and Singapore sold out early in the process. As we are getting ready for our next journey to Sao Paulo (also sold out), we can clearly see amazing ideas and a momentum building.
Secondly, the quality of the teams competing is clearly among the top. And the most amazing part is that some of them didn’t know each other before the event. The pitch and forming of the team is always a great moment to watch. User experience experts always seem to be in high demand. The composition of a team seems to also gravitate around specific programing languages and to consolidate around how to make the idea into a reality in less than 24 hours.
Furthermore, we have been honored to have some awesome and inspiring keynote speakers, starting in Sydney with Ann Cairns, MasterCard President of International Markets, Florence Hui, Under Secretary for Home Affairs in Hong Kong and lastly Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of IDA in Singapore.
Speakers help set the tone of the event but judges also bring a level of expertise and a diversity of views important in the selection of the winning team. We are already seeing some success stories beyond the events with teams receiving interest from industry leaders hoping to transform their ideas into a start-up. This has always been the purpose set by MasterCard at the start of the Masters of Code. Even if a team doesn’t reach the Grand Finale, they should all have a chance to take their idea to the next stage. And so far, there have been a lot of good ideas.
Another aspect has been to carefully select themes and challenges for each region. This has been visible in some of the projects leveraging the local fabrics of a country to solve a common problem. With the series moving into a new location, we can’t wait to see what will come up and what ideas will make it to the finale in Silicon Valley.
To support all of the above, the prizes in each region have been more than well received and became one of the key elements that helped us reach maximum capacity at our events. One of the most critical benefits has been the mentoring opportunities and access to MasterCard executives at each event.
Lastly, the Masters of Code would not be without the dedicated support of the MasterCard team from start to finish. The relentless hours put in by the regional teams and our partner AngelHack made it the success it is. The Ben and Rod of this world, you know who you are!
And now, may we wish good luck to the regional champions so far – Cointr, AhHa! (aka MasterYourCard) and One Small Step – as they move forward to compete in the Masters of Code Grand Final in Silicon Valley in December!