PayPal, the global leader in online payments, announced the winners of its annual two-day Opportunity Hack today. Held on November 12 and 13, 2016, the hackathon saw participation from 15 NGOs focusing on the economic empowerment of underprivileged sections of society. Over 150 developers also participated in the hackathon to create tech-based solutions for challenges faced by the non-profit organizations, clocking nearly 5,400 hours of non-stop coding.
The team supporting the NGO Gramium won the hackathon for their simple, yet innovative solution, taking home the grand prize worth INR 1,20,000. The team for the nonprofit Child was declared the runner up, while that representing Surabi Trust won the Best Use of Technology award. The winning NGO also received a cash prize of INR 20,000, while the runner up NGO received INR 10,000 to help put their solutions to action.
“Opportunity Hack brings together our vast base of enthusiastic employees and engages the larger developer community in the country, challenging them to use their skills to help nonprofits overcome their most pressing real-world problems with executable and results-oriented tech-based solutions. This year, we once again witnessed the enthusiasm and the tremendous collaborative spirit such a platform can engender, with some highly innovative prototypes being created to help the participating NGOs take their social causes forward and make a sustainable impact on our society,” said Guru Bhat, GM Technology & Head of Engineering - PayPal.
The winning solutions this year included:
• An alert mechanism for Gramium that notifies the loan taker about loan payment dues and deadline, helping the NGO scale and reduce defaulter events • A donor management system through a web and mobile app that allows the NGO Child to onboard new donors and analyse donation patterns using heuristic data so that the NGO can financially plan for an activity as well as establish an emotional connect with the donors through personalized greetings and by allowing them to track their proceedings • Web apps for students, mentors, and administrators to help Surabhi Trust overcome administrative challenges and enhance the quality of education being offered to underprivileged children
After the completion of the hackathon P. Narayanan, Director, Gramium said, “This year was our first experience at an event such as the Opportunity Hack and we value all the hard work that went into executing it. As an organization focusing on providing micro-financing for underprivileged communities, we appreciate the team’s efforts towards understanding our unique challenges and creating solutions that can help us overcome them. The larger benefit from the Opportunity Hack goes beyond the hackathon. The team’s commitment to continue working with us to ensure the proper execution of the prototype, along with the long-term contacts we made within the larger developer /NGO community, will help our efforts in creating a more financially inclusive future for our society. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Opportunity Hack team as well as with PayPal in the years to come.”