Team of Pinoy students wins global fintech hackathon in New York

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A team composed of Filipino students bested more than 1,000 developers and data scientists from around the world to emerge triumphant in a major fintech hackathon held recently in New York.

Photo shows Wondertech team members (from left) Michael Puzon, Vaniza Dagangon, Clyde Palattao, and John Robert Tubale. (Credit: fintechnews.sg)

Team “WonderTech” from the Philippines won the grand prize in “Hack to the Future”, a global hackathon organized by fintech software company Finastra where participants use the open development platform FusionFabric.cloud.

The Manila-based team was selected for the top honor for its ‘Agree Farm App’ from among five category winners at Finastra Universe New York.

The app, which aims to connect rural farmers in the Philippines with access to bank loans, was chosen by an audience of senior professionals representing financial institutions. Using Finastra’s payment APIs, in combination with third-party industry APIs, the team built the working prototype in just a few weeks

Team ‘WonderTech’ consisted of four young professionals and university students: Michael Puzon, Vaniza Dagangon, John Robert Tubale, and Clyde Palattao.

More than 1,000 individuals, including data scientists, developers, and engineers, from across 38 countries participated in the hackathon. Inventing over 240 innovative new apps, the hackathon teams harnessed new technologies, with more than 40% of the hackathon submissions using Machine Learning.

“Congratulations to Team ‘WonderTech’ for developing an app that helps provide vital financial services to those who have traditionally been unbanked or underbanked,” said Shuki Licht, chief innovation officer at Finastra.

“Fintech is one of the hottest growth and innovation areas, with some serious investment from banks, private equity, VC and government. ‘Team WonderTech’ and all of the category winners have demonstrated an incredible ability to understand the needs of the market and have shown that the future of finance is truly open.”

The five category winners will have the opportunity to continue refinement of their apps, for promotion in Finastra’s FusionStore.

The complete list of category-winning apps includes:

  • Future of Capital Markets: Stratl
  • Future of Corporate Banking: Accenture, with IN-CRE-D (Intelligent Credit Decisioning using AI) app
  • Future of Payment & Banking for a Better Future: WonderTech, with Agree Farm App
  • Future of Retail Banking: ING, with Financial Assistant on FB Messenger app
  • Best App by an Established Fintech: Manager.one
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