RHB Bank (Cambodia) Plc announced the winners of the first ever “Build On, Cambodia 2021 Hackathon”, with the judges highly impressed with the standard of innovations from the young talent taking part.
A hundred and seventy university students in 58 teams were over six weeks of frenetic activity whittled down to just one – with Team Kak declared the winners on May 28.
Jointly hosted by RHB Bank and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the competitive hackathon was held with the aim of challenging the community to create technological initiatives and solutions for the banking industry.
“The hackathon was very successful. We were very impressed with the talent on display. All the participants came up with very strong ideas and innovations, and the judges had a hard time selecting the winners.
“The winners were Team Kak, who were particularly innovative in creating brilliant solutions, and their originality was extraordinary, while runners-up Team Hippopotamus impressed with their ‘out of the box’ approach to solving savings account usage.
“Both the winners and runners-up created apps that help the youth engage more with banking, particularly by addressing some of the issues more specific to them,” said RHB Bank Cambodia chief technology officer Lim Chin Wan.
The winning team are to receive $1,500 worth of prizes and have lunch at Phnom Penh’s 5-star Rosewood Hotel with the RHB Cambodia CEO and management team to share their vast banking experience and create an awareness on building a career in the industry.
Build On, Cambodia is a competitive hackathon that challenges the community to create technological initiatives and solutions to address challenges faced by RHB Bank.
“Through this event, participants get the opportunity to learn, ideate, develop, and compete, with mentoring by experts from AWS and incubators in Cambodia. This year, students from seven local universities participated in the event, with Seedstars the incubator that supported with mentoring.
“RHB Bank Cambodia would like to congratulate all the participants for their efforts, hard work and contributions. Both RHB Bank Cambodia and AWS were very impressed by the presentations of all five finalists and their ideas on how to make a mobile banking app relevant to both young and traditional users,” Lim said.
The Build On, Cambodia 2021 Hackathon began back in April, with a total of 58 teams, made up of 170 participants, taking part. Five eventually made it to the grand finale on May 28, which was held virtually due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The finalists presented their team introductions, pitched their business plans, demonstrated their prototypes and answered tough questions from the panel judges, which was made up of AWS and RHB Bank Cambodia management.
‘Optimism and energy’
RHB Cambodia was established in July 2008 and currently has 12 branches operating in Phnom Penh and provinces. To complement its commercial banking activities, the RHB banking group in Cambodia also offers investment banking services.
As a financial institution that eagerly embraces innovation, the Build On, Cambodia Hackathon is playing a large part in RHB Cambodia’s digital strategy.
“RHB Cambodia began our digital journey in 2020 by building our Cambodia Digital Retail Bank – CDRB. This is a three-year journey, and with this hackathon we have already been able to find some excellent talent to join us and help us develop the CDRB project further, making it even more innovative.
“With this event, RHB Bank hopes to inspire a new generation of financial innovators to come up with ideas that can help propel Cambodia into a financial ecosystem where every individual can enjoy banking facilities wherever they are, whenever they want,” Lim said.
And for the winners, the Build On, Cambodia Hackathon could serve as a stepping stone for future successful careers.
“As well as their prizes, the winners will be invited on a three-month mentoring programme from AWS in which we will deep-dive their ideas and develop them further.
“Even though the event was held virtually, we could sense the optimism and the energy coming from the participants, so just imagine how it would be if it was done on-site.
“This is why we are already so excited about next year’s event – and about the young talent in Cambodia,” Lim said.