It is widely known that LEO International Payment System and IBOX BANK from Ukraine are actively participating in the operation of the business community in the field of fintech and innovation. The Coding Challenge for Ukraine hackathon was the most recent interesting case of such cooperation. This hackathon is a competition that brings together the best teams of IT specialists to create unique solutions for Ukrainians affected by the ongoing war. CBDO at LEO International Payment System Mariam Matiashvili told UA.NEWS about the hackathon offered solutions and the outcome of the event.
LEO International Payment System became a sponsor of the Coding Challenge for Ukraine hackathon. Who received the main award? What criteria were used to choose the winner?
Mariam Matiashvili, “Together with the European Commission, UAFIC, and EDFA, we conducted a hackathon for several weeks. This time, around 30 teams participated in the hackathon and developed technological solutions together with mentors. There was also a special committee that had a unique opportunity to evaluate the projects of the teams by using three main elements: technology and integration, business model, and innovation.
First of all, I am an entrepreneur, so, the business model was the most important component for me. This element took its well-deserved special place in my evaluation form.
The second thing I paid attention to was integration. The thing is that the idea is not enough. It is important to create and plan a strategy for implementing it. We should also never forget about the technological component.
According to the voting results, the AtomicLab | Restore together team became the winner. They offered a solution aimed at restoring the objects of cultural heritage and monuments of Ukraine destroyed during the war.
The platform will bring together investors who can finance the restoration of the monuments and objects of cultural heritage and performers to implement restoration orders. Each investor will receive an NFT of the restored memorial. In addition, a detailed rating of performers will also be created, not to mention a gallery with the buildings, which have to be restored in the nearest future.
During the hackathon, the team developed the platform itself and has already begun work on restoring several objects.”
You have mentioned that around 30 teams participated in the hackathon. How would you assess the overall level of preparation of the participants? Was there any solution that could be immediately implemented?
Mariam Matiashvili, “I have to confess that all teams showed good results and a desire to create valuable ideas. Their projects were from different areas: medicine, business assistance, and adaptation of children to a new society. There were also many solutions that could be immediately implemented. But we tried to choose teams that needed mentoring, financial support for the project, and the help of European colleagues.
Therefore, all participants are winners because they have an idea and a plan, as well as the support of all hackathon partners. We are not limited to a specific time range. Even after the completion of the project partners will continue mentoring.”
Were there any solutions related to fintech and the payment market among the hackathon projects?
Mariam Matiashvili, “The hackathon projects were aimed at solving the issues of temporarily displaced persons, war victims, military personnel, doctors, and other workers. It may seem that financial and payment services are the first thing to think about during the war. It may be the case, but the main point is different.
Today, we are able to provide the highest level of services to our customers. Therefore, European and Ukrainian companies quickly responded to the needs of refugees and provided the necessary services: quick opening of accounts, a simplified list of documents for creating an account, money transfers to Ukraine without commissions, and so on. So, there was simply no point to create a new project related to fintech and personal finance.
Among the 30 hackathon projects, there was one project related to the banking sector. They decided to use an effective business model and took care of the technical part, but it is very unlikely that it could exist independently. It would be a great addition to existing fintech projects.”
What priorities and tasks does LEO have in supporting Ukraine today?
Mariam Matiashvili, “Our priorities are to save jobs, pay taxes and fees in Ukraine, and help the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
We also need to support the active integration of Ukrainian business into the European market, the promotion of Ukrainian specialists, and their values for the EU. This is one of the reasons why we supported the hackathon, became part of it, and attracted colleagues from Belgium, the Czech Republic, and the Netherlands.
We always say that the center of our interests has been and remains in Ukraine, but the expansion of the scope of activity will only benefit the company and its employees.”