Our first Hackathon experience

For people who don’t know what a Hackathon is, it is a 48-hour marathon of hacking and solving actual and daily problems. In this case, the subject was Mobility of the Future. The subject speaks for itself: fixing the mobility problems of today to get a better future. At the Hackathon, there were four challenges to solve. We took the challenge to solve the problem around public transport and co-mobility.

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To prepare for our first Hackathon experience, we had a Design Thinking session at SAP. Here we learned how to approach a problem differently. Instead of going directly for a solution, you have to focus on the core of the problem and try to understand why it is a problem. To unravel this we used a Persona, which is a character, which you create based on your research to represent the different user types that might use your service, or product, similarly.


Team spirit

To be successful in 48 hours, you need a good balanced team. People who are more functional and creative, more technical people, pitchers, team leaders, motivators, etc… Most of all a good team spirit is important. We worked as a team until 5 am to get things done. We also had fun as a team beating each other at FIFA and we looked like a team: our company Alluvion had foreseen sweaters and shirts to be there and representing a team.

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After a roller-coaster of emotions, we finally had a solution called E-COmmute. E-COmmute is a platform that combines existing transportation methods and provides the best and alternative transportation methods to its users. To motivate people to use the application and to use environmentally friendly transportation methods, we have created a 'gamification' and 'reification' function where people can get achievements and rewards.


E-Commute is based on the SAP cloud platform with WEB IDE, is implemented with APIs like Google Maps and is connected with SAP cloud analytics to analyse real time data.

We used the following technologies to succeed in our quest:


We have created a persona called Leonardo, Leonardo is an employee at Alluvion and does the home-work route every day. At his E-COmmute application, he gets notifications that Jason needs to get to the same workplace, so with the app, it is easy to connect and carpool. When Leonardo takes Jason as a passenger, he is helping to reduce the traffic jam and reducing emissions. For this gesture, he will be rewarded with green points and achievements which he can trade for nice rewards.


And the winner is….

In a pitch of seven minutes, we had to present our idea and the working functions of the application to a pre-jury, who decided which teams would go to the finals. In the finals, we had to pitch for the full audience. As a reward for a very intense 48h hackathon, we were crowned as winners of the public transport. This was not all! A team member made it also to the finals in the karting race and he finished in a well-deserved third place. We started with no expectations at the hackathon, made it to the finals and won the prize of the winner of public transport to join the global Y4PT Hackathon in Dubai. So we can conclude that it was a successful Hackathon.

See below for an impression...


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Written by

Niels De Greef

SAP Master Data Architect & Teamlead

Certified SAP Master Data Solution Architect and Teamlead with expertise in MDG, EIM, and a track record of delivering high-quality, scalable, efficient and future-proof solutions.