Hackers returned to the Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas this week, bringing an army of 625 developers, designers, and entrepreneurs with it. All were competing for top prizes, and one team won the grand prize, a “h-API” ending.
First, a bit about the hackathon. Teams were given 24 hours to create a fintech solution that uses at least one API from their choice of 10 companies, 7 of which are Finovate or FinDEVr alums:
- Blockchain (FinDEVr 2014 presentation)
- Feedzai (FinovateEurope 2014 demo)
- First Data
- MasterCard (FinDEVr 2014 demo)
- Modo (FinDEVr 2015 presentation)
- PayPal/Braintree (FinDEVr 2015 presentation)
- Vantiv (FinovateFall 2014 demo)
- Visa (FinDEVr 2014 presentation)
- WorldPay (FinDEVr 2015 presentation)
At the end of the 24 hours—after working all night on the challenge—165 teams had three minutes to pitch their projects to a group of judges from the 10 sponsors. The sponsors selected winning teams with solutions varying from a donation platform for homeless people, to PFM for children, to a virtual reality shopping platform.
The winning team—Replay*—used MasterCard’s API to enable purchases of items seen on screen while watching a program on Apple TV.
Here’s how it works. While watching Star Wars, for example, a button appears, indicating an item on screen, such as a light saber, is available for purchase. Clicking the button pauses the Star Wars program, and redirects the user to a marketplace screen to make their purchase.
As part of their prize, Replay won $20,000 and a demo-slot in front of the larger Money20/20 audience.
I tracked down the winners after their demo for a quick chat. Because it offered a quick payments experience, the Replay team chose to use the MasterCard API. The team said they found the MasterCard team helpful in building their technology, and they are eager to build out the product while looking for funding, and merchant partners, to further enhance it.
If you’re interested in seeing fintech APIs, check out our FinDEVr New York conference where developers, CTOs, and VPs of engineering will gather to view the next evolution of APIs in fintech.
*Replay does not yet have a website, but here is a link to the LinkedIn page of one of the founders, Messiah Jacobs.