A trio of friends — one of whom has placed first or second in eight other hackathons — defeated 17 other teams to take the Grand Prize Feb. 12 in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s (ATDC) FinTech Hack @ ATDC competition.
Barrett Davis, Chris Fasciano, and Taylor Ereio formed Carculation — a connected car financial platform. The three took the top prize valued at $79,000, including $12,000 cash. Other teams shared in other prizes and awards worth about $21,000.
The competition, sponsored by two global payments giants — Atlanta-based Worldpay US, and Columbus, Georgia-based TSYS — brought together hackers, developers, entrepreneurs, and others to come up with ideas to solve challenges in the FinTech — or financial technology space. But the teams had an added twist: the challenges the two companies presented centered on the Internet of Things (IoT).
IoT is the interconnection of computing devices found in everyday products via the Internet. Doing so enables those ubiquitous items to send and receive data.
Davis, the 27-year-old who led his team and who placed in several other hackathons, said the idea for Carculation came about as a result of his job.
“I work at State Farm and do different things on the connected car side and I was researching different IoT platforms and I noticed that none of them have a revenue panel,” said Davis, who is the team’s backend developer. “So almost all the IoT platforms are just focused on analytics and monitoring and seeing all the devices, but not really a usage-based way of making money. So we created Carculation to do the numbers crunching and used Worldpay’s API for usage-based transactions.”
It’s that kind of thinking that the sponsors were looking for in putting together an IoT-centered FinTech hackathon at ATDC, which is a program of the Georgia Institute of Technology and serves as the state’s technology incubator. Worldpay, though its $1 million gift to Georgia Tech in 2015, created ATDC’s FinTech Program, which is designed to accelerating payments technology innovation.
“Atlanta is just awesome with providers out here who are really making a lot of cool gear,” said Worldpay US Vice President of Innovation and Design Joe Kleinwaechter. “Worldpay recognizes that that also affects the financial lives of people and we really wanted to see the what people would have when we mashed these two things together — FinTech and IoT — and I think we saw some great examples.”
Among those examples were teams that were focused on medical billing, rental payments collection for the unbanked, travel platforms, and a locations-based rewards app.
“Our goal in doing this was its a part of our product launch and our new set of APIs, and we felt like there’s a lot of applications of our APIs across the board, including IoT, but also web and mobile,” said Scott Carter, TSYS’ group executive of Digital Innovation. “There’s tons of ideas and tons of things you can do with those and we felt like this hackathon was a good opportunity for us to expose what we’ve done to this audience because we thought we’d get a lot of unique ideas and things that, quite frankly, we wouldn’t have thought of.”
As part of winning the Grand Prize, Carculation will receive:
BEST IN SHOW GRAND PRIZE (six-months):
- Up to six hours per month of personalized, one-on-one mentorship from key, high-ranking decision makers of the sponsoring companies.
- Coaching and business strategy guidance from ATDC.
- Acceptance into the ATDC FinTech Program.
- Networking/Connections to investors.
The team also receives:
- Cash: $12,000.
- Brand and PR consultation package from Media Frenzy Global.Legal counseling and advice from Morris Manning Martin.
- One counseling session and (if applicable) a provisional patent application from Morris Manning Martin.
- Accounting and financial whiteboard session from Bennett Thrasher.
- Three Hot Desks for six months at Atlanta Tech Village.
- Three month membership for up to six team members at Sandbox ATL
Other winning teams:
BEST USE OF WORLDPAY US APIs AWARD:
Smart Space, which captures and utilizes uses smart environmental data to understand its effects on spending.
The team wins:
- $6,000 in cash and access to decision makers.
- Three months for a dedicated team work table for five team members at StrongBox West.
BEST USE OF TSYS APIs AWARD:
RESTless, which is a travel search app designed to to simplify events and new places exploration, based on money the user has to spend;.
- $6,000 in cash and access to decision makers.
- Three month hot desk membership for four team members at Prototype Prime.
Additionally, $100 Individual Awards were given to:
- Team Reward N Go: Most dedicated developer.
- Team Wrist Wallet: Best presentation skills.
- Team Moola: Best leader.
- Team Can I Go: Most dedicated designer.
- Team Easy Tip: Best original idea pitched.