AIM Students, Alumna win prizes at ADB-AIM Hackathon

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In the recently concluded ADB-AIM Hackathon 2018 held at the ADB Compound, three winning teams count AIM students and an alumna among their members.

Neil Fidelle Lomibao (Master of Science in Innovation and Business student), Edelma Catalina Sy and Timothy Clark Dauz (MBA students), and Timyas Del Mundo (MBA alumna) were part of the teams that won awards in ceremonies held on September 3. AIM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang and ADB Vice President for Administration and Corporate Management Deborah Stokes handed out the awards.

Over 500 participants from all over the world joined the hackathon. This number was later trimmed to fifteen teams composed of four or five members each to take one of the following challenges: (1) Hack the Health Solution for Rural Areas in Asia, (2) Digital ID Challenge, and (3) AI for Trust in Fintech Challenge. ADB has identified these as priority investment tracks in the immediate future. These teams worked together in one long 48-hour stretch on September 1 and 2.

Winners from AIM

Neil Lomibao was part of a team composed of two Filipinos and two Brazilians. He was mentor, advisor, and subject expert for Health ID 2.0. An entry into the Hack the Health Solutions challenge, Health ID 2.0 was co-winner in the category. The solution was  “a system for semi-automatically adapting the current, non-standardized health data formats from rural health centers to the standard formats of bigger health organizations.”

Management consultant and AIM MBA program alumna, Timyas Del Mundo, was business advisor for her team which is composed of  herself and her siblings, Marianne and Diwa, and Dangal. Team Del Mundo competed in the Digital ID Challenge and shared first place in this category with Philippine ID Connect.  Timyas was also an ADB-JSP scholar.

Team Del Mundo believed that in today’s world, a digital ID system is long overdue. Diwa had long toyed with the idea, recognizing that a “digital identity is a critical part of the ecosystem and a foundational service for payments and other digital services.”  Joining the ADB-AIM Hack was “a good avenue to deep dive and put ideas into something concrete.”

An accountant by profession, Edelma Catalina Sy took on the role of business advisor for Build Up, a team that competed in the AI for Trust in Fintech challenge. She was joined by her MBA classmate, Timothy Dauz, an international business lawyer practicing corporate law and financial markets in Southeast Asia.

Catalina explained how they got into the hackathon: “Tim and I joined the hackathon to immerse in the process of solving complex problems in a very limited time. Veikko Eeva, CEO of Lumoin (a Finish start-up), reached out to us to be part of the Build Up team.”  Together, they came up with Diligencing App, a solution that “simplifies the internal due diligence process by integrating different data sources relevant to an IDD subject.” Apart from this, Diligencing App was described as being able to “automate the process of illustrating relationships of the points of interest, as well as, ownership structure of the subject companies.”  Team Build Up took home second place honors in the fintech challenge.

AIM and Hackathons

Not too long ago, hackathons mainly attracted the technology-inclined:  software developers and programmers, interface designers, and subject matter experts who come together to produce solutions and innovative applications. In recent years, they started getting the attention of anybody with the germ of an idea who was willing to work together with like-minded people in a passionate pursuit of ways to solve challenges and make things work better. The mix was made more exciting by the element of competition: hackathons typically end with awards. At the ADB-AIM Hack, first place winners in each of the categories shared US$10,000.00 in cash prizes.

Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go, head of AIM’s Stephen Zuellig Graduate School of Development Management (ZSDM), had long been fascinated by the hackathon model: “There is a complex problem. You want out of the box thinkers to use technology to find a solution to these problems. Sometimes these people come to show that they can solve a problem. Within 24 hours you come up with a solution under pressure cooker conditions. You’ll be so inspired!”

Last year, AIM hosted its own hackathon. The intent was to give the students a chance to lead the event. An extra-curricular activity that was also open to the public, AIM students broke out into different groups and were given assignments. After they chose their area of expertise, they came out with ten complex development problems.  Through this experience students had to understand how to organize such an event – from inviting participants, soliciting sponsors, framing the agenda, and managing the 24-hour time pressure. This led to the partnership with ADB this year.

The core of AIM’s mission since its inception in 1968 is to empower students to thrive in challenging, rapidly shifting environments. “That is why it always aims to provide a fertile ground where a more considerate, effective, and sustainable approach to business can flourish. Partnering with ADB in this hackathon is perfectly aligned with this foundation,” said Dr. Go. “We can look forward to more hackathons sponsored by AIM in the future.”