The first InspiRUSSIA Hackathon ended in Innopolis: the largest blockchain and Fintech hackathon in Russia

From 17 up to 18 September, the largest Russian InspiRUSSIA Hackathon organized by Life.SREDA VC – one of the first venture funds focused on financial technologies – in cooperation with the biggest Russian banks and institutions – Tatfondbank, Sberbank (Sberbank Tech), Microsoft and QIWI (NASDAQ trading Payment service provider) has successfully taken place at the Innopolis University.

The event was held as a part of InspiRUSSIA accelerator – the continuation of successful work with Singaporean InspirASIA accelerator founded by Life.SREDA VC. While working with the fastest growing start-ups from South-East Asia, the team of InspiRussia has selected the best cases and practices to create an InspiRussia educational program.

The event was dedicated to a notion of financial sector development with regards to designing innovative payment bots, blockchain projects, payment and banking solutions that create an added value for clients and society by launching whole new products bettering our usual lives: on-line debt transactions, payment processing technologies, blockchain based smart contracts, payments with no intermediary banks, communication using bots, micropayments using bots, etc.

untitledMore than 500 applications were filed for InspiRUSSIA Hackathon, more than 300 participants attended from Russia and 5 other countries, more than 50 ideas were eventually presented. An international jury of experts, including Life.SREDA VC, Tatfondbank, PJSC, iSimpleLab, Microsoft, QIWI, as well as some leading scientists in the field of computer science evaluated the projects and awarded the best ones.

All participants had 24 hours to put a team together and create working prototypes based on their ideas. Only 29 completed projects out of 50 filed applications including the correspondence ones were presented in the final pitch.

The distinctive features of InspiRUSSIA Hackathon were speeches and mentor – based participation of some brilliant experts from fintech and blockchain industry:

Mike Goldin (Consensys), Astrid Hackenberg (Microsoft), Konstantin Goldstein (Microsoft); Stepan Kashintsev (iSimpleLab); Simon Taylor (Barclays Bank); Alexandr Chepurnoy (IOHK); and Chris Skinner (Financer). Some of professionals showed their interest in further cooperation with participating projects, gave helpful hints to the project teams.14291693_319494395070008_6820158724972530152_n

For the first time in the history of Russian hackathon experience, the platform gathered together participants of all age groups: from 7 years old up to 53 years old. Many of them met each other at the event platform and quickly organized themselves in teams using the Telegram chat.

IT developers from the leading banks like Sberbank-Technologies and Modulbank arrived in Innopolis intentionally to create prototypes of ideas they would like to implement at the principal place of their business. “It is easier to create projects out of the bounds of the corporation, no need for dealing with numerous processes,” said Maxim Avdeyev, CEO of the InspiRUSSIA accelerator.

According to the results of hackathon, all teams made a 3-minute presentation in front of jury. The voting took place in an unusual form — the artificial intelligence program evaluated the code quality of participants, and the jury voices were taken into account using the platform based on the blockchain solution.

The jury noted the quality and the sense of purpose of all presented projects: “We were pleased to see each of the projects helping to solve everyday problems of ordinary people by convenient, modern means: paying for housing and public utilities, checking if the goods are counterfeit, tipping waiters and other service workers.”

untitled1Directly at the hackathon platform, Tatfondbank, PJSC, and the teams of Tip&Go, Q Solution and ByByBank_bot came to an arrangement for mutual development of pilot projects.

The WhiteMoney project – system of payments between legal entities based on the distributed blockchain network intended to create a more transparent banking system – became a winner of InspiRUSSIA hackathon. The grand prize was a proposal to participate in the global acceleration program of InspiRUSSIA.

Tatfondbank, PJSC, divided its prize fund in the amount of 150 000 RUR between teams:

  • The Tip & Go project – mobile payment processor using cryptocurrency and tipping in rubles – 40 000 RUR.
  • The FINFAIR project – a Telegram – based bot, which facilitates customers to make micropayments in their everyday life. Demonstration was performed in the context of buying diamonds in the Minecraft game – 40 000 RUR.
  • The Q Solution project – paying for housing and public utilities, as well as gas using bar-codes on payment documents and Telegram bot for Tatfondbank, PJSC – 40 000 RUR.
  • The #schoolteam project – interactive map with discounts and special offers for customers of Tatfondbank, PJSC – 30.000 RUR cheque for paying the special programming course.

Winner according to Microsoft was:

  • The Yorso project – system for fast and safe international document flow. The team with the self-explanatory name WeNeedXbox gained the grand prize from the Microsoft – the XBOX One game console.

The other companies awarded:

  • The DigitalDentistry.Exchange project – cloud based service for formation and execution of multilateral contracts, which saves time and money.
  • The Buydentity project – service, which allows to control and visualize the entire process of product life cycle using the blockchain technology for each of the process participants, whether it’s a manufacturer, reseller or an ultimate customer.
  • The Technocracy / InspiRussia BlockChain Voting System project — voting service based on the blockchain technology.
  • The UniversalWallet project – mobile ethereum wallet, which allows controlling the account state and uses own user account as a unique personal identifier to facilitate the input of personal information when shopping on different websites.
  • The ByByBank_bot project – bot marketplace creating blockchain smart contracts on the Ethereum at the Azure cloud.
  • The FINFAIR project – a Telegram – based bot, which facilitates customers to make micropayments in their everyday life. Demonstration was performed in the context of buying diamonds in the Minecraft game

untitled2White money team (Winners of Hackathon)

Maxim Avdeev, CEO of InspiRUSSIA accelerator: “I believe that the grand prize is not a thing that lies in this box or will be transferred to your bank account. The grand prize of our lives is ability and opportunity to do what we like. And in InspiRUSSIA, we arranged everything so that everyone can create and enjoy this. It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose – now we all are in the same boat, one way or another. We will create the future together. And the Russian blockchain happens here in Innopolis, in InspiRUSSIA, which will become a bridge between two countries – Russia and Singapore.”

Ramil Nasyrov, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Tatfondbank, PJSC: “InspiRUSSIA Hackathon was preceded by a very determined effort of Tatfondbank’s team. We researched different models of innovative development and decided to choose the open innovation model. We will try to support the hackathon participants in every possible way; we are ready to integrate the best ideas into the bank right “after graduation”. Our experience suggests that start-ups often lack an infrastructural partner, which provides rapid growth and effective implementation of the project. We are ready to provide all possible technical and technological platforms to develop together with projects, which we will create with you.”

Konstantin Goldstein, Expert on the Microsoft strategic technologies: “Microsoft highly appreciates the development prospects of the blockchain technology in Russia and in the world. That is why we actively support initiatives, such as InspiRUSSIA hackathon, and observe the birth of projects, intended to solve typical business problems and to create an additional value for society, with interest. The Microsoft has an international expertise in the blockchain technology, that’s why it implements a number of programs to support novice developers in this area by investing the own technological resources (Azure and Ethereum solution together with ConsenSys), providing access to the unique practical knowledge and offering opportunities for implementation of projects in the course of the support program of the BizSpark technological start-ups.”untitled3

Astrid Hackenberg (Microsoft)

Maxim Gashkov, Head of Department of coordination with partners of the Innopolis University: The Innopolis territory was created so that the Russian companies would test their ideas, implement business solutions and quickly start to earn money to enter global markets. The city has all necessary infrastructure for IT-entrepreneurs to work and live in here. We are particularly waiting when InspiRUSSIA accelerator will be officially open within our walls.”

Igor Pesin, Partner of Life.SREDA VC: This Inspirussia hackathon shown once again that Russian IT developers and programmers are still quite strong and capable to make substantial impact on the IT market and we see a huge potential of its development and expansion over the Russian borders, especially in Asia.

Partners and experts of InspiRUSSIA hackathon were VC Life.SREDA, Tatfondbank, PJSCk, iSimpleLab, Microsoft, QIWI.

The event video record is available through the link.

Official groups of InspiRUSSIA accelerator: Vkontakte and Facebook.

The InspiRUSSIA accelerator is a continuation of successful work at InspirASIA accelerator founded by Life.SREDA VC in 2015 in Singapore. Life.SREDA VC publishes the annual research “Money of the Future” and keeps the specialized blog “Fintech Ranking“.

While working with the fastest growing start-ups of South-East Asia, including: SoftPay, Vietnam — Asian mPOS market leader, Ayannah, Philippines — transfers, YoloPay, Singapore — personal finance services, Fastacash, Singapore — Asian payment technologies leader, Lenddo, Philippines — scoring tech leader, the team of InspiRussia has selected the best cases and practices to create an InspiRussia educational program.untitled

The Life.SREDA VC is a venture fund founded 4 years ago and headquartered in Singapore. One of the first funds in the world is focused exclusively on Fintech (financial technologies). Life.SREDA VC fund invested in more than 20 start-ups in the field of financial technologies all over the world (the USA, Europe, Asia), such as: Simple, Moven, SumUp, Rocketbank, Fidor, ANTHEMIS, Fastacash, Lenddo, etc. Nowadays Life.SREDA VC has 6 successful exits.

In April 2016 Life.SREDA launched an independent “Banking on Blockchain Fund” with a capital of $ 50 million and the management team of experts represented by Chris Skinner, David Brier and Thomas Labenbakher. The fund has been established to target innovations in blockchain technology in businesses having majority of their operations in Europe and Asia.

Life.SREDA is also well known for its public lectures at InspirAsia space with invited guests such as Vitalik Buterin, Matias Kroener, Brett King and others, venture researches on financial tech, the annual research “Money of the Future”, as well as its own news portal

Tatfondbank, PJSC is a commercial bank with public ownership providing all types of banking services to private and corporate clients. The Bank was founded in 1994 and is among the 50 largest Russian banks in terms of assets and capital (according to ratings of the magazines «Profil», «Expert», the newspaper «Kommersant», the portal As of August 1, 2016, the bank assets amount to 211 billion rubles, the proprietary capital is 29.2 billion rubles. License of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation No. 3058 dd. 07.12.2015.

The Microsoft is a worldwide leader in the area of the information technologies supplying with a wide range mobile, software and IT services. For detailed information on the Microsoft activities in Russia, read here.

InCOMa  – a company developing and implementing the business solutions that enables customers to improve the efficiency of management and organize the HR. Based on the use and implementation of advanced information and telecommunications technologies, more than 400 projects were implemented for the largest Russian enterprises and medium-sized companies. Today the priority of inCOMa is to implement integration projects, accounting for about 50% of the company. The company also provides services in the field of communications, consulting and technical support.

The ConsenSys is a software design studio for complex blockchain solutions. The company develops and supports a full range of services and products for creating alternative financial services using the Ethereum ecosystem. In cooperation with leading companies, the ConsenSys contributes to establishing of new players in the market of blockchain technologies and provides the consulting support to existing consortia. In terms of the strategic partnership with the ConsenSys, Microsoft implements an innovative approach to offering the blockchain opportunities as a service for the business (blockchain-as-a-service — BaaS approach). The business customers can create and develop their own and affiliate blockchain networks using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform; gain access to the tools for development of products for digitizing and automating the business operations; propose their own solutions to other market players using the Ethereum platform.