Earlier this month I traveled to New York City to participate in the annual FinTech Startup New York hackathon. Two of my colleagues, Chris Yip and Jason Emery, joined me for this dynamic event. FinTech Startup New York brings together financial technologists with the goal of building consumer and enterprise financial apps using tools and APIs (application programming interfaces) provided by various companies, including OANDA.
The attendees – business people, designers, and developers – had a grand total of 54 hours to form teams, decide on what to create, and then begin building a new start-up company or app. To kick things off, volunteering presenters each got one minute to pitch their idea at the start of the event on Friday (Dec. 7) and then all participants voted on the top 20 ideas. Attendees then joined together in teams that combined skills in business, design, and development before the real work began.
Among our goals at this event was to promote the OANDA API as a platform on which to build new apps or businesses and to potentially recruit talented programmers. I’m pleased to report the OANDA API was well-received by quite a number of developers and we heard much positive feedback.
Four of the participating teams chose to build on top of the OANDA API and by the following Sunday, these hacks were presented to the judging panel for their review. Those four business ideas were:
FxHedge – an automatic hedging service for businesses connected to their inventory and payroll systems
ChartTwits – a service combining StockTwits data with OANDA Charts to provide analytics on individual trades
TraderEdu – a trading simulator with step-by-step lessons to educate new retail forex traders
SecondGuess – a service that analyzes your trading history in real-time and predicts if you should trade again and when
We also had the pleasure to meet many developers who work on Wall Street and we “talked shop” with our friends at Caplin Systems, OpenFin, Tradable, and StockTwits.
On the whole, this weekend was a tremendous amount of fun. We learned a lot and we made many new friends in New York City’s financial technology community.
I would strongly urge everyone with an interest to participate in future Startup Weekend hackathons whether in New York City, Toronto, or elsewhere. These are truly unforgettable experiences and OANDA looks forward to participating in more of these events in 2013.
Did you attend FinTech Startup New York or another recent community hackathon? Please share your experiences in the comment box below.