Banking: Ulster Bank hosts 'hackathon' for businesses
Ulster Bank is offering prizes that include drones and Six Nations rugby tickets to startups that can come up with new ways for it to do business.
The incentives will be on offer as the bank hosts Ireland's first dedicated 'banking hackathon' at the end of January. The hackathon, which is set up to attract startup coders, designers and investors, will see 70 attendees try to come up with new ways of working with bank IT data and systems in a controlled test environment.
"This is the first of its kind in Ireland and will bring together a community of people who are energetic, creative and innovative, to challenge the way banks serve their customers," said Chris Davis, chief operating officer of the bank.
Startups who come up with the best new systems will win prizes that include incubation space at Ulster Bank's offices, "mentoring opportunities" with the bank's senior executives, drones and tickets to upcoming RBS Six Nations Rugby games.
"We've designed this event to reward innovative thinking," said Mr Davis. "We are very excited about this event. As an industry we are going through a significant period of change.
"Our customers are increasingly online, looking to interact with their money in different ways and we need to make sure that we listen to ideas from a non-banking community out there and are agile and proactive in meeting customer needs. At Ulster Bank we're open to all ideas."
A second hackathon will take place in Belfast in February, with details on each available at Hackmakethebank.com/go/ulster-bank.