This year the Odyssey Hackathon in Groningen was based on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI). BCEC sent in two hackathon teams existing out of students that followed the Minor Mastering Blockchain. Besides these two teams Martijn Bolt, lector of the Minor Mastering Blockchain, and Marcel Raap, who followed the minor as a non-student, took part in two different teams. In this article you can read what the teams worked on during the Odyssey hackathon. Also during the hackathon different Universities of Applied Science got together to meet each other and talk about collaborating on blockchain education.
The two student teams of BCEC took part in the APG track: Rethink Retirement. This track consisted out of two challenges. Team BCEC2 took part in the challenge: Financial independence and retiring early. Team BCEC2 came up with a solution for a specific target group, called FIRE. People from the FIRE movement have an intensive savings plan to be able to retire early. BCEC2 built a platform that shows you what lifestyle changes you need to make to be able to retire at 40. Their solution makes it possible to manage your own funds and you can choose which investment funds your pension gets invested in. Team Hybrid Future took part in the challenge: Value before retirement. They build an AI-chatbot that can help you figure out the consequences for your pension when you’re unemployed or taking time off to take care of others.
Martijn Bolt took part in the Radboud University track: Inclusive banking. The challenge was to make a circular exchange of tokenized assets possible. The team Martijn Bolt was a part of built a hardware wallet that can be used for daily payments to provide the unbanked with a peer-to-peer banking solution. The device will be available at low cost and could for instance be integrated in a normal wallet.
Marcel Raap, who followed the minor as a non-student, took part in the track from NUON/Vattenfall: Fossil Free Future. The challenge he took part in was creating a mobile virtual powerplant. The solution they came up with was to give electric car owners the ability to offer energy from their car batteries to the network in case of a shortage of energy and to take energy from the network when there is an overload of energy on the network. Normally this trading of energy is only available for larger consumers/producers. By using blockchain it becomes possible for the normal consumer to take part in this energy trading market.
From zero blockchain knowledge to real life solutions, starting a blockchain educationchain
At the Odyssey Hackathon somewhere in a hidden corner there was a meeting between Odyssey, Yes!Delft and five Universities of Applied Science.
The University of Applied Science The Hague has just finished up with the second Minor Mastering Blockchain. Martijn Bolt explained that he wanted to get together to see if the Universities of Applied Science could work together on blockchain education. Working together starts with meeting each other and finding out what the Universities of Applied Science are already doing when it comes to blockchain education. What better place to get to know each other than at the Odyssey hackathon where several universities of applied science take part in?
But a possible collaboration might not just be between the Universities of Applied Science. There are already student teams building blockchain solutions at the Odyssey hackathon. A place where ideas can become reality when winning the hackathon and after that entering an incubation program. So why not turn this informal student participation into a more formalized effort, something like a blockchain “student track”? Students start in the blockchain education program at one of the Universities of Applied Science. From there the most talented students can take part in the Odyssey Hackathon teams, if they are eligible. To finalize the proceedings, the winning team of this educational track can move forward into the incubation program at Yes!Delft. This is how you can go from zero blockchain knowledge to working on real life solutions in a short matter of time.
A possible collaboration of different Universities of Applied Science on blockchain education would be completely in line with blockchain related convictions. Instead of competing, they share their methods of teaching and will make the educational blockchain program open for everybody. We call that practice what you preach.
The Odyssey Hackathon turned out to be a great experience that motivated the student teams to keep going and develop themselves further. They have made connections with the other student teams from the other Universities of Applied Science and are looking forward to future hackathons. Just as the students got to know each other the lectors did the same. Who knows what will come out of it.
The Odyssey Hackathon is a great place to start building the future and you're invited to join in!
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