Welcome back at the delaware Student game!

Apr 06, 2022

At delaware, we don’t just say hackathon, we say Student Game and after an entirely virtual version last year, we were able to host a physical event once again this time around! 25 students divided into 5 teams took on real-life challenges set by our customers. From Thursday evening 24 March until Friday evening 25 March, they let their creative juices flow to come up with a good solution. Let’s see how they did and what they thought of the delaware Student Game. Let the games begin!

The participants and coaches assembled at the venue, ‘t Goed Quaethem in Deinze, on Thursday afternoon where they got to know each other and were divided into teams. As this year’s theme was “Innovation Festival”, the entire game was organized in festival style. For the names of the teams for example, the choice was made to go with stages of Belgian Festivals: The Barn, The Marquee, …. And in the true festival spirit: the students and coaches were asked to bring a tent to spend the night. Following some words of welcome, the teams were each assigned a little greenhouse to work on their case and got to work at around 8 pm. 


The cases

5 teams means 5 cases and much like previous years, the topics were very diverse. Team Dance Hall worked on a tool for Roularta to summarise complex news articles into a few sentences while their neighbours of team The Marquee devised a way for Unilin to measure their digital marketing performance based on the performances of their competitors. The students of team Klub C helped our Recruitment team by working on a way to make it easier for job seekers to find matching vacancies, while team Shelter devised a way for RMB to award advertising spaces to companies based on how sustainable they are. Finally, team The Barn looked into ways how Cora can optimise the offline shopping experience.


Keep up the good spirit!

Naturally, you can’t come up with innovative solutions on an empty stomach, so the support crew had the participants and the coaches covered! First, everyone received a goody bag with plenty of bites to keep them going. Added to that were timely evening snacks and some savoury pastries for breakfast on Friday morning. As it turned out, those were very welcome as it had been a rather cold night. Robrecht, one of the coaches went to sleep in his car while Felix from team Klub C bit the bullet and spent the entire night in his tent. Speaking of commitment!

After a few hours of sleep (for some 😉), the work continued with regular visits from the coaches to ensure that the teams kept their eyes on the prize. Finally, at the 4 pm deadline, Caro, part of the organization, climbed the main stage and announced it was time to stop the work and start preparing the pitches for the final presentation. As the nerves began to mount, the coaches gave their final tips to prepare their teams with the dreaded 5 pm deadline hovering into view. 


Presentation time! 

At 5 pm sharp, Caro assembled the students, coaches and the esteemed members of the jury in the pitch arena. During a 15 minute pitch, each team was given the opportunity to present their case and their solution to the jury made up of delaware experts, professors Serge Demeyer (University of Antwerp) and Erik Mannens (Ghent University) as well as Stijn Wijndaele (founding partner of Scalefactory) and Simon Temmerman (CTO of dScribe). Following each pitch, the jury had the chance to ask a few questions ranging from the technical aspects to more functional ones.

Despite some tricky questions, each team was able to hold their own and provide relevant answers. Good job on behalf of the students and the coaches! After 5 pitches, the jury’s most challenging task reared its head: deliberate and appoint a winner, which wasn’t going to be easy!

And the winners are…

As the teams and their coaches reflected on the Student Game outside, our DJ provided some gentle beats in the background. A good 15 minutes later, the jury emerged and were ready to call the winner to the main stage:

  • In third place: Matthias, Sagar, Ruben and Ward from team Shelter were congratulated for their good technical work on devising a strategy to award advertising spaces for the most sustainable companies for our client RMB. They took home a voucher for Decathlon.
  • The runners-up were team The Barn who worked on redefining the offline shopping experience for Cora. Laurette, Farah, Joram, Marijn and Tino were lauded for their good teamwork and are now the proud owner of a year-long Spotify premium subscription.
  • And finally the winners were team Dance Hall (what’s in a name). Ruben, Simon, Alexandre and Eland took first place thanks to the quality of their solution, but also by providing a practical way for Roularta to market it. The jury were impressed by their way to summarise complex news articles in a few sentences and therefore they got to take home a travelbase cheque. Happy tripping, boys!

Eland, member of the winning team, was obviously very pleased with the win but he also looks back fondly on the delaware Student Game: “I really liked the vibe of this particular event. It contributes to a good energy in the teams and it’s also really different from other hackathons.” Team The Barn were equally enthusiastic: “It has been a very informative experience”, said Laurette, “I’ve learned a lot from my team mates and I’d definitely like to take part again next year.”

As for the judges? Well they were impressed by what each team was able to present having only worked on the cases for such a short amount of time. Erik Mannens was especially enthusiastic about the Student Game itself: “I’ve been to a few editions now and I really think it’s great to organize this kind of event. Pitching an idea is something these students aren’t used to and this gives them a great opportunity to do so as it might also come in handy in their futures.”

I really liked the vibe of this particular event. It contributes to a good energy in the teams and it’s also really different from other hackathons.
Eland Baeten, team Dance Hall 

Looking back on a great Student Game

So how do we summarise this year’s edition of the Student Game? As Caro put it: “Already, this has been my best working day of 2022.” Talk about a statement! Indeed, the teams back her up as everyone enjoyed the atmosphere and was very glad to be part of an educational experience. Coaches David Swillen and Robrecht Sinnaeve, from their part, were impressed by the extent to which the delaware values were present among everyone. Team spirit, commitment and entrepreneurship especially were almost tangible and that put a smile on everyone’s faces as the DJ’s tunes guided everyone towards the end of a great Student Game. 

A special thanks goes out to the students, the coaches, the support crew, the jury and last but not least our customers: Unilin, Roularta, RMB, Cora and our own Recruitment team. All that remains for us now is to say: see you next year!

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