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Paysafe Group Hackathon Winners Bring New Edge to Mobile Payments

November 7, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Recently, Paysafe Group staged a hackathon which brought together some of the field’s brightest stars and encouraged them to set up some new developments for a shot at a $25,000 prize. Over 850 developers showed up for the shot, across three separate Paysafe locations in Calgary, Hyderabad and Sofia. The end result, a win for Polish developer Kamil Debowski, and new advancements in the process.

The two-stage hackathon started with an online component followed by the live location event at the Paysafe offices. Results were judged by a panel of three, who focused on both speed and methods used to solve a variety of problems. Debowski, who participated from the Sofia office, took the top prize home, and second and third places went to India’s Vikram Singh Panwar and the United States’ Lewin Gan, respectively.

Paysafe also offered up a separate competition, one featuring an online challenge and measuring strictly on speed. The competition was won by three different Americans, interestingly enough, Scott Wu, Neal Wu, and Steven Hao took all three winners’ slots there, taking home $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000 respectively.

Karim Ahmad, chief product and transformation officer at Paysafe, noted “We had a fantastic response to our first global hackathon and the quality of the individual projects that were submitted really impressed our judges. Congratulations to the winners who were truly exceptional.  We plan to host further hackathons as a way of securing the very best people in our IT team and achieving our bold growth ambitions.”

That last point represents trouble for many; by reducing hackathons to a kind of highly-competitive job interview, you actually run some serious risks. The biggest of these is tainting the pool against future applicants; bad enough to go through one of those multi-interview processes, worse yet to basically have to enter a contest where the prize is a job. How many also-rans out there are looking at the wasted time and travel and saying “Never again”? That’s a point that can come back to haunt Paysafe and anyone else using hackathons like this.

Still, it might well work out for Paysafe and those like it in the end. Only time will tell just how well it will work, but for now, the hackathon is still a big part of tech development.