The RBC Next Great Innovator Challenge!25 Jun 2013
So last weekend I participated in a 24 hour programming competition.
We were given a question and needed to provide an answer to it in the form of a working prototype; this can be either a desktop, mobile or web application. For this I worked with a team of four others to create the team Mobilify. My team included Harpreet Singh, Mugdha Mulay, Christina Shan, Alvin Lee and Matthew Clark.
Even though our team had little Android experience we decided to create an Android App to answer this question, yes I know it was crazy. We worked out what we were good at, where innovation is coming from and what development environment we were going to be using, so going into this competition we knew we were going to be making an Android App in the eclipse development environment. While researching how to program in Android I feel there is more exciting features we didn’t have the expertise to use for the competition and look forward to going more in-depth into them later. However for the competition we also got to learn how to use the Heroku application platform, this was all very new and exciting to learn, this was also before the competition even started.
The competition took place on June 21st and 22nd 2013 we were up all night coding and testing to make sure our prototype was in presentable condition. We ended up creating a working app and provided a business model for the app. As a team we presented this app to a panel of RBC executives and judging commenced. Our team worked like a well-oiled machine, everyone was working on something and stayed busy, I am so proud of what our team was able to accomplish in such little time.
First round of judging comes and goes and we make it to the finals, we all consider it a huge win! We came into this competition not knowing anything about our development environment and now we are one of the top five teams, we are now overjoyed; however there is no time to stop. Now our team needs to create a presentation five times as long in one hour, we work together trying to come up with what should be in the presentation and how we should present it to the executives, time flies and we are now standing in front of everyone. We present and the judges start throwing around some tough questions! We finish and now we wait. At this point everyone was pretty hyped we made it to the finals and we aren’t overly concerned about the outcome, we made some friends, had some fun and become finalists. But we weren’t done yet. After some long deliberation we found out that we won! We get to take home the $5000 prize, it was very exciting!
Even though everyone was exhausted we were still pretty hyped, we all talked about how it was unbelievable, this was the first time any of us have won a contest like this, and we were pretty speechless. But even though we were up for 36 hours and tired and drained, we needed to celebrate this win.
The experience of taking part in the first ever NGI Prototyping Event has been amazing. We walked away with a great prize, successfully solved a real-life business challenge under intense pressure and also got to present to senior executives. I got to work with some really talented people and will remember this for a long time.