16th December 2019
On Friday 6 December, 50 people from across NatWest’s business came together to “hack” digital solutions for The Prince’s Trust. Supported by ORM, six teams worked on two real-life business problems that the charity faces – one focused on it’s Get Hired recruitment platform and the other to encourage 16-30 year olds to begin a startup. In just six hours the teams produced some fantastic results and prototypes, which were presented to a judging panel, with the bank aiming to take forward and develop the winning idea further.
Vicky Yorke, Innovation Project Lead for The Prince’s Trust, said: “This was such an important event for us and we are really grateful to the people from NatWest who gave up their normal job for the day to apply their expertise to our challenges. This type of rapid prototyping is invaluable to a business like The Prince’s Trust, as we don’t have the resources to get ideas off the ground quickly. This hackathon has given us a wealth of potential solutions that could be turned into real products that will boost the services we provide.”
The hackathon came about as NatWest’s community of practice for sustainability had partnered with The Prince’s Trust previously and saw an opportunity to help them drive more young people to its platforms. The event followed the ORM Hackathon process, with two business challenges being set in advance and teams forming based on their preference of which one to work on. The teams consisted of NatWest staff, young people using The Prince’s Trust Get Hired platform, and developers from the likes of Westminster University and Code Mortals.
On the actual day of the hack, attendees got straight to work and had just six hours to develop a working prototype of their idea, which they then presented to a panel of judges from the participating organisations. The winning team will have the opportunity to present again to a senior panel at the bank, with their concept eventually being turned into a reality.
Commenting for NatWest, Michael Woodward, Strategic Engagement & Development Manager on the digital team, added: “This hackathon was a great exercise in bringing different people together from both our business and outside. The range of skill-sets that each team comprised of was just staggering and I was really impressed by the pitches at the end of the day. It was completely voluntary for people from NatWest and we’ve been really inspired by the commitment to the business ideas they produced. We hope to run more events like this in the future, as they’re a great way to get creativity flowing.”