In preparation for Slush x Ultrahack on the 6th through 8th of November, Mikko Järvilehto, Ultrahack Executive Producer and CEO of Futuretournaments, interviews a series developers and partners for different challenge tracks. Today, we talk with Jaakko Kaidesoja of the Finnish Postal Service, Posti.
By Mikko Järvilehto & Niilo Korkiakoski
Has your company partnered with other hackathons in the past or is Ultrahack the first?
This is the first time Posti is participating in this kind of event.
What gave you the push to join Ultrahack as a main partner?
Timing was very convenient to match our development schedule for our SaaS solution. Our API’s were almost ready and we thought this would be an ideal test bench for them. In addition, the success of Slush in the background created a positive and optimistic view for the whole event and finally developer and start-up collaboration is something we want to drive inside Posti Group.
What kind of solutions are you expecting from the developers?
Solutions which benefit us or our customers and end consumers. E-commerce is such a broad field so developers can take different angles and base the development on our API’s and combine those with existing API’s from webshop solution vendors or they can develop something unique on their own by for example meshing up gamification with shopping experience. So, basically I am really curious what will come up and don’t want to narrow the scope of innovation by directing developers with detailed expectations. Creativity combined with business mindset will be a good starting point.
What would be the ideal solution for your track?
JK: Something really unique and new or something really pragmatic and easily deployable which immediately benefits customers, consumers and/or business. Another way of saying that it is hard to predict but certainly I’d prefer something that can be productized in fairly short amount of time and does not need years’ of finalization to become useful. Also a roadmap and vision how to grow and develop the app further and how to make business would be ideal.
If (and when) the ideal solution appears, what would the timeline be like after Ultrahack is over?
Certainly we want to sit together with the winner(s) and share views what would be the required next steps to productize the app and take it into commercial or public use and how can we help and support going forward. We don’t want to fire and forget but rather get close to the winning teams and both coach and learn from them.
Would you consider buying out a winning project’s IP or encourage them to become a startup and do contracting work?
Depends on the final product and the vision the team has. Sometimes it is better to let the development continue as a start-up and in this case we definitely would continue to support the team to succeed – and sometimes an outright IP acquisition makes most sense so obviously that is a possibility as well.
What would make Ultrahack even more interesting to you as a company?
Hard to say at this point as we don’t know the results yet. Proven track record and experience how to organize these kinds of events and guidance what to do and what not are always appreciated. Surely we know better after the hackathon is over. I think we off to a good start, now it really depends how many developers we can attract and what is the quality of the outcome.
Ultrahack, part of Slush Hacks is held on 6th through 8th of November in Helsinki, Finland with a long pre-game. It consists of 8 fun and creative challenge and workshops for designers, developers, and creatives, working with experts onsite and online from all types of fields. Challenge winners can win up to €20,000! Register at ultrahack.org.