HackKing's 2018: Encouraging innovative thinking with an entrepreneurial and digital mindset at King's College London


Societe Generale's sponsorship of a 24-hour student hackathon showcases the bank's commitment to innovation and developing young talent.

As part of a Chief Digital Office UK outreach initiative, the SG Markets Execution team attended HackKing's 2018 - a student hackathon hosted by King's College London Tech Society at their Strand campus on 8-9 December.

Sponsored by seven organisations in total, including Societe Generale, Bloomberg, American Express and Capital One, HackKing's 2018 drew over 230 students from across the UK and Europe. Students with both programming and non-programming backgrounds were encouraged to "learn, build and share their creations".

Teams of up to 4 participants were given 24 hours to brainstorm, develop, and present their hacks. At the end of the 24 hours, over 40 projects were submitted for review with 10 projects being shortlisted.

The 10 finalists then presented their ideas to a panel of judges to compete for an array of prizes. Some of the successful team ideas ranged from flight aggregation services, integrated carpooling services, automated phishing detection and simulated game play modules integrating Google Maps. The teams used various tools across a variety of programming languages, publicly available APIs and hardware devices.

Over 90% of HackKing's 2018 participants entered our prize draw, for which branded wristbands were used as raffle tickets, with various prizes ranging from a Nintendo Switch to a Raspberry Pi.

In addition, the SG Markets Execution team presented a workshop titled: The art of PREPARING, PLANNING, & PRESENTING a perfect pitch." The workshop also covered topics such as public speaking, body language and team work which was well received and ultimately used by some of the successful finalists.

The team then went on to hold a CV workshop which provided students with individual feedback and advice on how to showcase their skills and experience as well as improving their interviewing techniques.

KCL student and HackKing's' organising committee member, Christine Husni said, "KCL Tech society is very thankful to Societe Generale for sponsoring HackKing's 5.0. I witnessed an improvement from last year's presentations at the closing ceremony, as Societe Generale's feedback and advice reflected positively on students' presentations. Overall, we had a great time with the SG representatives who brought with them good team spirit, fun and inclusivity."

Sohail Raja, Head of SG Markets Execution and UK Chief Digital Officer said, "This completes the pilot we started this year with our sponsorship of HackCity and the City University Outreach event held at our offices. We received such positive feedback from both organisers and students alike and were able to assist with projects, pitches and discuss potential roles within SG. During the weekend we received over 30 CV's from a variety of students who could fill roles across all parts of the organisation contributing their skills to our Digital Transformation Strategy. We look forward to scaling this out in 2019 as a UK Branch initiative."