NUS School of Computing’s Fintech Society is driving education and innovation in the blockchain and Fintech space
Singapore, 30th Jan 2022 — While the crypto markets slumped over December and January, students at Fintech Society @ NUS School of Computing were working hard over their winter breaks on one of the largest ever student-led Fintech events in Singapore, NUS Fintech Month 2022, started from 2nd Jan 2022 and ended on 29th Jan 2022. The event is proudly sponsored by Bybit, Ripple (XRP), and Stellar(XLM) – big names in the blockchain industry.
NUS Fintech Month is the society’s flagship and inaugural event that saw its first iteration only a year ago. This year, the team aimed for the stars, organising the event at more than 3 times the scale of the previous year, while sticking to their goals of incubating Fintech talents and supporting the growth and innovation in the industry.
More than 20 workshops and symposia were held over the first 3 weeks of January, covering a large range of Fintech topics at different levels of knowledge and expertise. It was a culmination of knowledge from high profile industry leaders, professors, PhD students, as well as the society’s own machine learning and blockchain directors, who collectively educated from Asia, Europe and the Americas over 3,000 participants on the industry’s trends, technical skills, and career opportunities.
The highlight of the event, however, was the blockchain themed hackathon held over the last two weeks of January, where more than 100 teams from around the world pitted their wits to grab a slice of the attractive S$50,000 prize pool to be won. The theme of the hackathon was revealed as registrations closed on 15 January — “NFTs: Mint, Market or Monetize”. With the recent craze for NFTs, the goal of the hackathon was to pick the brains of these bright students to uncover innovative ideas to improve the minting, distribution, and monetization of NFTs.
Breaking from the mould of the traditional 2-3 days hackathons, the hackathon was structured into 2 phases – an ideation phase and a prototyping phase. The extra time was given to participating teams to place a proportional emphasis on both the business/market feasibility and technical ingenuity of their final solution. The ideation phase ended with the first round of internal judging to choose the teams with the best and most feasible solutions, who then moved on to hack out their prototype, in hopes of making it to the final demo day. After 3 days of careful deliberation, 10 finalists were selected through the second round of internal judging to attend the final demo day where they would pitch live on stage at NUS Campus to a panel of experts.
The demo day was perfect to mark the end of the event, as the 10 teams enthusiastically presented their solutions to the panel of judges. Each presentation was followed by streams of questions from the judges who were deeply impressed by all the finalists’ unique and innovative creations.
Associate Professor (Practice) and advisor to NUS Fintech Society, Keith B. Carter Quote: “ NUS FinTech Month was completely envisioned and run by our student members of the NUS FinTech Society. I am very proud they brought together teaching, community and experiential learning in one go. Even more exciting is that many of the top ten teams plan to make real businesses based on their projects.”
Bybit Quote: “We are heartened to see the spirit of innovation flourishing at the hackathon organised by the NUS School of Computing’s Fintech society. The students demonstrated such talent and tenacity, as well as teamwork, that it makes us at Bybit excited just to think of what they will do next. We are extremely glad and proud to have played a role in the event and look forward to many more such occasions in the months and years to come.” – Igneus Terrrenus, Head of Communications at Bybit.
Ripple Quote: “I was impressed with the quality and wide range of use cases for NFTs that the participating teams covered. The hackathon projects not only demonstrated the applicability of NFTs in many aspects but also included ways to increase the accessibility of NFTs to the broader community.” – Bernard Ginalski, Director at Ripple Singapore.
The winning team was called Wentoken and quote:
“NUS Fintech Month and the hackathon was an amazing experience for our team, wentoken. Some of us had zero experience starting out – not even knowing what the term NFT stood for. That said, the workshops provided were very helpful in easing the team into being comfortable with working on web3.
NUS Fintech Month and the Demo Day was awesome as well! It was great to get actionable feedback from the judges – titans in the industry.
Kudos to the NUS FinTech team for striking the perfect balance between COVID restrictions and hosting this great event!
LFG – Let’s keep building towards a web3 future :)”
NUS Fintech Month 2022 might officially be over, but Fintech Society will continue to host informative workshops and exciting events, so follow them on Instagram @nusfintech to keep updated!