Building Creativity - Hackathons with Checkbook
Posted by Checkbook on Mar 29, 2023
Each year, over a thousand intrepid hackers gather on the Stanford University campus for a 3-day hackathon that involves laser tag, yoga, and a whole lot of brain power. Participants are given tracks from which to choose—such as healthcare, sustainability, and education—and from there are given free reign to hack at will, producing projects that tackle some of today’s most difficult problems.
At Checkbook, we are continuously thinking of ways to build products that are scalable. Once they take off, the sky's the limit. It’s in that spirit that we’ve been sponsoring TreeHacks at Stanford for the past few years. In addition to seeing some of tomorrow’s brilliant engineers in action, participation in this event also meant teams could utilize our platform for original use cases. The Best Checkbook API implementation went to Locl for leveraging our marketplace functionality to expand SNAP benefits through virtual cards. This ingenious use of our API allows Checkbook's virtual credit cards and direct deposit capabilities to facilitate payments between shoppers and vendors, making payments possible to those without bank accounts. This has the greatest beneficial effect of reaching out to the underbanked.
The Best Payments Hack went to FreshBuddy for building a platform where you can buy, sell and trade the produce you grow in your own backyard. Fresh Buddy allows farmers and growers to easily connect with one another and pay using Checkbook’s API. This cuts out middleman fees while encouraging local commerce. Imagine a world where all growers get their fair share as opposed to being taken advantage of by middlemen
Our engagement with energizing hackathons never fails to give us new ideas about how to use Checkbook’s API for the greater good. As Elvin Fu, one of the founders of TreeHacks said, “It was an amazing experience that showed how technology can be used to solve pressing issues. I was inspired to see so many brilliant minds come together to create innovative solutions that make a positive impact on the world.”
“We can’t wait for the next hackathon and take pride in sponsoring so many of them,” says PJ Gupta, Founder of Checkbook. “We got more than two dozen wonderful hacks using our API, and we’re looking forward to more.”
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The business model works a bit like Dropbox in the sense that Checkbook gives away its service to consumers in hopes of infiltrating businesses that it will charge. Rather than try to sell Checkbook's convenience to companies one at a time, it hopes to gain viral traction and parlay that into real customers.
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