Hackathon 2018: 6 students, 4 countries, 3 universities

In the last semester, a group of WU Students decided to join the WU-BOKU Hackathon adventure. The Hackathon is a competition in which students, coming from different backgrounds, form groups in order to solve a real-life business case. Gaelle Peleus wrote this blogpost to share her experience.

Thanks to the collaboration with Wirtschaftsverlag, the students have the opportunity to present their solutions at the Weltmarktführer congress in front of an audience of top managers. This year, BIOMIN, market leader in animal nutrition solutions, decided to join the Hackathon by offering an exciting business challenge.

Finding the perfect solution for a real-life business situation is always challenging. In case of the 2017 Hackathon we had to envision a new business model for BIOMIN that fits in the context of today’s digital revolution. Thus, the solution had to combine two elements: business and agriculture. Luckily, our diverse group was able to work together effectively and benefited from a heterogeneous skillset and expertise. Our team consisted of six members: Greta Margaux Klier & Arthur Miller (CEMS / WU), Gaelle Peleus & Judit Szaffenauer (Marketing / WU & Bocconi) and Reinhard Puntigam & Julia Slama (BOKU).

Our solution in a nutshell

Our idea is centred around one simple thing, a coin, but not any coin, the BIOMIN Coin. The BIOMIN Coins program is a customer acquisition mechanism. 49% of potential customers are not using feed additives, therefore our main objective was to acquire those ones. So how does it work? The business model is divided in 4 steps:

  • Create awareness: A twofold communication plan
    • Outbound marketing measures: Initiate touchpoints at own events and use BIOMIN’s brand name as a leverage to convince prospects to meet up.
    • Inbound marketing measures: Install a drip campaign, using the existing marketing contents to attract warm leads for the BIOMIN Coins program. Extend marketing efforts to specific groups of social networks and expert forums.
  • Guide: After getting the farmer’s awareness, BIOMIN consultants need to convince him to join the BIOMIN Coins program by offering a personalized consultancy. The BIOMIN consultant will visit the farmer, introduce him to the products and program and offer personalized advice related to his farm.
  • Grow & Track: After joining the program, the farmer can collect coins and compete with his peers. The farmer is evaluated based on the main ratio of the market, the Feed Conversion R The FCR is the division of the input given to the animal and the output received out of it, so basically the lower the FCR, the lower the feed given and the higher the quantity of meat received. The farmers can monitor their progress on the BIOMIN website but also directly on the fields by using the BIOMIN application.
  • Harvest: Thanks to good performance, the farmer collects coins. But what can he do with it? He can:
    • Exchange them against BIOMIN products
    • Get free consulting hours
    • Donate to a foundation supported by BIOMIN

What did the students get in return?

As students, using our acquired knowledge during our studies, in a real-life situation is already gratifying. The Hackathon allowed us to work in a professional environment while benefiting from tutorship from professors. We had the chance to present our solution for BIOMIN at the congress of the Wirtschaftsverlag. The feeling of being on a stage in front of 200 managers makes this course a unique experience. We kindly thank all the people who made the Hackathon possible, especially BIOMIN, the Wirtschaftsverlag and Professor Reutterer for their support during the project.

Here you’ll find further Information on the Hackathon 2017.

#hackathon #competition #students #CEMS #Marketing

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