To celebrate National Small Business Week, Visa and the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted the first-ever Small Business Week Hackathon at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. over the past weekend. A total of 65 local app developers, business owners and entrepreneurs competed for a total prize pool of $24,000. The participants were asked to use APIs from the U.S. Government and Visa Developer Platform’s newly introduced Small Business API Filter, a section of the platform that is helping small business developers easily identify APIs relevant to them.
The teams were challenged to design a solution to help small business owners address day-to-day financial elements of running a small business such as access to business solutions, optimizing cash flow, building and accessing business credit and making payments efficiently. Throughout the weekend, the SBA and Visa teams hosted educational workshops and offered mentorship opportunities for the participants.
On Sunday afternoon, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon joined Visa’s Head of Global Small Business, David Simon, to announce the winners.
The grand prize winning team ($10,000), D.C. natives, created Hermyz, a bot that enables small businesses to manage and pay invoices using the Visa Direct API, which could eliminate the need for checks and paper receipts.
The winner of the Visa API Challenge ($2,000), awarded for the best use of Visa Data and Analytic APIs, was a team that created DataBridge, a solution that simplifies business intelligence for small businesses and allows businesses to target their marketing campaigns specific to demographic and geographic segments. The team was led by a DC small business owner who used Visa APIs including Visa Merchant Locator and Visa Merchant Measurement APIs in conjunction with Dynamic Small Business Search (DSBS) API from the U.S. Government.
“This event was a great extension of the strong partnership we’ve had with the U.S. Small Business Administration over the past decade,” said Justin King, VP of Visa Small Business Product, “The foundation of our partnership is based on a common-goal of enabling small businesses to thrive, and that was the outcome this weekend.”
Once again, sincere congratulations to the Hermyz (Christopher Phillips, Mike Nabil, Sandro Guraspasvili, Zach Bauer and Mohamed Elkarim) and DataBridge (Yingquan Li, William Lemus, Tekle Ayele, Andrew Kim, Hua Wang) teams. For those of you who couldn’t join us in person, below is a quick glimpse of the exciting hackathon activities this weekend.