News Team

BilotGo.ai reverse hackathon produces business-relevant AI solutions in eight weeks


By News Team

This spring, something exciting has been going on behind the scenes at Bilot. Can you really build a business-relevant AI solution in two months – while doing your regular day job? Our teams stepped up and rose to the challenge.

Hackathons usually involve several teams working on one business-related challenge for a single company for a short period of time, such as one weekend. At Bilot, we decided to approach the traditional hackathon in a different way: why not invite several companies with several challenges and give the teams enough time to actually produce impactful, fully functioning solutions? Enter the BilotGo.ai reverse mega-hackathon.

“With so much high-flying AI hype and hot air out there, it was crucial for us to stay practical in this hackathon. We wanted to demonstrate how machine learning can be applied to achieve practical, tangible solutions in a short time frame. At the same time, we wanted both our teams and our customers to deepen their understanding of artificial intelligence, which now is becoming a natural part of the modern full stack”, says CEO Mika Tanner.

The reverse hackathon began in February with a call for challenges, with selected customers invited to participate. Business/AI workshops were organized individually for each participating customer in co-operation with Louhia Analytics in order to identify and scope a suitable business problem. In the end, four customers and four challenges were identified:

The challenges were pitched to hack contestants in March, and teams were formed around each challenge. To help the teams deepen their AI skills, we partnered with Louhia Analytics, whose seasoned data scientists helped the teams go above and beyond what they already knew.

”An innovative, active team with hunger for victory paved the road to success. Our strong ambition is to take this to production.” – feedback from customer

The teams worked on their challenges over the course of 8 weeks, with the customers participating with data and domain expertise. Finally, on June 5th, the BilotGo.ai teams pitched their business solutions to an eager crowd and a five-person invited jury.

”Ideas to action – can-do attitude with great speed & collaboration!” – feedback from customer

The esteemed jury consisted of Gitte Winther Bruhn (SAP), Taneli Leppä (Google), Denis Cepun (Microsoft), Janne Liuttu (Ramboll) and Antti Apunen (Ediste) as chairman. Teams were judged on criteria such as resolution, the difficulty of the problem, the business relevance and scalability of the solution, completeness and style, the technical savviness and overall hackmanship of the team.

”The team was active and eager, learned quickly, and demonstrated great communication” – feedback from customer

After intensive deliberation, the jury came back with its verdict, announcing Team Raisioagro as the winner of the first BilotGo.ai challenge. The team’s take on data-driven farming received praise for its practical approach to applying machine learning for objectives such as improving cow health, optimizing feeding plans, and increasing milk yield.

Congratulations to the winners, who will be embarking on an intense excursion to the Silicon Valley and San Francisco to draw inspiration from the heart of tech innovation!

”Creating business value through technology requires more than data and algorithms. It also requires understanding the end user’s needs and change management. The hackathon gave us a technical solution to the challenge, with additional features supporting the user’s activities and decision-making.” – feedback from customer

Want to hear more about what went on this spring? We will be presenting the BilotGo.ai hackathon at the Digital X event on August 29th, as well as our BilotGo event in September. Can’t wait that long? Get in touch and let’s talk.