Why did you sign up for the Hackathon?
Kasun Perera I have been into few hackathons before and saw F10 hackathon as another good opportunity. I quit my academic career to be an entrepreneur and was looking for ideas in Fintech Domain. So, I thought F10 hackathon will be a good opportunity to discuss new ideas and as well as test some of the ideas I was having.
Rishi Ramchandani I recently left my job at Merrill Lynch after a decade to try an be an entrepreneur. To be completely honest I never even thought to enter a hackathon, I never thought I could add any value. I don’t have a very technical background but I have been in finance for a long time and understand the landscape very well. I was surprised how much value I could add without being tech.
Did you know each other before the Hackathon?
Rishi Ramchandani I knew Kasun for about 6 weeks before the hackathon. We met at Entrepreneur First (EF) where we starting working on ideas. We have complete opposite careers and expertise but in my opinion that’s what makes us a great team. I met Cuong the day before the hackathon, he used to work with Kasun at the University here in SG. Both Kasun and Cuong have great technical experience and personalities. It’s been a pleasure working with them, I learnt a lot from them.
Kasun Perera I can confirm that, it is precisely our different perspectives on a subject that make us strong. Cuong Tran, whom I already knew as a fellow student from my university education, where we had worked together on a project, was also crucial. Cuong and I had already taken part in another hackathon together, which we were able to win. The idea was obvious that we could also bundle our forces for the F10 Hackathon. Together with Rishi we could form a really great team.
How did you get together at the Hackathon?
Kasun Perera and Rishi Ramchandani Me and Rishi decided to attend the hackathon and try an idea out, we reached out to Cuong before hand to see if he wanted to join too. We needed three of us to accomplish what we did, it was most definitely a team effort.
How did you experience the F10 Hackathon in Singapur?
Kasun Perera Being very honest this is the best Hackathon I attended. I have been to four Hackathons but F10 was unique. The input sessions organized was great. Mentors were super impressive, and we learned a lot from them. I would give 100% for this hackathon.
Rishi Ramchandani It was a great experience and won’t be my last hackathon! The members of F10 were extremely helpful as were the mentors and judges. The full experience was thrilling and an amazing learning experience. We got to meet an incredible group of people. I have zero complaints about the Hackathon and would highly recommend anyone interested in the fintech space give it a shot, you will learn so much!
What rank have you reached and what does that mean for you?
Kasun Perera und Rishi Ramchandani We got the Golden Ticket at the hackathon! This was an amazing validation to the idea. We were playing around with the idea a few days before the hackathon and when talking to mentors we had to pivot the solution. They gave us great advice and we were able to learn from it to deliver a better product.
In the startup world, as I am learning, you often go through days on uncertainty. This was great validation for us that what we are working on and trying to build is something that people will use.
Can you describe the next steps you will take?
Kasun Perera und Rishi Ramchandani Me and Rishi have decided to pursue the idea. We are working with potential customers and have connected with SIX, who have been unbelievably helpful. They are a great company and a great group of people who have provided us with support. We are hopeful that Cuong joins us in due time.
Do you want to know more about F10 and the next Hackathon? Visit the F10 website.
The Golden Ticket
Golden Ticket winners have the opportunity to qualify for the F10 Acceleration Program "Prototype to Product". The 6-month program supports start-ups in transforming their prototypes into marketable products. The Golden Ticket shortens the selection process as the winners are promoted directly to the final round and thus gain a big advantage.