If you told me a month ago that I will be spending 2 days in The Hague, let alone 4 days in The Netherlands I wouldn’t have believed you, instead I would have laughed at that statement. Well, I have just returned from The Netherland via Wanderbrief. Yes, the same startup that got me to Reykjavik, Iceland just about a year ago.

Mark and Valentijn, the co-founders of Wanderbrief contacted me while still in Budapest to enlist me as a Graphic Designer for the 24-hour Hackathon in The Hague, where the client is headquartered. Aegon N.V., the 170 years old multinational life insurance, pensions and asset management company was hosting the latest Hackathon competition. Altogether there were four Wanderbriefers at this event working hard on these briefs. We had great fun.

This year’s 24-hour Hackathon is a pop up startup where a 24-hour open office is provided for the selected 12 international teams to be inspired to come up with products and services of the future approved by Aegon. These teams consist of 7 team members, all with different set of skills working closely together to turn their ideas into functional prototypes and compete to win €20,000 investment to bring their product or service to market.

During this Hackathon I was responsible designing the user experience and the interface elements for a potential iOS smartphone application, where existing Aegon customers can bypass the excessively complicated administrative procedure of insurance claim. My initial nervousness and fear whether I’d be a good fit for my team and to Wanderbrief quickly evaporated when I met my team members. During the 24-hour creative competition my team worked really smooth and well together, understanding each and every step that was needed for the chosen product to be a working prototype with its business module. Although at the end the winner wasn’t us, our team was the runner-up to the competition, winning the unofficial second place.

Our concept Deep Auto* has won the second place in the competition and has been awarded €10,000 for the first-round of investment.

*Deep Auto is a concept application that uses machine learning to help Aegon customers during the claims process. Deep learning algorithms are applied to recognise the image and identify the type and severity of damage in order to define the likely claim amount.

This hard work and fantastic achievement showed me that my career doesn’t only lie in Graphic Design but it stretches further out to the digital world which I didn’t really feel much compassion for until now.

Despite the very busy schedule I enjoyed the experience of Hackathon that I spent in The Hague. I shall look forward to the winning project to be brought alive.

Below are some photos from my journey.