MACHathon 2021 Winners Solutions for “Getting Unstuck”

The first global MACHathon showcased creative ways to help people get virtually unstuck. Seventeen teams from around the world had one week to invent a solution, with many focusing on issues that are prevalent due to Covid-19, and turn their idea into reality using MACH technologies and composable architectures.

Taking into account the many inventive projects that were brought to life in just a few days, it was a close race on who would win the five category awards and who would take home the overall MACHnificent Award. After careful deliberation, a jury of digital leaders across industries selected the top solution in each category.



The Maturity Award

Sponsored by commercetools, the Maturity award looks for the submission that offers the most complete end-to-end solution.

The winner was i-Electra, a simple shopping experience with curbside pickup created by a team from Infosys. The solution helps small retailers get online quickly and safely deliver their products by bringing together curbside pickup, live chat, personalized content, and customer perks in a fully responsive experience across desktop and mobile.

“We were able to build a fully functional solution with 5 different products from the MACH Alliance” the team states on their project story page. “We were able to do this within a week despite having little or no exposure to most of these products.”

“We really liked the composition of technologies they were using,” said judge, Roberto Carrera of EPAM, when presenting the award, “how it made sure businesses can have interaction with their customers, and how using technologies and automation like the chatbot was really able to bring it to completion.”


The Usability Award

Sponsored by Amplience, the Usability award was given to the team that designed the most innovative UI/UX.

SociaLocal took home top honors in this category, a platform designed by a team from Valtech that fosters involvement of people and small businesses in their local neighbourhood through four key principles: Discover, Connect, Help Out, and Meet Up.

The judges agreed that the SociaLocal solution was a great example of a simple and intuitive UI that was bringing together local people and businesses, and really solving the problem of “getting unstuck” that was set for all the entries.

For most of the team, this was their first hackathon experience, and collaboration happened across multiple time zones. On their project story page, the team says that the MACH philosophy allowed them to decouple the different work streams and successfully work in distributed environments.



The Relevance Award

Sponsored by Valtech, the Relevance award looks for the solution with the highest perceived value for the end users.

The winner was the Shopping Helper Bot designed to make online shopping easier, safer, and less stressful for seniors and their families. Created by a team from EPAM, the solution uses a Telegram bot that allows seniors to use simple text search to fill a communal shopping cart, and have the most digitally fluent member of the group handle the eCommerce aspects.

“It’s very in-the-moment, and we’ve all experienced needing to shop for necessities lately,” said judge, Mihaela Mazzenga of The Sharper Image, when presenting the award. “It’s a great example of use of technology for a real world problem, and it also eases an experience for multi-generational families.”



The Viability Award

Sponsored by EPAM, the Viability award goes to the solution with the highest perceived business value.

The solution for at home learning, TeacherNator, took home the award. Designed by a team from Valtech, the solution brings together technologies to create an interactive learning environment that goes beyond a textbook and Zoom.

“The solution provides business value in combining a very cost effective combination of good platforms to deliver a very effective interactive teaching platform,” said judge, Peter Burggraaff of Boston Consulting Group, when presenting the award. “It presents a very clear solution for real channels of at home schooling.”

The team is planning on the next iteration of the project to include a video-conferencing solution and engagement analytics to further help teachers support their students, according to their project story page.



MACHnificent Award

The MACHnificent award is the grand prize for the overall winner of the first annual MACH Alliance MACHathon. The winning team was the one that scored the most points across all criteria of the judging framework.

The 2021 MACHnificent Award goes to the Food Bank Connector, designed by a team from LAB Group. The solution brings together the food bank network to highlight demand, send out alerts, and connect the dots between services like logistics and surplus distribution. Leveraging a stack of technology to revolutionize the way food banks operate.

“This is a really great example of how you can use different MACH technologies to solve a real world problem.” said judge, Pascal Lagarde of Valtech, when presenting the award. “It looks great, it really helps unstick multiple groups of stakeholders, and we thought it was the best overall solution to the assignment that was given only a week ago.”

“This was our first experience with MACH tech and surprised with how quickly we were able to build our tool and upskill.” the team says on their project story page.

“The scalable nature of MACH tech means that we can roll it out to other areas that need help too.” says team member and art director, Rebecca Kidston.

“We’ll definitely be continuing with the project after the MACHathon is over,” says team member and lead technical solutions architect, Deon Smith, “as we really feel it can make a difference.”


The Integration Award

Sponsored by Contentstack, the Integration award is for the most innovative combination of solutions stacked together.

The award goes to AtmaNirbhar, a platform developed by a team from Accenture that uses audio and visual tools to make it easier for marginalized members of society to join the digital world. Using voice search and augmented reality, the solution is especially designed to help people around the world without literacy skills access the benefits of digital to sell their services and products, as well as stay up to date with what their local government has to offer.

“What we really liked about this one is it helps illiterate folks use audiovisual to make it easier to connect and run a ‘phygital’ business, a combination of physical and digital, and we thought that was an amazing project.” said judge, Jasmin Guthmann of Valtech, when presenting the award.

On their project story page, the team says they would like to continue developing the AR functionality of the platform to make it easier for users to review products and learn skills.



People’s Choice Award

Sponsored by McFadyen Digital, the People’s Choice Award was voted on by the public.

Each of the seventeen teams received a share of the votes, with a network of over 1050 people selecting their favorite project. With over 200 votes, AtmaNirbhar was the overall winner. Developed by a team from Accenture, this audiovisual platform was also the winner of the Integration Award, as seen above.


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