Over the past month, we had the honour to participate in the “Sustain Challenge of Talents of Tomorrow”, organised by EintrachtTech and the Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences. Our team was asked to develop a “Green Rewards Programme” for the Deutsche Bank App that motivates users to adopt sustainable banking practices.
As soon as I got the notification about the Sustain Challenge, I was very interested and excited to participate. Without much hesitation, two fellow FS Bachelor students, Jacob Esser and Jens Spanheimer, and I decided to apply. Shortly after, we got the confirmation of our application and an invitation to the Kick-Off Event on the 6th of November at the Eintracht Frankfurt Profi-Campus. We also got to decide on our challenge partner beforehand, but more on that later.
As a big football (and Eintracht Frankfurt) fan, it was very exciting to get to know the place and people of Eintracht Frankfurt. After speeches from Timm Jäger, CEO of EintrachtTech, and the Founder and CEO of Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Thomas Funke, we learned the different challenges better. Each partner, namely Cheil, Deutsche Bank and VR Payments, introduced themselves and presented their individual challenges, expectations and prerequisites on how a solution should look.
Two groups of four to five students were allocated to each partner to tackle their challenge, and we were lucky enough to work on the challenge presented by Deutsche Bank. After introducing the challenges, we got to know the last member of our team, Luca Rizza, who studies at Goethe University and could speak to the partners ourselves to clarify some questions about the challenge.
As indicated in the name Sustain Challenge, each challenge had to feature sustainable practices, but the hard part was feasibly implementing them while creating a competitive advantage for the partners themselves. In our team’s first meetings, we had many ideas that seemed great initially, but we soon realised that they would be impossible to implement or simply too expensive.
So, we decided to focus on a rather “simple” solution to ensure its feasibility, an important component in assessing the different ideas. Many of Deutsche Bank’s customers state they will likely invest in green financial products. However, not many do so yet – this was where we saw our opportunity. Our idea was to make those products more visible in the first step using AI and incentivize investing in them in the second step.
With our reward system, “Invest goes Green”, we wanted to create a positive impact for Deutsche Bank. During the month of the challenge, we had various check-ups with our mentor from Deutsche Bank, where he provided us with necessary background information and continuously challenged our ideas to ensure a perfect fit for Deutsch Bank’s environment. Further, Tomorrow University organised three meetings, focusing on finding the right target group, prototyping ideas comprehensively, and successfully pitching the final product.
Like the Kick-Off Event, the Demo Day also occurred at the Eintracht Frankfurt Profi-Campus. After a short speech and introductions from the jury, the groups started presenting. One could tell that all groups took their challenges very seriously and worked hard on innovative solutions. Shortly after the 6 groups finished their presentations and answered all the questions, the jury decided on the winners of the Sustain-Challenge 2023. Luckily, the jury liked our presentation due to its feasibility and awarded us second place, which came with 1200€ of prize money.
Over the month, we learned how to function in a team to achieve a common goal and connect the various ideas we had to present an understandable solution. Looking back on the challenge, we enjoyed the development process and would repeat it in a heartbeat!