Mission: Economy - Düsseldorf Hackathon



Over the past weekend I participated in my first ever hackathon here in Dusseldorf. The theme described on the event page was rather vague and didn't really have any clear direction so we weren't sure what exactly to expect. Before arriving we had decided that we wanted to do something interesting and/or fun with the Panama papers data that was released publicly.

Eventually we decided to create a simple website to 'Build Your Own Offshore Corporation', poking fun at the ridiculousness of the companies (if you can even call them that) mentioned in the papers. Using the actual data pulled from the papers we allow the user to generate a name, locate an intermediary to help set up their corporation, and decide which tax jurisdiction to have the company operate in. We used R Shiny to build a quick prototype. It isn't hosted online anywhere but if you clone our github repo you can run it locally.

The funniest part for us was seeing how silly the actual companies names are. A couple of our group member put together the graphic above, using the most common words found in the names. Give it a try to see for yourself!

At the conclusion of the event we ended up taking home the prize for 'Best Pitch'. Which was quite a surprise to us as it seemed that our project was probably not what the judges were really looking for. So all-in-all not a bad way to spend a couple days. It was definitely an interesting experience for my first hackathon.

Finally I'd like to thank everybody in our group that participated! Without them this would not have been quite so successful or fun.