15 Mar 2019 | Business & Innovation, Corporate Responsibility | by Robin Nierynck

DeliveryHack: first hackathon of the year codes for social cause

The first week of March marked the first Delivery Hero Hackathon of 2019. Twenty-one teams joined together for four days to work on creating innovative solutions to real problems across five categories: Customer Experience, Rider Experience, Vendor Experience, Candidate and Employee Experience, and Developer Experience.

Three special categories focused on: best business idea, best use of machine learning in a project, and the Heroes Choice Award.

On day one, participants pitched their ideas and grouped into teams, after which they set off to work on finding viable solutions to their challenges. As the hackathon came to a close, a jury decided on the six winning teams, while the Hero Choice Award was opened up to employees to vote for their favorite project.

Chief Technology Officer, Christian von Hardenberg, acted as one of the jury members. “I’m excited that the first Delivery Hero Hackathon of 2019 was such a success and I’m already looking forward to the next editions,” he said.

“We have amazing talent working in our tech and product teams and it’s great to be able to dedicate time for innovative solutions which they come up with themselves to work on – and create their own teams! It was a busy four days of hacking for everyone and a great event to be part of.”

Coding for social entrepreneurship

One of the DeliveryHack teams was composed of Dannon D’Mello and Alexandre Le Roy, two software engineers who joined Delivery Hero in February and were encouraged by their managers to take part in the hackathon. Alexandre and Dannon worked on a pitch that was presented at the hackathon by share, a social startup and winner of this year’s Hero Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

Share is a social consumer brand that focuses on the 1+1 principle. For every share protein bar, bottle of water or hand soap that’s sold, the company provides one meal, one day’s water supply, or one piece of soap to a person in need.

As of 2018, share products are sold in over 4,000 retail outlets across Germany, providing 2 million meals to people in need, 5.7 million days of clean drinking water, and over 548,000 soaps.

“We have amazing talent working in our tech and product teams and it’s great to be able to dedicate time for innovative solutions which they come up with themselves to work on.”

– Christian von Hardenberg, Chief Technology Officer at Delivery Hero

The pitch was simple, as Dannon explained: “Every time you buy a share product, part of the profit gets donated to a good cause, and one of share’s features is that you can track what that donation gets spent on. As with all charities, people want to know where their money goes, but there were too many steps before a customer could reach this information.”

After scanning a product’s QR code, customers still had to find and manually enter the product’s tracking number, before they could reach the relevant information.

The team developed a mobile application to simplify these steps. “We took out the two manual steps and used something called image processing and OCR (Object Character Recognition). So all customers need to do is use the share app, which scans the product and directs users to the relevant information about their contribution,” Alexandre said. The team also made share’s global impact more noticeable by placing the key achievements on the app’s homepage in a visual way.

Marie-Sophie Vorbrodt, Project Manager for the executive board at share, said: “The automatism of the 1+1 donation principle is beautiful: It allows you as a consumer here in Germany to connect with another person – someone that you just enabled to fulfill a basic need. Being transparent about this is one of our absolute musts here at share.”

“During the DeliveryHack, Dannon and Alexandre teamed up and worked closely with us to solve this issue. In the end, they showed us a possible method of resolution by presenting a mobile app. We are thankful for the chance of being part of this year’s Hack Week and will for sure dig deeper into their idea now.”

Find out more about share.