20 November 2019 – Third year Business Analytics student Cai Shuhang won the first place prize in The GoldenHack competition held from 5 to 6 October this year. The GoldenHack is a business hackathon for students in Waterloo, Canada, to solve challenging problems over 24 hours.
Around a hundred university students competed against each other to formulate and pitch their innovative business ideas to a panel of judges. Teams could choose to take on either a business development or security challenge, or create their own challenge statement.
Shuhang and his team members, NUS Mechanical Engineering student Chua Hao Yan and NUS Business School student Kathleen Chow, won the first place prize for their innovative food recommendation app. Their app, called Anything, helps groups decide on a place to eat. “We are a group of indecisive students who can never decide on what to eat when we go out,” explained Shuhang. “So we decided to make an app that helps us pick a place.”
The team’s app will generate a list of restaurants based on the users’ location and eliminate certain places based on the different users’ dietary preferences. From there, users in the group can choose a restaurant from the generated list. The restaurant with the most votes will be reflected as the top suggested place in the app.
As the team came from either a business or engineering background, Shuhang and his teammates decided to play on their strengths and chose to develop wireframes for their app instead of coding it from scratch. The team also chose to focus on refining their business model and their market analysis report. “While some of our competitors had products that were cooler than ours, we were able to sell our idea better and that gave us the edge above the rest. We came with zero expectations and were pleasantly surprised with our win,” Shuhang added.
The team is currently in Toronto, Canada, for a year-long NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme. NOC is an entrepreneurial experience for NUS students to kickstart their interest in entrepreneurship while attending courses at the various partner universities.