First AI Hackathon in Buenos Aires

After successfully launching our Hackathon series at the sovanta Headquater in Heidelberg, Germany with the 2023 event focusing on SAP Build apps for Office Culture and our 2024 version centering on “AI for Our Daily Work” we extended this series to our Buenos Aires office. Florian Leicher traveled to Argentina and, together with the local sovanta team, he organized the Data & AI lab sponsored hackathon with the theme “Using SAP GenAI Hub to Simplify Work-Life in Argentina”.

sovanta Academy AI Hackathon in Argentina

We decided to condense the event into a single day, commencing early in the morning and extending beyond 22:00, creating a truly intense and invigorating experience. This format even allowed a member from Cordoba to join us in Buenos Aires. We initiated the day with a comprehensive workshop on large language models (LLMs) and advanced techniques such as retrieval augmented generation, sentence embeddings, refinement strategies, and ChatGPT functions. To expedite the process, teams were provided with bare-bones sample repositories. Before the event, we had already conducted some brainstorming on ideas. In person, we further developed these ideas and then divided into three different teams. Throughout the day, we checked in with the teams multiple times to assess progress while enjoying some amazing Argentinian cuisine along the way.

Three teams, three innovative solutions with GenAI Hub

These are the three teams that participated in the Hackathon:

  1. PedidosIA: This team developed a chatbot that aggregates menus from nearby restaurants and guides users through the ordering process. The goal is to integrate the final product into our teams to streamline food orders and simplify decision-making.
  2. AttrassAin: Focusing on intelligently integrating our customers’ knowledge pages into sovanta’s Innovation Factory, this team successfully integrated one customer’s Confluence into the application using OpenAI’s functions to extract specific data in the required Innovation Factory format.
  3. traffic.AR: Given Buenos Aires’ frequent disruptions such as strikes, demonstrations, and roadworks, this team constructed an app that gathers information from various sources, processes it with an LLM, and determines if a user’s route is affected based on Google Maps data. If affected, the app sends a notification to the user.

Culmination of hard work and creativity

Two weeks after the hackathon, we organized a presentation ceremony where all teams showcased their results. Despite heavy rainfall in Buenos Aires on that day, which nearly led to rescheduling the event, more than 60 sovantees from Germany joined remotely to witness the exciting presentations from their argentinian colleagues. It was a challenging decision for the jury, headed by Agustin Pighin to select the winning team. Ultimately, traffic.AR was nominated as the winner.

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Our conclusion: great team event

In conclusion, the hackathon was a resounding success as a social event, bringing together members from different parts of Argentina. The participants not only learned about new technologies but also about how to work in a team and quickly sketch a solution. Moreover, it facilitated collaboration among Argentinian sovantees: juniors and seniors, frontend and backend,  who hadn’t previously worked together, resulting in the creation of new innovative solutions.

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