Tech

Leandro Storoli dos Santos

Jul 5, 2023

Behind the scenes of Wolt Hackathon 2023

Hackathon 2023

At Wolt, we value innovation, collaboration, and pushing boundaries. 🚀 In June 2023, our third Wolt Hackathon event provided a platform for our talented people to get together and transform ideas into reality. This year, 70 participants gathered together to embark on a 48-hour journey of creativity and innovation. 

The concept is simple: people submit their project ideas, teams are selected to hack problems of their choice and in the Hackathon they have two days to turn the idea into a working demo. There’s only one rule — no coding before the actual event. And of course, only one team can be the winner! It’s a great opportunity for our people to meet, have fun, and build cool things together. Let’s see how things went down this year.

Getting ready for it!

Before the event, people were asked to submit ideas for potential projects for the Hackathon. In total, we received 45 amazing ideas — the competition was on already! The theme of this year’s  Hackathon  was “The Future of Wolt” where people could let their imagination run wild and think about new features, untapped opportunities, improvements in how we work, industry trends, or even simple things like getting notified about your coffee being ready at work 😄 — so indeed anything that would make Wolt’s products, or the employee experience here better.

AI, AI, AI, generative AI… 

Unsurprisingly, AI was the coolest kid on the block in this year's Hackathon ideas. Several Hackathon teams embraced its potential to create smarter and more efficient ways to engage with our customers and support our merchants. The projects presented demonstrated groundbreaking uses of AI technology, showcasing its potential impact on various aspects of our operations now and in the future.

After collecting ideas, we asked everyone in our product teams to vote for the ones they’d want to see hacked this year. It was a tough call! We ended up with 12 projects after voting, and it was then time for Hackathon participants to pick which projects they’d like to be part of.

It was essential to build diverse teams with the right skills, have the opportunity for new joiners to get to know folks from other teams, and ensure teams would have enough support to build and demo their ideas at the end of the 48 hours. Teams were formed by our product masterminds from engineering, data and design teams, all following the one rule: no coding before the event!

Let’s get hacking!

3...2..1.., hack!
3...2..1.., hack!

On the day of the event, teams arrived at the beautiful Nuuksio national park in Southern Finland, where we hosted the event. It was time to kick off the Hackathon — teams now had 48 hours to complete their projects. This meant intense coding sessions and hard work. But teams also had time to enjoy the jacuzzi, go to the gym, have a Nintendo Switch tournament, hike around the beautiful Nuuksio national park area, and have some refreshments to bring the focus back into their projects.

“Wolt for Friends” team hacking away
“Wolt for Friends” team hacking away

While we thought that 48 hours would be challenging, one of the teams surprised us by having their project ready before the deadline. This called out for a special “First in Production” award. Congrats, “Wolt URL Shortener” team! 💪

It’s demo time

After an intense, yet fun-filled two days, everything culminated in a demo session and the award ceremony. Teams needed to prepare a 3-minute demo video to be shared across Wolt so our product team and hackers could vote for the winner. We live-streamed all the demo videos for our whole product organization to see and vote. Livestreaming the demos to our product teams straight from the beautiful lakeside of Nuuksio national park made the event pretty special!

Wolt product team members could pick their three favorite projects and had 50% of the votes; the other 50% came from our Hackathon participants.

Livestream with a view
Livestream with a view! Team live streaming Hackathon projects to the rest of Wolt

At the Hackathon, teams also had five minutes to showcase their ideas live to other participants to win the remaining 50% of the votes. We were excited to see that all projects worked! We finished up the voting and it was time to reveal the winner. 🏆

This year’s Hackathon winner was the “AI Generated Images in Menus” team. In their project, they explored the idea of how Wolt could potentially use AI in the future to help us generate images in restaurant menus. Taking photos of the restaurant dishes is one of the most time-consuming, and expensive processes in onboarding new restaurants to Wolt, yet the photos are crucial for consumers who are much more likely to order if they see a visual. The team came up with an interesting solution of leveraging AI for this problem, and maybe someday we can explore how to make something like it into reality.

Winners' celebration!
Winners' celebration!

Sneak peek to some of this year’s projects

Overall, we were incredibly impressed with what all our teams built together in just 48 hours. While all the projects would deserve a special shoutout, we wanted to share a couple of them with you readers as well. These are all amazing ideas with wolt-grade designs, and we hope to bring them to our platform some day.

Yuho got a new game — Yuhogotchi!

One of the teams brought our Yuho to life in the form of a game. They described the idea as follows:

“Introducing Yuhogotchi, the ultimate virtual companion that brings excitement and joy to your Wolt experience. Adopt and nurture your adorable Yuhogotchi creature, forming a deep bond as you care for its needs and explore a captivating virtual world together. You can interact daily with the Yuhogotchi by feeding, playing, and taking care of it, and with every order you place on the Wolt platform, you unlock some additional Joker actions to enhance your Yuhogotchi's journey.

As you nurture and watch your Yuhogotchi grow happier, the connection between you and your virtual companion strengthens. Let Yuhogotchi transform your Wolt adventures into unforgettable experiences, where the thrill of gaming meets the convenience of ordering delicious meals and other treats right to your doorstep.”

We’d surely love to see Yuhogotchi in production some day!

Wolt URL Shortener

wo.lt is a URL shortening service that provides a shorter and more manageable version of long URLs. It takes a long web address and generates a shorter alternative redirecting to the original URL when accessed. The purpose of wo.lt is to make it easier to share and distribute URLs, especially in situations where character count or space is limited, such as presentations or social media posts. 

Wolt URL Shortener won the “First in production” award — congrats to the team 🏆

Wolt for Friends

Let’s hear it directly from the team behind the idea:

“Are you always ordering the same thing on Wolt?? Maybe you’re nervous about trying new restaurants?  Not excited about the  recommendations in the app ? That’s why we worked on an idea of Wolt for Friends, integrating social elements into the Wolt app. The aim of our project was to allow users to add friends to their Wolt profile, thus enabling easy recommendation sharing directly inside the Wolt app. 

For the hackathon project, we implemented an MVP that would prompt users to recommend restaurants or dishes after they review an order. These recommendations would then show up for their friends as an Instagram story-like post at the top of the app. Future implementations could include showing friends’ high scores for the Easter Egg game, showing friends’ recommendations on venue pages, suggestions of restaurants for group orders, and showing friends’ personal award badges. 🥳"

Great idea, let’s see if we'll see this in real life someday! 

Save your favorite items

Last but not least, let’s hear it from the team behind the project number four!

“Remember that one time you ordered that awesome pizza from Wolt? If only you could recall which heavenly pizza it was. But fear not, my forgetful friend, because the Wolt team came up with an idea of  'Save your favorite items'. Say goodbye to memory lapses and let Wolt be your pizza guru. It’s as simple as tapping that adorable heart icon next to the item of your dreams. Voila! With Wolt’s 'Save your favorite items' feature, you have the convenience of revisiting your cherished items at any time, while enjoying the added benefit of seeing them elegantly highlighted in your search results.”

Congrats to all the winners, who will now continue to investigate the best way to bring these ideas to our customers. 

Overall Wolt Hackathon 2023 was a resounding success! We want to thank everyone that participated and helped this event to happen. Hackathons are a truly special way to bring our people together and build awesome things together. 

We wish to see everyone again next year! 🚀


Want to be part of our next Hackathon? Join our team — we’re hiring!

Leandro Storoli dos Santos

Leandro Storoli dos Santos

Engineering Director, Merchant Group