Growth through the first internal hackathon at Telia

For the past three years, we at VUNK have run accelerator & collaboration programmes, accelerated internal business streams, people, and processes, completed case studies, workshops and initiatives to boost both the Estonian startup ecosystem and increase the value we at Telia provide to our customers. This time, we decided to tackle very concrete internal problems and unleash our employees to solve these.

Thus, on December 13, more than 70 Telia Eesti employees and our partners from 1oT, gotoAndPlay, Meridium Visual, Net Group, Nortal, and Snowhound gathered for the first Telia internal hackathon to give VUNK to Telia's business and make great ideas happen! As the participants worded it, they wanted to dig into problems and validate solutions, they wanted to try something new, get new skills, and break out of the regular daily routine. 

30 hours for developing a working prototype

The teams had about 30 hours altogether to deliver a working prototype which they have validated with the customers. During that time, they also developed both back & front-end of the solutions. Additionally, the team leads learned to pitch with Liis Narusk from Elevate by Garage 48. We provided teams with appreciated external mentors like Martin Rand from the Climate Corporation, Silver Siniavski from e-Residency, Kristi Saaremets from IPF Digital & internal mentors Anna-Liisa Reinson, Andres Ojaver, Andres Peets, Henri-Paul Ariste from Telia Estonia who supported the teams with their valuable know-how.  

Check the hackathon vibes from the video below!

The winning teams 

People are key to every change. We are so proud of our people since they addressed problems in numerous fields, from talent management to customer support, from digital entryways to innovating television shows.

This time, three teams were chosen as winners, based on the pain they solve and the value they bring to Telia’s customers. The members of the Management Board Holger Haljand, Kirke Saar, Kati Vabi & Tarmo Kärsna formed the jury who and dug deep into these problems to decide the winning teams.

  • Micro Front-Ends improves Telia web loading speed up to 20% and release speed by implementing microservices architecture to Telia’s front-end development.

  • Telia API validates new open telco business models by developing an open API allowing SME & large enterprises to manage, monitor, activate, and discontinue Telia’s mobile services.

  • Precidium improves target marketing by developing smart decision algorithms.

All in all, great problems found solutions and what makes us more than content is the feedback we got from the participants. It was the first time we organised a purely internal hackathon and the feedback we got from employees was terrific. Our people appreciated that they can solve the problems they face in their job and feel they contributed to their personal growth. Not only that, because some of the prototypes will be used regardless of the hackathon results! Congratulations to all teams and thank you for this valuable experience!

Telia hackathon in numbers

  • 12 teams were formed and got an acceptance to participate

  • 70 participants = 2/3 Telia employees + 1/3 Telia’s partners

  • 3 teams selected for the incubator stage

  • 1 additional award for a team who needs to work on their ask & MVP proposal and might get funded at a later stage.

  • Winners got prize money and funds to develop their ideas into an MVP within three months. They will report the findings internally to Telia employees in March.

Check all the event photos here.


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