Over the course, of the weekend 13 to 14 April, 25 top honours and final-year students from five South African universities took part in the 24-hour hackathon to conceptualise, design and build an actuarial model.

They took on the challenge of developing a predictive customer retention programme for MiWay insurance. The catch is that they had only 24 hours to think about, design and build a focused customer retention programme from supplied data.

“For the students, the Hackathon is about testing their financial modelling skills and seeing how they shape against stiff competition from students with similar capabilities. For MiWay, the accent is on finding the best skills for taking the company into the future- a future that is becoming increasingly technical and focused on producing complex, mathematically-based solutions for the financial services sector,” says Jaco Cloete, head of actuarial at MiWay.

The top prize of R20 000 went to the duo of Matt Lourens and Dehan Opperman from North-West University, masters students, in business analytics/data mining. Christian Hitchcock, a University of Pretoria honours student in actuarial science was the runner-up and won R5 000. Lebogang Moremi, a University of Pretoria honours student in actuarial science took the third place, winning R3 000.