Uni students win big at Hong Leong Bank’s generative AI hackathon

  • ‘Can You Hack It’ saw solutions to improve customer & workplace experience
  • Alignment with HLB brand values which strongly promote a culture of innovation

Kevin Lam (left), Group MD and CEO of HLB and Shailesh Grover (right), Chief Digital and Innovation Officer of HLB with the winning students of Team Intellibank.

Hong Leong Bank (HLB) organized Malaysia’s first Generative AI-themed hackathon in Dec, with its sixth annual ‘HLB Can You Hack It’ hackathon. With 90 teams of students, fresh graduates, and working professionals, the event aimed to provide aspiring developers and innovators the opportunity to showcase their creativity and create a platform for talent development in the next generation.

Over 340 participants, with more than 50% being undergraduates from all around Malaysia, took part, designing solutions that ‘Unleash the Potential of Generative AI’ in the financial space.

Using HLB as a case study, the teams utilized generative AI software and technology to improve customer and workplace experience. From the 10 projects that entered the Grand Finals, Team Intellibank, composed entirely of university students, emerged as Champions for their AI-powered end-to-end employee onboarding solution for new hires and customer-facing staff, winning US$2,150 (RM10,000) for their innovative idea.

According to Kevin Lam, Group Managing Director and CEO of HLB, “This hackathon is in alignment with our HLB brand values where we strongly promote the culture of innovation and integrate cutting-edge technology into everything we do. As we move forward, we also want to provide the space and opportunities for young minds to unleash their creativity in addressing real-world challenges, and nurture the immense talent we have within our ecosystem. Through initiatives like these, we hope to not only identify potential in our extended talent pool, but also see some of these projects come to fruition and be employed in our day-to-day operations, helping us better address our customers’ needs, staying true to our Built Around You brand promise.”

Shailesh Grover, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer of HLB, added that the Hackathons are a strong platform for the next generation to hone their skills and networking within the industry.

“When we realized that there was a lack of competitive innovation-based programs in the financial space we decided to introduce Can You Hack It in 2018.  As the first bank in Malaysia to recognise the importance of these hackathons, it is not only a platform for students to learn from industry experts and showcase their talents but also provides a healthy environment for aspiring IT professionals to network with each other, building a creative and tech-savvy talent pool that will contribute greatly to society soon.”

The other winners include first runners-up Team BankingGPT, bagging US$1,077 (RM5,000) for their AI model tailored for ESG reporting. Three teams tied for the second runners-up spot, winning RM2,500 each.

Team FeatureGenerator developed an app with AI-driven gamified learning, personalized onboarding, a discriminative trading bot, and digital advisory for a tailored, interactive financial investment experience; Team Megaminds created a workspace application that uses generative AI to automate the credit evaluation process; and Team Revolab built a credit evaluation solution utilizing AI to generate scoring and produce comprehensive reports for informed decision-making in loan approval.

The Bank’s annual ‘HLB Can You Hack It’ hackathon is a collaboration with partners including Asia School of Business, Antler, Sunway iLabs, Cradle, MyDIGITAL Corporation, Amazon Web Services, and PayNet. These partners are integral in providing mentorship, share knowledge and provide platforms for participating teams to develop and test their prototypes.

Team Intellibank with their end-to-end employee onboarding during their pitch to the judges.


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