ION comes together to innovate at the annual technology competition in India

May 26, 2023

Developing and employing modern technology is at the heart of everything we do here at ION. Following on from the success of our inaugural external hackathon last year, we organized ‘ION<athon> localhost 2.0’ this year — an internal, dynamic, entrepreneurial technology competition that assembled 150 of my colleagues from seven different cities at our Noida office in India. Traveling from 6 offices across Bangalore, Chennai, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, we tested 42 teams on their ability to innovate, collaborate, and showcase original solutions. The brief? To generate ideas that would enhance ION’s products, optimize our processes, and grow our offerings as a global business in just 24 hours.

This year’s competition created a new platform for internal employees of all levels of experience to solve day-to-day complexities, applying true ION values in a collaborative and energetic setting. We encouraged this year’s teams to challenge convention and find creative solutions in three distinct areas: ‘Product Innovation’, ‘Process Innovation’ and ‘Business Innovation’. As well as working with each other, all involved had the opportunity to lean into the support and oversight of our senior leaders throughout the entire development process.

Of the eight teams that pitched their concepts in the Grand Finale, a final three were rightfully recognized as this year’s winners, with strong proposals for harnessing machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) for the growth of our global business.

At a time when these emerging technologies are at the top of the agenda for the wider financial technology industry, it was impressive to see these three teams rise to the challenge of applying them in the form of usable solutions to operational challenges: a skill that’s incredibly important to ION’s future success.

It is often said that true innovation rarely springs from routine and lies at the intersection of different cultures, disciplines, and ideas. By bringing a range of our people together across multiple locations, products, and functions, we are pleased to have unveiled some of the most exciting ideas from the next generation of ION talent, all while inspiring enthusiasm for how we can apply emerging technologies to our own growth.

With each ION<athon>, we create the conditions for collaboration – marshaling a range of experts and newcomers from each of our divisions (Markets, Corporates, and Analytics) together in one physical space – and consistently find innovation.

One of the most exciting outcomes of the ION<athon> localhost 2.0 is the ION playbook, which we are creating to consolidate the new learnings from these competitions for future applications across the business.

As some of you might already know, ION<athon> is one of many initiatives aligned with our global commitments to support creative talent and create employment opportunities across the international community. More opportunities are sure to follow, so we encourage you to watch this space.

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