For this third edition of the URWxHEC Paris Hackathon, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield welcomed – virtually this year – 32 students who worked in teams on their projects through videoconference. The 2-day event titled “Smart Retail & Ecological Crisis: 2000sqm to save the world!” was an amazing way for the Digital, Entrepreneurship and SASI majors to showcase their ideas on disrupting the retail industry.
After the first edition of the URWxHEC Paris Hackathon on “smart cities” in 2019, and the second edition on “reinventing retail destinations with 5,000sqm” in 2020, thi’s year’s edition was organized online 100% to enable students to develop projects on a new topic.
This 2-day event gathered students from 3 HEC Paris majors: Digital, Entrepreneuship and SASI (Sustainability and Social Innovation) to work on the topic: “Smart Retail & Ecological Crisis: 2000sqm to save the world!”.
After a first day ½ of work, the 8 teams pitched their projects in front of an internal jury composed of senior managers, that selected the 3 most promising projects for the final phase. Once again, the jury was very pleased and surprised to discover very ambitious and completed projects.
At the end of these intense and enthusiastic days of work, the 3 finalists pitched their projects in front of an exceptional jury composed of URW collaborators: Anne-Sophie Sancerre, Chief Operating Officer Southern Europe, Julie Villet, Director of Marketing Strategy & Innovation. The jury also held external partners: Achille Gazagnes, CEO of CAVAL, Thomas Papadopoulos, CEO of Possible Future and Raphaëlle Gautier, Executive Director Corporate Partnerships and Careers at HEC Paris.
The 3 projects awarded by the jury
The jury evaluated these projects based to 4 criteria: their sustainable aspect, their duplicability, their economic viability and their innovative dimension. After a very close vote, here are the 3 winners:
- The first prize goes to “Le Bien Manger”, a concept store focused on food: it offers quality, local products, and simplifies grocery shopping thanks to technology innovations such as digital screens creating grocery lists from recipes selections. And the place also includes lively experiences and events, such as culinary shows, etc.
- The projet that comes second is “EnVRmental”, a space where visitors can immerse in nature thanks to advanced virtual reality experiences. This place aims to raise awareness on the ecological emergency through partnerships with NGOs for instance, while offering an interactive and fun experience.
- The third winning project is “BrandUp”, a second-hand store offering upcycled fashion items in order to reduce fashion waste. The concept is simple: BrandUp purchases unsold items from other brands present in the shopping centre and gives them a “second life” in the repair workshop in the back of the store and then sells them in the store.
The URWxHEC Paris Hackathon is a unique opportunity to work with brilliant students who offer their vision, perspective and creativity in order to create the shopping destinations of tomorrow, while intergrating environmental challenges. The exceptional work of the three winners is really going to be helpful for us.Julie Villet
Congratulations to all participants and a big thank you to this organizing team for putting together such a successful event… See you next year!