Written by Brandon Yu


It’s been almost a year and a half since the debut of ChatGPT on November 30, 2022, and the artificial intelligence (AI) landscape continues to dramatically evolve. There’s undoubtable potential of AI to revolutionize industries and enhance efficiency, particularly at the enterprise level.

Alongside ChatGPT, companies like Anthropic and Cohere have made significant strides, with Anthropic focusing on AI safety and interpretability, and Cohere improving accessibility to natural language processing tools. One of the latest entrants to the Generative AI (GenAI) race, is Google DeepMind’s Gemini model. 

Gemini is Google AI's next-generation multimodal language model. It excels at reasoning across vast datasets, understanding text, code, and even images. This allows Gemini to solve complex problems and generate creative solutions. It’s a powerful toolkit for developers and researchers,  pushing the boundaries of AI capabilities.

Google’s Gemini was revealed on Dec 18, 2023 and introduces another exciting, accessible LLM for the world to use.

As these advancements unfold, enterprises worldwide recognize the urgency of integrating GenAI into their operations. The challenge lies in keeping pace with the rapid technological advancements to exploit GenAI's full potential effectively. The question isn't whether to adopt GenAI technologies such as ChatGPT, Anthropic, Cohere, and Gemini, but how to do so efficiently to stay ahead in a constantly evolving digital landscape.

By embracing this constant state of flux, enterprises can position themselves at the vanguard of technological advancement, ready to leverage the transformative power of AI to shape the future of business, society, and beyond.

But how do enterprises effectively stay in the loop with the latest technologies within GenAI?

Hackathon as a Means to Facilitate GenAI Capability Development

We’re big proponents of hackathon-led growth – leveraging these dynamic, rapid innovation events as a key facilitator in capability building, employee engagement, and upskilling at scale.

In response to the launch of Google's Gemini, Capgemini seized this opportunity to leverage hackathon-led growth, and commissioned us, Onova, to host a two-week hackathon with two main objectives: (1) Upskilling hundreds of their developers on Gemini capabilities, and (2) developing client-ready enterprise applications on top of Gemini.

By doing so, Capgemini aims to enhance its service offerings within Google Cloud, showcasing Gemini's potential to drive business efficiency, innovation, and transformative solutions across various sectors like Financial Services; Automotive; Consumer Retail, Products, and Distribution; and Telecommunications.

This collaboration was built on the foundation of a successful partnership from the previous year, where Onova successfully facilitated Capgemini’s GenAI Hackathon 2023, with a focus on capability development in Google’s VertexAI suite.

Our recap video of Google Cloud GenAI Hackathon 2024:

The results of last year’s hackathon led to over 30 client-projects being sold, directly from the product outcomes of the hackathon last year.

We’re Innovating on the Way we Facilitate Hackathons

This year, the focus shifted to Gemini's potential, with Onova and Capgemini co-developing a tailored program to accelerate learning and application of Google’s Gemini. The partnership concentrated on creating an immersive experience that would advance the following objectives:

1. Focused Learning: A curriculum specifically designed around Gemini to rapidly upskill participants and equip them with the skills required to develop productive, client-ready solutions for Capgemini participants.

2. Client-tied Use-Cases: The Capgemini team nominated 44 use-cases from clients as part of this year’s hackathon challenges. These were supported with a detailed description and paired with Google’s reference architecture to help streamline client-ready solutions from this hackathon.

3. Expert Mentorship: Capgemini participants had access to mentorship from Google’s Partner Engineers, and Capgemini’s industry experts to help coach them throughout their hackathon build.

In addition to these objectives, the focus has shifted towards ensuring the outcomes are not just innovative but also immediately applicable in real-world client scenarios.

Enhanced Focus on Client-Readiness: The most notable shift this year is the heightened emphasis on developing solutions that are ready for client implementation. This strategic pivot comes on the back of last year's success, where over 30 hackathon projects evolved into solutions directly sold to clients. These hackathon projects would be taken to road shows, showcased at Google Next, and demoed to Capgemini clients - and there was a big focus on ensuring the maturity of the solution.

Integration of Google Gemini: A significant part of this year’s hackathon is dedicated to exploring and utilizing Google's Gemini. This reflects Capgemini's commitment to staying at the cutting edge of technology by incorporating the latest advancements in GenAI into their solutions portfolio. Participants will be encouraged to leverage Gemini’s unique capabilities, pushing the boundaries of what's possible with AI in enterprise contexts.

More Rigorous Training Program: Recognizing the complexity and potential of Google Gemini, the hackathon includes a comprehensive 40-hour training program designed to equip participants with a deep understanding of the technology. This intensive training ensures that all participants, regardless of their prior exposure to Gemini, can contribute meaningfully to their projects and understand how to harness the technology effectively. The hackathon has also contributed to a meaningful increase in Capgemini’s Google Cloud capabilities and certifications across the organization.

Marek, from The Singularity Squad, demo’s HARP - an AI assistant built on Gemini to assist in the enterprise RFP process.

From last year’s hackathon, we’ve also included several improvements in the backend on our hackathon platform Earth, including the development of an admin panel that enables quick and easy data exports and viewing to relevant stakeholders.

Google Cloud Hackers Built Some of the First Enterprise Use Cases on Gemini

We’re excited to share that the Google Cloud GenAI Hackathon 2024 was a success. We had 1172 participants from over 37 countries around the world come together to build 49 client-ready solutions. This hackathon was very intentional in nature, but still yielded room for creative ideas in the spirit of collaboration and corporate intrapreneurship.

The numbers from Google Cloud GenAI Hackathon 2024.

Congratulations to the winners AI Genies in 1st place, the Singularity Squad in 2nd place, and GenRookies in 3rd place! We saw solutions being build across car damage identification, code editors, and call-center assistants - all of which was linked clearly to a client.

Capgemini’s Google Cloud GenAI Hackathon 2024 was a pivotal event for all who participated. It was a step away from their day jobs and a brave venture into the world of building some of the first client-ready enterprise use-cases in Gemini.

The commitment, enthusiasm, and inventiveness exhibited by participants, mentors, judges, and organizers alike have established a high standard for upcoming hackathons. And just like last year, we are excited to observe the development of solutions from this event within the Capgemini and Google and hold a highly positive outlook on the adoption of generative AI in workplaces and companies around the world.

Congratulations to all of the participants of the Google Cloud GenAI Hackathon 2024.

Interested in seeing how we can support you and your business in your innovation initiatives? Book an introductory call with Victor Li, Founder & CEO of Onova.
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