Matt Lourens (left) and Dehan Opperman (right), the winners of the MiWay 24 hours hackathon. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – 25 top Honours and final-year students from 5 leading Universities from around the country took part in the MiWay 24 hours 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 have 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," said Jaco Cloete, Head of Actuarial at MiWay.

The top prize of R20 000 for the first time went to duo, Matt Lourens and Dehan Opperman from North-West University, Master students, in Business Analytics/ Data Mining.

Christian Hitchcock, a University of Pretoria, Honour student in actuarial science was the runner-up and won R5 000 while Lebogang Moremi a University of Pretoria, Honour student in actuarial science took third-place winning R3 000.