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Riding the Interledger Express: Innovating for Inclusion at the Bowie State and Fayetteville State Hackathon

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a unique and innovative eventโ€”a hackathon unlike any other. Bowie State University and Fayetteville State University teamed up to host their very first hackathon on a moving train, and I was thrilled to be part of it.

The concept of a hackathon on rails immediately sparked my interest. It promised a blend of creativity, problem-solving, and adventureโ€”all while traveling by train. It was an exciting venture that combined the spirit of innovation with the charm of a journey.

As we embarked on this hackathon adventure, the atmosphere buzzed with enthusiasm. We gathered on the train, ready to dive into brainstorming sessions, idea generation, and collaborative work. The rhythmic motion of the train seemed to fuel our creativity, making every moment more dynamic and inspiring.

Collaborating with students from Fayetteville State University added a whole new dimension to the experience. We exchanged ideas, challenged each otherโ€™s perspectives, and worked together to refine our projects. The diversity of thought and backgrounds among the participants enriched our solutions and made the journey even more fulfilling.

Throughout the hackathon, I felt a sense of joyful camaraderie and shared purpose. The challenges we tackled were real, the solutions were practical, and the experience was truly transformative. It wasnโ€™t just about coding or problem-solving; it was about pushing boundaries, embracing new perspectives, and making a meaningful impact.

Reflecting on our project during the hackathon, our team focused on developing solutions for digital financial inclusion. Using the Interledger Foundation as inspiration we came up with the initiative, EmpowerU.

EmpowerU would focus on:

  1. Enhancing Financial Literacy: EmpowerU aims to improve financial literacy among underserved communities, empowering individuals with the knowledge to make informed financial decisions.

๏ปฟ๏ปฟ๏ปฟ2. Offering Alternative Income Streams:
Using Interledger as the base for Empoweru would provide opportunities for additional income streams, enabling users to enhance their financial stability and resilience.

  1. Facilitating Faster, Lower-Cost Payments: EmpowerU would allow users to pay bills at a lower cost and faster pace, reducing transaction costs and stretching their dollars further.

Our vision for EmpowerU is to build with the Interledger ecosystem that would enable participants to use digital wallets and payments effectively. By offering a globally connected, fast, safe, and low-cost solution, we aim to provide an enhanced value proposition compared to traditional options like payday lending, check cashing, and pawn shops

Iโ€™m grateful to have been part of this inaugural hackathon on rails, organized by Bowie State University and Fayetteville State University. It was an unforgettable journey that reaffirmed my belief in the power of teamwork, creativity, and the endless possibilities of innovation.

Cheers to more adventures in problem-solving and collaboration!

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