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College Students from Cal Poly Tackle Real World Business Issues in TransUnion’s Hackathon Competition

In an innovative way to give college students “real world” experience in solving business problems and allowing organizations to benefit from new ideas and perspectives, TransUnion recently hosted a Hackathon competition for students attending California Polytechnic State University students in San Luis Obispo, California. The event, held April 17 and 18, brought out a variety of students and disciplines from developers and engineers to designers and marketers.

Attendees were divided into teams and selected one of the three challenges related to TransUnion’s credit reports and scores to focus on during the Hackathon. Over a 12-hour period, teams brainstormed and developed ideas to present to a panel of judges, which included members of TransUnion’s Consumer Interactive group and Julie Springer, chief marketing officer for TransUnion.


John Danaher, president of TransUnion Interactive.
“A key component of TransUnion’s strategy is continuous product innovation. The Hackathon was a great way to generate ideas on how to improve the experience of our customers from a new generation of consumers where the use of data and technology is second nature. We were amazed and humbled at how quickly the students grasped what we were after and the quality of the ideas.”
John Danaher, president of TransUnion Interactive.

The winner, Team Hackasaurous Rex, presented a combination of debt analysis and score simulator, creating their own debt-to-income algorithm to determine what kind of loan rate the consumer should expect. In addition to walking away with the winning concept, Team Hackasaurous Rex received a grand prize of $7,000. Members of the team included: Rachel DeNoble (graphic communications), Ryan Blackstone (business), Nick Giles (graphic communications), Vanessa Forney (computer science), Max Parelius (computer engineering) and Lucas David (software engineering).

“The TransUnion Hackathon is another example of how our students immerse themselves in Cal Poly’s learn by doing philosophy beyond the classroom,” said Lorraine Donegan, professor, Graphic Communication Dept., California Polytechnic State University

Earlier this year, TransUnion was the major sponsor of the 2015 CalPoly Hackathon. The April event was TransUnion’s first time hosting its own Hackathon. TransUnion is a technology employer of choice in the region, with an operation in San Luis Obispo.

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About TransUnion

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realize that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

We call this Information for GoodSM.