NewYork, 30.10.2019

GfK will nurture auto tech innovation in hackathon competition for undergraduates

Student teams will combine marketing, data science as they vie for $5,000 prize

According to GfK AutoMobility, more than half of those who intend to buy a new car say that in-car technology will affect their selection. To give aspiring data scientists and marketer researchers hands-on experience with this fast-growing category, GfK is challenging undergraduate teams to create business plans – from design to marketing – for their own “smart car” innovations.

In the second NextGen Data Science Hackathon Competition, GfK will award a $5,000 grand prize to the team that develops and presents the most convincing plan for a new in-car device or service.

Watch a video about the NextGen Data Science Hackathon Competition

During a 10-day hackathon in March, GfK will give students access to data sets from a variety of sources, encouraging the teams to use these and other insights in creating 5-minute presentations for their ideas. GfK insights experts, as well as marketers and researchers from client companies, will acts as mentors and, ultimately, select the winning team.

Interested students should contact marketing(at)

Before the hackathon, students --- working individually or in groups – can collect insights to focus their projects and provide background for their final presentations. Undergraduate students in any major can take part in the event, working from any location.

“Smart technology has revolutionized the auto marketplace – from in-car entertainment systems to self-driving vehicles – and we know there is much more to come,” said Tom Neri, Commercial Director at GfK North America and leader of its AutoMobility research team. “The potential for breakthrough innovation is still huge, and we know that the NextGen teams will bring a powerful curiosity and creativity to this category. We also see this as a valuable opportunity to connect today’s product designers and marketers with the next wave of innovative thinkers.”

The NextGen Competition began in 2011 with a focus on traditional research methods and goals. Over the years, the contest has evolved to reflect the changing toolkit and role of market researchers and data scientists. In 2018, GfK made a hackathon the centerpiece of the competition, with a team from the College of Staten Island (City University of New York) taking first place for its innovative development and marketing plan for a new smart speaker.  

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