NewYork, 13.12.2018

In GfK hackathon competition, students will create business plan for AI smart speaker

Undergraduates will leverage GfK data sets, other resources in vying for $5,000 prize

This is the challenge GfK is posing to entrants in its NextGen Data Science Hackathon Competition, which culminates in a 10-day hackathon starting on January 19th, 2019. The individual or team that presents the strongest business plan at the end of the competition will win a $5,000 prize.

Click here to view a video about the competition. Students can register for the hackathon or ask questions by writing to marketing(at)

GfK encourages undergraduates who plan to take part to research the smart speaker, AI, and related markets in advance; during the hackathon, GfK will also give the students exclusive access to relevant raw data from several sources.

Using all of the information available to them, the teams will develop business plans for a new speaker, addressing questions such as

  • What should be the speaker’s size, shape, functionality, and sound quality? 
  • Will the speaker be designed to work better with certain kinds of content? If so, which kinds?
  • Should they produce the device themselves or work with a third-party manufacturer?
  • What age groups should they target in their marketing, and how will this affect product design and messaging? 

On the last day of the hackathon, entrants will have 10 minutes to present their plans to mentors from GfK client companies, as well as GfK experts.

“Understanding how to mine and combine data from many sources is essential to developing rich consumer insights today, and will only become more important with time,” said Rolfe Swinton, Director of Data Strategy at GfK in North America. “But to develop successful products, data expertise must be paired with strong skills in marketing and business, from budgeting to advertising. We want to give students a firsthand experience in combining all of these skills when they take part in the NextGen hackathon.”

GfK’s NextGen Competition has been providing undergraduates with an immersive experience in consumer insights and data analysis since 2011. Previous contests have focused on mobile marketing and advertising, Hispanic consumers, and other timely topics.   

Students can register for the hackathon by clicking here or by writing to marketing(at)

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