The fourth Hi!ckathon, a culmination of three prior successful editions, was held by Hi! PARIS from December 1-4, 2023, and came after three weeks of dedicated preparation.
The Hi! PARIS hackathon competition is supported by Hi! PARIS’ seven corporate donors (L’Oréal, Capgemini, TotalEnergies, KERING, Rexel, VINCI and Schneider Electric), which rewarded seven winning teams with thematic prizes.
A 3-week prep and on-site final sprint
The Hi!ckathon saw impressive participation with 407 students from over 15 schools and universities across 7 countries, highlighting the data event’s growing popularity. These students engaged in three weeks of intensive preparation leading up to the final sprint weekend. Held at ENSAE Paris, this concluding event gathered 198 students who dedicated their entire weekend to the final sprint, showcasing their skills and collaboration.
This edition focused on the theme of AI & Supply Chain. To equip participants for the challenge ahead, a comprehensive three-week training program was provided. This included a series of courses, round table discussions with corporate donors, and a career fair featuring both corporate donors and startups.
Round Tables with corporate donors and a Career Fair
In the weeks leading up to this final sprint, two round table discussions with our corporate donors took place.
Round Table #1: "Harnessing Data & AI for Supply Chain Resilience and Efficiency"
The panelists – Ilda Metani (Schneider Electric), Laurent Vannimenus (Capgemini) and Anne Schatz (TotalEnergies) were interviewed by Sam Aflaki, professor and department chair of Information Systems and Operations Management, holding the CMA CGM Chair on “Sustainability and Supply Chain Analytics” at HEC Paris.
The panelists shared their perspective on the significant impact of data science and AI in modernizing supply chain management. They emphasized that these technological advancements are not only about improving efficiency but are crucial in enhancing customer experience.
During the interview conducted by Sam Aflaki, the panelists addressed various questions, not only from the viewpoint of their respective companies but also considering broader implications. This roundtable provided valuable insights into how these companies are responding to key challenges facing our generation, offering solutions and understanding in a complex landscape.
Round Table #2: “Striking a Harmonious Balance: The Interplay of AI Automation and Human Expertise in Complex Supply Chain Ecosystems”
The panelists – Stéphane Lannuzel (L’Oréal), Imen El Karoui (KERING) and Ceyla Simeu (Rexel) were interviewed by Sam Aflaki, professor and department chair of Information Systems and Operations Management, holding the CMA CGM Chair on “Sustainability and Supply Chain Analytics” at HEC Paris.
The discussion was about the integration of AI in inventory management. Panelists highlighted the dynamic relationship between human expertise and AI, emphasizing its role in enhancing performance and adapting to industry demands. The conversation, steered by Sam Aflaki, explored the multifaceted implications of this synergy. This insightful session offered a deep understanding of how AI and human collaboration are reshaping supply chain management, addressing challenges and driving innovation in the field.
A Career Fair to discover opportunities in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence
During the Hi!ckathon preparation weeks, students from HEC Paris, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, and other schools and universities had the opportunity to explore career prospects in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at a dedicated Career Fair. This event was a standout feature of the preparation weeks, facilitating connections between students and prominent companies and startups in the sector. It functioned as a portal for students to gain real-world insights into available internships and job openings, enabling them to network, acquire industry knowledge, and learn about various career paths in these fast-growing fields.
The Final Sprint: A Testimony to Talent and Teamwork
The Hi!ckathon 2024 Final Sprint, held at ENSAE Paris, marked a pivotal event in the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Supply Chain management.
Over an intense weekend, participants engaged in a rigorous test of skill and creativity. This year’s challenge focused on leveraging AI to revolutionize supply chains. The competition saw students brainstorming and developing innovative solutions to enhance performance and adapt to the industry’s ever-evolving demands.
During the exhilarating final sprint, 198 students from 7 countries and 15 different academic institutions came together for a non-stop weekend of innovation and collaboration. 40 teams crossed the finish line and stood out, impressing a jury composed of professors, consultants, and corporate leaders with their innovative solutions for supply chain challenges using AI.
Over the 48-hour sprint, students received guidance from experienced data scientists, corporate consultants, and professors. This collaborative environment fostered not only advanced data science learning but also strong human connections, as exemplified by Tess Coullon, an data science student in the X-HEC Msc Program and winner of the Innovation Award.
Hi!PARIS corporate donors recognized the best projects based on 7 evaluation criteria including Business Opportunity, Scientific Approach, Technical Excellence, Interdisciplinarity, Innovation, Creativity, and the Jury’s Prize. These criteria underscored the event’s focus on practical, impactful solutions.
The Hi!ckathon transcended conventional academic learning, fostering a deep understanding and appreciation for interdisciplinary collaboration. As Thomas, student at Télécom Paris summarized, “The true value of our project wasn’t just in the numbers and outcomes, but in the shared learning and the camaraderie that developed. It’s incredible how much we grow when we learn together.”
The Hi!ckathon 2024 stands as a testament to the power of collaborative learning and the transformative impact of AI in the world of supply chain management. It’s an embodiment of Hi!PARIS’s commitment to preparing future leaders capable of tackling global challenges through interdisciplinary innovation.
This work has benefited from a government grant managed by the ANR under France 2030 with the reference “ANR-22-CMAS-0002”.