A Slice of the Pie
Instead of looking outside for funding (the traditional model), we believe that companies should look for funding from within as well. By leveraging crowdfunding to provide loans to others within their community, users will be able to offset their risk. Like pizza, we believe that we should all share a piece of the "pie" and that all pieces fit together to make a whole.
What it does
This is where MIpie (MicroLoans as a personal, institutional experience) comes in- a Slack chatbot with built-in functionality for crowdfunded loans aimed at peers and co-workers. Slack is a widely used internal chat platform that can be used to connect coworkers to internal projects that need funding.
MIpie Bot has two identified use cases: people who need loans to fund their projects and people who can provide the capital to get it going. It utilizes the strength of institutional structures with their inherent bias towards risk.
How we built it
We used the Slack API to program a Slack bot to interact with our Python code.
Challenges we ran into
Some of the challenges we ran into while doing our last agreed upon project was storing user-bot interaction data in a dictionary, accessing the user ID of the person interacting with our bot, and most importantly, managing our time. Being redirected a few times impacted our team as well. We began with an idea for a web development project that was related to stock option trading and ended up with a crowd funding micro lending bot.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of our humble beginnings. Despite lacking depth of programming knowledge, we survived through 36 hours of intense coding, multiple ideation redirections, and numerous mentor feedback sessions. What we are most proud of is that each iteration of our project has had a deliverable that we produced and then refined through feedback and debugging.
What we learned
One of the major things we learned, and we all can agree on, is hoq=w the process through which we connect the front-end (in this case Slack's UI) to the backend (bot actions coded in Python). We also learned that failure is never final, and that perseverance really is key. Technically, our team learned more about the Slack Client Server and interacting with the Slack API.
What's next for MIpie
We see this bot evolving into a full fledged iOS and Android app. MIpie is the way to crowdsource internally. Through the internal route, users can expect more engagement from their potential lenders.