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Hi!PARIS hackathon 2023: a cornerstone challenge crossing Science, Tech and Business for Good

The final sprint of Hi! PARIS data challenge 2023 happened on the weekend of January 13th to 16th on the theme of AI & Energy Sobriety on ENSTA campus. HEC Paris students teamed up with participants from 10 different engineering schools and universities and ended up in 5 out of 7 winning teams. Read more about their journey in quest of AI-based solutions to the energy crisis.

Hi! PARIS Center's hackathon 2023 (at ENSTA) - HEC Paris 2023


Auteur/Author of this article: Frédéric Voirin

Since 3 years, the hi!ckathon has been a highlight for Hi! PARIS center as it embodies the core values and mission of the center: the interdisciplinarity born from the academic alliance of HEC Paris and IP Paris (Institut Polytechnique de Paris); the combination between education, entrepreneurship, research and business world; the ambition to offer answers to the major technological, economic and societal challenges with a positive impact.

This 2023 edition of the Hi!ckathon has set records. More than 340 students participated in the 5-week pre-hackathon training, consisting in 7 webinars delivered by heads of AI or data scientists from Hi! PARIS corporate donors (L’Oréal, Capgemini, TotalEnergies, Kering, Rexel, Vinci and Schneider Electric) on the subject of energy efficiency.  

During the final sprint, 130 students from 7 countries and 10 different academic institutions were gathered for a non stop week-end on the Paris-Saclay plateau. And a total of 26 teams made it to the finishing line, and among them 20 HEC students, pictching in front a jury of professors, consultants and companies executives.  

Hi! PARIS Center hackathon 2023 - HEC Paris 2023

A reference in the world of hackathons  

A former participant in the previous editions, now a PhD student and moderator of this 2023 opening ceremony, Louis was not surprised by the number of students enrolled this year as "the Hi!ckathon has really became a reference among all data challenges".  

Jury members were all unanimous about the high quality of the projects submitted by the students, while underlying the complexity of the case submitted: "Supporting Energy Transition: Toward Modelling the Energy Consumption of Buildings". Students were asked to design AI to predict the energy consumption of European buildings. In order to estimate cost savings and automate energy assessments, students had to design an app that leverages a model & address the key obstacles to refurbishment, based on a dataset of 1.5 million European buildings with their technical features & yearly energy consumptions.  

One of the companies’ representatives said she was "really impressed by the quality of these data science-oriented students' contributions and their capacity of business projections as well". Another jury member did mention that "this Hi!ckathon was really refreshing and inspiring" for their own "future projects but also for their business models."

Hi! PARIS corporate donors awarded the best projects according to 7 evaluation criteria (see details below): Business Opportunity (by L’Oréal), Scientifical Approach (by Capgemini) , Technical Excellence (by Total Energies), Interdisciplinarity (by Kering) , Innovation (by Rexel), Creativity (by Vinci), and the Jury’s Prize (by Schneider Electric)


A combination of expertise to produce creative solutions

Benedetta Magni, an HEC Paris Master in management sudent was among the winners. With her 7 team members, among them another HEC student, Matteo Facta, and students from Université Paris Saclay and IP Paris, they developed a solution to raise awareness on energy consumption and provide easy ways to save money and energy to French single houses owners, called WaterChess. Representatives from Vinci awarded them with the Creativity Price, for "the most unexpected relevant & business-oriented solution". "This team arrived 5 times on a podium, so it deserved their award. They are smart and creative so we really wanted to thank them!”, said the members of the jury.  


"Sometimes it’s hard to communicate when you’re not coming from the same background but during this challenge, we manage to discuss and deliver smoothly between Tech & Business people"


Hi! PARIS hackathon 2023 - Creativity Award by Vinci - HEC Paris 2023

Benedetta was in charge of the business pitch, video making and editing, finance and market research. She explains to us how they manage during their pitch to "show in a really practical way" the value of their solution: "thanks to our discussions and different expertise, we managed to blend something concrete. We simulated how the app would work by including a big overview of the the energy market and housing in France market & and how the app could provide renovation or savings solutions for consumers”

Taking a step back on after the closing ceremony, Benedetta Magni and Matteo Facta said: "The Hi!ckathon was an unforgettable experience because sometimes it’s hard to communicate when you’re not coming from the same background but during this challenge, we manage to discuss and deliver smoothly between Tech & Business people. Even if some of us didn’t speak the same language, we teamed up and work together. For the record, we choose to name the team WaterChess because we played chess during the weekend and it was super nice and useful to disconnect and reconnect together!"


A collective and human experience to produce state-of-the-art data science

During the 48 hours of the final sprint, students were accompanied by 20 experimented data scientists, 4 business consultants, 14 coaches from corporate donors and Professors of Economics, Statistics and Finance from HEC Paris, Polytechnique, and ENSAE, who delivered +60 coaching sessions over the two days of final sprint week-end. Busy cracking the code, the students had little time to sleep (…on the floor!) but also enjoyed moments of relaxation, sport sessions and also the traditional galette des rois!

Hi! PARIS Center hackathon 2023 - HEC Paris 2023 - Play hard

"This project was an enriching experience, on both a human and skill development level. We met students from other universities with whom we created a strong bond, especially during the night we spent coding together, despite sometimes tiredness, and often frustration with the model results. On top of this, we enhanced our programming and machine learning skills, thanks to both our peers and the scientific team in place to help us. No matter the result, this will remain for all of us a lasting and fond memory", says Ibrahim Barry, HEC Master in Management student, president of the student association HEC Data Minds, and laureate of the Scientifical Approach Award, rewarding the best use of state-of-the-art data science.  

With two other HEC students (Lorenzo Benvenuti, MiM, and Guillaume D’Herouville, Master in data science for Business, X-HEC) and students from Ecole Polytechnique, they designed an app (EnergySaver) connecting real estate owners, renovation service providers and building material constructors, calculating from a theoretical and computational perspective and to develop a model which can predict the annual energy consumption of a building given explanatory variables.


This project was an enriching experience, on both a human and skill development level


Since the creation of our first double-degree with the Ecole polytechnique (Master of Science X-HEC Entrepreneurs, Master of Science Data Science for Business, Double Degree Data & Finance ) and the strengthen of our cooperation (alliance with IP Paris and creation of Hi! PARIS) we are convinced that the ability for our students to speak different language and the association between business, engineering, and tech profils can be of the most promising to build solutions for tomorrow. The Hi!ckathon is the perfect opportunity for student to experience this promise combine with an enriching human experience as summarizes Benedetta: "we’ve learn more than just a business case or an engineer work, we’ve learn from each other and it’s great!".  


Discover the award winning teams and projects


Business Opportunity by L’Oréal (rewarding the best projection in a market)

Home a loan

A digital platform to optimize energy efficiency-oriented building renovations, linking home-owner willing to undertake renovations, banks to fund them, and craftsmen to assist them.  

Joséphine Gardette (HEC Paris)

Nadia Zargouni (HEC Paris)

Benjamin Amsellem (HEC Paris / ENSAE Paris)

François Bertholom (ENSAE Paris)

Baptiste Pasquier (ENSAE Paris)

Coni Soret (ENSAE Paris)


Scientifical Approach by Capgemini (rewarding the best use of state-of-the-art data science)


The only app connecting real estate owner, renovation service providers and building material constructors, calculating from a theoretical and computational perspective and to develop a model which can predict the annual energy consumption of a building given explanatory variables.

Alper Tezcan (IP Paris)

Ibrahim Barry (HEC Paris)

Corentin Domergue (ENSAE Paris)

Lorenzo Benvenuti (HEC Paris)

Guillaume D’Herouville (X-HEC)

Mehmet Emre Durmus (École polytechnique)


Technical Excellence by Total Energies (rewarding the highest score of code quality, accuracy and model sobriety)  


Create a data-driven energy audit start-up democratizing an accessible and price-adapted energy property audit to every private real estate owner.

Rémi bouteiller (ENS / ESSEC)

Timothée Dunglas (CentraleSupélec)

Jacques de Chevron Villette (ENS / ENSTA)


Interdisciplinarity by Kering (rewarding the best capacity to combine the scientific approach & commercial development)


We connect companies and craftsmen specialising in office renovation to help companies to meet the French law target to reduce the energy consumption of their offices by 40% before 2030

Théo Vanneufville (HEC Paris / ENSAE Paris)

Gabriel Koutchinsky (HEC Paris / ENSAE Paris)

Christophe Moreau (HEC Paris / ENSAE Paris)

Thibaut Valour (ENSAE Paris / IP Paris)

Augustin Combes (ENSAE Paris / IP Paris)


Innovation by Rexel (rewarding the most unexpected relevant & technical solution)


A proximity facilitator to support the energy transition process for individual homes. We help individuals and co-ownerships to evaluate the economical and ecological impact of an energy renovation.

Luc Gensbittel  (IP Paris)

Marisol Jiménez  (UPPA)  

Marwan Mashra  (Université Paris Saclay)  

Lorentz Dutrievoz (École polytechnique)


Creativity by Vinci (rewarding the most unexpected relevant & business-oriented solution)

Meet Eta (by WaterChess Team)

The app that will change the way you save. Raising awareness on energy consumption and provide easy solutions to save money and energy to French single houses owners.

Stefano Bavaro (Université Paris Saclay)

Matteo Facta (HEC Paris)

Thanh Gia Hieu Khuong (Université Paris Saclay)

Benedetta Magni (HEC Paris)

Diego Torresv(Université Paris Saclay)

Dana Zhumabekova (IP Paris)

Mahdi Ranjbar (Université Paris Saclay)


Jury’s Prize, awarded by Schneider Electric

Watt’s down

Using Machine Learning to predict energy consumption of buildings and provides a better understanding of the importance of insulation works to enhance energy transition investments.

Guillaume Philippe (IP Paris)

Agathe Minaro (IP Paris)

Huu Tan Mai (Télécom Paris / IP Paris)

Max Cameron Wu (IP Paris)

Yassine Hargane (HEC Paris / IP Paris)