Inaugural IYKYK Hackathon: ASU Students Win 1st Place

Last Updated on February 3, 2024

Inaugural IYKYK Hackathon: ASU Students Win 1st Place

A team of students from Alabama State University (ASU) took the top prize for their innovative credit education program to reach their peers in the first-ever IYKYK Hackathon (If You Know, You Know), sponsored by Experian and HomeFreeUSA. Their winning concept was a gamified app that teaches credit education and fiscal responsibility.

“We talked about teaching people from ages 10 to 99. That’s how much of an impact credit has. Through our app, we hope to tell more people about credit.”

Mandelkosi Sibanda of Alabama State University

Nicknamed the “ASU Credit Stingers,” Sibanda and his teammates Thomas Mulaisho, Takudzwa Modza and Janai Thompson earned a $40,000 scholarship for their concept, “Credit Rush” at the IYKYK Hackathon. The award-winning idea is a game where, in order to overcome obstacles, students watch a video or take a quiz about credit in order to advance to higher levels. Other features include the “Hive,” a library of credit education materials, chat, daily calendar functions and more.

The IYKYK Hackathon Brought Together Over 250 Students

The IYKYK Hackathon challenged students to create a credit education program for their peers, including those who are not part of the credit ecosystem. The IYKYK Hackathon was the culmination of a six-month program as part of the Center for Financial Advancement® (CFA) Credit Academy sponsored by Experian and HomeFree-USA that brought together more than 250 students from 14 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in live sessions with Experian credit education experts and self-paced content. Finalists from ASU, Fisk University, Morgan State University and Shaw University represented six countries and eight different languages. The IYKYK Hackathon teams presented their ideas live at Experian’s North America headquarters.

“Every IYKYK Hackathon team exceeded our expectations. We’re inspired by these student leaders and their commitment to driving positive change in their communities. In sharing their personal stories and experiences, they’re helping us create solutions that are culturally and generationally relevant so we can meet them where they are in their financial and credit journeys.”

Raudy Perez, Experian North America’s senior director for diversity, equity and inclusion partnerships.

The inaugural #YKYK Hackathon capped off the six-month Center for Financial Advancement Credit Academy, sponsored by Experian and HomeFree-USA.

“The IYKYK Hackathon the most transformative experience that many of these students will have in their lives…We thank Experian for its commitment to the CFA and its scholars by helping us provide the training and tools to allow young adults and credit invisibles to understand and successfully navigate the credit ecosystem.”

Gwen Garnett, HomeFree-USA Center for Financial Advancement® Executive Director

As part of its mission of financial inclusion and empowerment for all, Experian partners with HomeFree-USA to provide continuing education for its housing counselors and resources for its clients. The company created the Home Preservation Grant, which supported homeowners at risk of losing their homes due to COVID-related hardships with credit education and mortgage relief. Inclusion Forward – Experian Empowering Opportunities™ harnesses Experian’s data, analytics and technology to help clients provide more affordable credit access to diverse communities. The Mortgage Bankers Association recently honored Experian with its 2022 DEI Leadership Award. To learn more about Experian’s work in diverse communities: visit

About HomeFree-USA

HomeFree-USA is a nonprofit started by Marcia and Jim Griffin in 1994 with a vision to close the homeownership gap. The organization gives African Americans the guidance they need to achieve and sustain homeownership and bridges the gap between financial strength and homeownership for people of color across America.

As a HUD intermediary, HomeFree-USA serves the diverse interests of 6.3 million consumers through its nationwide network of over 50 affiliated community-based nonprofits that specialize in guiding people to first-time homeownership, sustainability and increased financial capacity.

For more information visit:

About Experian

Experian is the world’s leading global information services company. During life’s big moments – from buying a home or a car, to sending a child to college, to growing a business by connecting with new customers – we empower consumers and our clients to manage their data with confidence. We help individuals to take financial control and access financial services, businesses to make smarter decisions and thrive, lenders to lend more responsibly, and organizations to prevent identity fraud and crime.

We have 21,700 people operating across 30 countries and every day we’re investing in new technologies, talented people, and innovation to help all our clients maximize every opportunity. With corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, we are listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and are a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.

Learn more at or visit our global content hub at our global news blog for the latest news and insights from the Group.

Source: BusinessWire

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