GK Chatbot Hackathon


February 10, 2020


Twice a year, our far-flung company unites in our headquarters in Chicago for a week of strategy, alignment, and creation. Looking back over the year, and out over the market, the theme for this winter’s GK Hackathon became clear: Chatbots on the Symphony platform. 

2019 saw Symphony reach Unicorn status, and their chatbot ecosystem exploded to over 1,000 bots in use in major financial institutions. The challenge to our team: Create a chatbot that solves a pain point for us, or our customers, by leveraging GK’s state-of-the-art natural language processing (NLP).



Four teams had two half-days to organize, design, build, deploy, and pitch their bots. (Half-days allow some sleep and reflection – coffee and pizza fueled all-nighters are not in our DNA). 


  • A deploy bot: A chatops bot which could deploy our whole Kubernetes stack with one command
  • A weather bot: Although not a GK pain point, this heavily leveraged our Discovery SDK to provide an extensive natural language query of the weather
  • A release management bot: Coordinate and correlate GK releases with code changesets across all our microservices and Docker images
  • An end-user support chatbot: Create, view, and query support tickets using a conversational interface

When the judging dust had cleared, the support chatbot had won, based on its use of NLP and utility for GK and our customers. The bot was built by the combined efforts of Senior Engineer Cody Knauer, Senior Engineer Patrick Mahoney, and Chris Winberg, GK’s Head of Customer Success, who birthed the idea:  “Symphony has been a great way to build rapport quickly; our customers seem to chat more freely on instant messenger and bypass the formalities you get with email. In 2020, GK will be leveraging Symphony messenger as much as possible. Our users have been responsive and happy to connect. I thought we could extend this idea to support tickets as well – customers would be more likely to report issues and would benefit from self-service status.” 


Feedback is a critical part of our culture – not only did the team find areas to improve our next Hackathon, but we were able to gather valuable developer feedback for the Symphony team.

2020 is the year of financial chat NLP. We look forward to deploying our own bots, and expanding our open source efforts to bring the power of GK NLP to yours.  

Want to learn more about our financial NLP, open source efforts, or new Focus Studio product?  Contact success@greenkeytech.com today.