Local Hackers, Hustlers and Hipsters headed to Dantia Smart Hub on 16-17Jun2017 to compete in a hackathon focussed on exploration of regional transport integration across Land, Sea, Air + Digital domains. Thanks to the contributions of local sponsors and supporters, they were offered a prize pool worth $10000 to pitch concepts related to 3 core Challenge topics:
1. Bus and beyond: how can we innovate, optimise or combine our use of existing transport options?
2. Pedalling for impact: how do we make cycling experiences a more user friendly, integrated option in Lake Macquarie and beyond?
3. Lake Mac to Sydney: T-90 how can we optimise the use of rail and other transport modes to unlock the potential of our proximity?
Entrants pitched their ideas on Friday night, forming into teams and getting straight into concept planning, ready for Saturdays 8am-4pm rapid prototyping work. Teams developed business and software concepts, interviewed local transport users, drew on global travel experiences and applied sponsor supplied technology platforms to Open Data sets before pitching their ideas at 5pm to local judges. From the crucible of their fast teaming experiences emerged 3 winning concepts:
Event producer, Brian Hill, Founder of Laughing Mind, noted:
Whilst event winnings and the kudos that comes with it are a part of the buzz of a hackathon or solvathon, these events help to strengthen new entrepreneurship and digital DNA of our regions, new collaborations and build network density of startup initiatives over time. We're running events like this as part of our Venture Catalyst event series to stimulate regional Australian innovation and quicken the digital pulse of our communities by weaving their contributions into the event in real time. Our delivery model is putting them onto the global map by making teams efforts visible to international audiences whilst they're being built.
Peter Francis, CEO of Dantia (LakeMacHack event hosts and core sponsor), in reflecting on the event, said:
We're delighted to see the evident enjoyment of LakeMacHack from local competitors and the quality of their work in such an intense, short event format. It's helped show our region is ready and willing to get on the front foot and explore what regionally relevant technology innovation looks like as a way of building, connecting and showcasing our beautiful location and community. We're humbled by the generosity of the organisations that saw the value of this initiative and look forward to working with them as we build on this inaugural event.
Details of each of the teams submissions have been published onto the events delivery platform at https://lakemachack.devpost.com/submissions for local and international innovators to provide comment and support for the teams next steps. Team learnings from engagement with public datasets are being communicated to their respective owners and agencies.
LakeMacHack is a Venture Catalyst event produced by Laughing Mind for Dantia. Designed as a short format event, it's mission is to grow the capacity of Lake Macquarie businesses and community teams to collaborate on joint technology projects, with the guidance of experienced mentors for well targeted + responsive initiatives, leveraging contemporary technology platforms.