Data - Technology - Leadership

UHack2017 - Biggest Hackathon in Tassie

Andrew McGee - 11 December 2017

UHack Splash

The biggest Hackathon in Tasmania has just come to a close over the weekend. Hosted by The University of Tasmania, 19 teams from Burnie, Launceston and Hobart competed over 3 days to develop a working software application, a business model and a pitch video.

It's not all about the tech and coding though. Teams are also judged on their business plan and need to present a strong understanding of revenue streams, target markets, partnerships and go-to-market.

The Business Model Canvas was the tool UHackers were required to use to convey their plan.

I was fortunate to be one of the judges in Hobart and got to speak to many of the teams about their projects and ideas.

What was really inspirational is the audacious heights to which these people aspire.

We're talking lofty goals such as solving the global food wastage problem; empowering consumers to buy and sell energy at competitive prices; tackling fitness and mental health; educating on recycling and the environment with gamification and even bio hacking with microdevices inserted into the bloodstream to monitor blood glucose via a smartphone app.

Team Foud at UHack 2017
Team Foud are solving food wastage by moving food from where it's in surplus to where it is needed.

With such an ambitious field my fellow judges and I had to deliberate over the business plan, the pitch video, the innovation and the impact of the projects.

We video conferenced with our co-judges in Burnie and Launceston. The decision wasn't easy but we all agreed on the final winners, which were announced on Sunday afternoon by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Brigid Heywood.

Uhack Judges at UHack 2017
Judges confer via video conference.

I was very impressed with the tenacity and passion of the projects and the problems they were aiming to solve. It says to me that universities such as The University of Tasmania can be real incubators of innovation. When we combine these nurturing and supportive environments with the energy, fearlessness and unconstrained thinking of young people working together, we see remarkable results.

Check out the winning pitch videos and projects on DevPost here:

Open Division

First Place: Team Control Freaks from Burnie with One Farm Control System
Second Place: Team For-Loopers from Hobart with Energy2U
Third Place: Team AI P.T from Launceston with AI P.T

Student Division

First Place: Team Sarox from Hobart with Career Connect
Second Place: Team Face Off from Launceston with Echo
Third Place: Team Asian Coders from Hobart with Health Cyborg

Many thanks to Jeff Murray, Tim Pedersen, Janelle Tamlyn, Andrew Chan and the University of Tasmania team for hosting this important event and supporting Tasmanian and Australian technology and business innovation.

Look out for more coverage of hackathons, makers and technology in upcoming posts and please comment or let me know if you have an event you would like me to support.

Team For-Loopers at UHack 2017
Team For-Loopers bringing Power to the People with Energy2U.