Some of South Australia’s brightest minds and software developers have in just three days built app prototypes to help local businesses reach new heights.
The apps were built during an intensive workshop - known in tech circles as a Hackathon - as part of a collaboration between Commonwealth Bank and the University of Adelaide.
The Hackathon was held in conjunction with a visit to Adelaide of the highly sophisticated CommBank ‘Pop-up’ Innovation Lab.
At the inaugural CommBank and University of Adelaide Hackathon, 11 teams of professional developers and students competed to design the best app for real-world business challenges faced by four organisations. The apps run on CommBank’s next generation ‘smart’ EFTPOS tablet, Albert.
The Hackathon closed on Friday night with a win for the myEvidence/Jemsoft team. They produced an app prototype to help manage inventory and simplify mobile payments for Cheap as Chips. The app can be applied to any ‘pop-up’ style business.
Eamonn Merrifield, ICT manager of Cheap as Chips said: “We gave the participants a very broad opportunity statement with a set of problems that not only apply to our business but are applicable to the retail industry in general. The variety of angles to resolve this issue that all the teams explored was fascinating to see, and the winning entry turned out be a great fit for Cheap as Chips and is also a solution that we could see us adopting in the near future.”
The Hackathon teams designed prototype apps for two retailers and two not-for-profit organisations - Novita Children’s Services and the Heart Foundation SA.
Todd Roberts, CommBank’s General Manager for Corporate Financial Services in SA and NT said: “Congratulations to the myEvidence/Jemsoft team on winning the CommBank and University of Adelaide Hackathon in 2015 and to all who participated.
“The Hackathon was about turning imaginative ideas into innovative solutions for real-world business challenges. We’re proud to be encouraging tomorrow’s innovators and helping the education sector and industry work together.”
Professor Warren Bebbington, Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Adelaide: “I would also like to congratulate everyone who collaborated to make this a reality and took part in the hotly contested Hackathon.
“It’s great to see students working alongside industry representatives over the last three days to solve real world issues for South Australian businesses.”
The Hackathon was run alongside a week-long installation of a ‘Pop-up’ CommBank Innovation Lab, at the University of Adelaide’s Hub Central. The Honourable Kyam Maher, South Australia’s Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, officially opened the Lab.
Kyam Maher said: “Industry, education and government must work together to support the South Australian economy. We want to encourage innovation and in particular, the commercialisation of innovation through entrepreneurship.”
“This Lab is a great example of commerce and education coming together to try new things in new ways.”
Dwayne Bonner, Earthling Investments’ Technical Director, was one of hundreds of local businesses to visit the Lab this week. He has previously visited CommBank’s permanent Innovation Lab in Sydney.
Dwayne said: “We’re already developing apps on the Albert terminal for two of our South Australian businesses.
“In our fuel distribution business, Mogas Regional, we’re using Albert to track our fuel trucks which helps our inventory tracking and also our driver safety because we have better knowledge of where our trucks are. And in our fuel discount card business, EasyFuel, Albert gives us the ability to enhance the whole cardholder/retailer experience in more ways than we ever imagined in terms of our customer loyalty program. So I was excited to attend the Hackathon and see what the brightest minds of South Australia’s innovators can come up with, to solve real-world business problems.”
About the awards and award winners
The winning team, called myEvidence/Jemsoft, consisted of: Ryan Kennedy, Jordan Green, Konrad Janica, Ravi Hammond and Edward Bittner.The winning team received a cash prize of $7,500, along with mentoring opportunities with their client, a South Australian retailer, for the students in the team.
The runner-up teams were Boromir; Chattable; and Gratis (h4x0r). The runner-up teams received a cash prize of $2,500.
Photos of the award winners can be found here.
Photos of the official opening of the lab by Honourable Kyam Maher can be found here.
About the Pop-up Innovation Lab
At the Lab hundreds of local business people experienced a number of CommBank technologies including the Commbiz business banking platform, the Daily IQ analytics platform, our smart EFTPOS terminal Albert, the CommBank App and eCommerce. There was also a data analytics wall exploring Australian spending habits by postcode, industry and demographic, to help businesses better understand their customers and capture opportunities. The future of banking was experienced through Oculus Rift virtual reality technology.