UHack showcases innovative Hobart talents

PROBLEM-solvers, innovators and creative minds pitched their ground-breaking ideas across the state at UHack, the University of Tasmania’s annual competition for budding entrepreneurs.

UHack is a competition where individuals or teams of entrepreneurs develop a business model and pitch over the course of the weekend with the help of industry mentors.

University of Tasmania chief information officer Jeff Murray said the 2018 event was slightly different from the previous two years.

“This year, the teams come up with a problem, develop a solution, and then the judges and mentors support and coach the teams to bring their enterprises to life,” he said.

UHack has both an open and student division, both of which were won this year by teams based in Hobart.

The open competition was taken out by FishBuddy, an innovative mobile app which helps recreational fishers to maximise their catch by telling them the best places and times to go fishing.

“FishBuddy is a family team, the gentleman took his son fishing and his son couldn’t catch any fish, so the father decided to create an app which could help people catch fish,” Mr Murray said.

“The team wanted to create an app where people can take a photo of their catch and upload it and the catch details to the app for a more successful and social fishing experience.”

The student division of the competition was won by Secure Sustainable Education, a block chain technology approach to helping overseas students with their university admissions by immediate digital transfer of student transcripts.

The idea, which originally started out by focusing on student exchange rates for university fees, now focuses on making the application process for exchange students easier.

“When you are an overseas student, you have a very onerous paper trail you have to submit – something domestic students would take for granted here in Hobart,” Mr Murray said.

“This developing application uses block chain technology for overseas students to create a verified credential file which can be transferred digitally within seconds to your university of choice.”

On 15 October, multiple teams from UHack and other budding Tasmanian entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to pitch their ideas to industry investors at UPitch, a ‘Shark Tank’ inspired event run by UHack.

UPitch is an opportunity for teams like FishBuddy and Secure Sustainable Education to get funding for their entrepreneurial endeavours.

Caption: The participating teams at this year’s UHack competition.

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