Hacks for real world challenges solved with technology

Five teams of regional businesses, start-ups and innovators have responded to real industry challenges as part of a three-day hackathon in Mackay.

The hackathon provided participants with access to real world data from the mining industry to uncover new solutions to weather events, carbon footprint reduction, fatigue monitoring, effective toolbox talk delivery, and collision awareness technology.

The event culminated in a pitch battle with all teams presenting their final pitch to the judges from BHP, Glencore, Mastermyne Group, METS Ignited and the local innovation ecosystem.

Presenting a compelling solution to underground collisions the team from FoxPRox won the hackathon event.

FoxPRox team member Mitchell Storrie said the hackathon experience provided an opportunity to meet key industry players and get direct feedback on the concept as they were developing it.

“The best part is getting to meet and learn from industry experts and making connections and interacting with a diverse group of people,” said Mr Storrie.

The judges were full of praise for the quality of the pitches, including Sam Whitehill from METS Ignited who said this year’s cohort again demonstrated the value behind accelerator programs helping businesses and innovators come together and establish important connections and accelerate outcomes.

“It’s clear the participating groups benefited from the three-day intensive program from the overwhelmingly positive feedback received by the event hosts and mentors.

“The Queensland Government and METS Ignited are again thrilled to work with Split Spaces to deliver this regional capability development program to Mackay,” said Mr Whitehill.

Split Spaces Community Manager Deb Allan said the hackathon would not be possible without collaborative support from industry, government and research bodies.

“Again, this year we have been able to show that having a safe place like Split Spaces to experiment & fail, ask questions and contribute ideas results in innovative thinking, producing amazing learning and growth in a short time frame for those who get involved in this unique event,” said Ms Allan.

The five participating teams:

  • FoxPRox – MackHack hackathon winners
  • DigiMine – MackHack best pitch winner
  • Mincka Engineers – MackHack encouragement award
  • Mastero
  • Water Runoff

MackHack provided participants with masterclasses, mentoring and support from industry leaders, entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to help develop their solutions, showcase their technologies and improve their business models in front of a live and relevant audience.

The event is part of a series of regional accelerators funded and supported by the Queensland Government and METS Ignited to enhance regional business capability development and accelerate the commercialisation of Australian innovation. The Mackay Regional Council is a big supporter of the MackHack mining and METS hackathon, contributing the $5 000 prize money to encourage innovation in the sector.

The event was run by local co-working and innovation hub Split Spaces, one of thirteen collaborative spaces to receive funding from the Queensland Government to support collaboration and technology development in the regions.