A couple of weeks ago Sami and I went to a competition called Unleashed. Unleashed is an open data competition where the Chief Information Officer gets a bunch of data sets from different government departments such as Health, Transport & Infrastructure, Commercialisation and so many others. They release this in a lot of different formats some are more useable than others and come in better formats while some are in unknown or obscure formats.
We didn’t have much of an idea until the Wednesday before the competition, which began on Friday. We both wanted to enter because it would be a good test of our skills and to see what we could do with the data. As with all hackathons it was a mixture of bad food, alcohol and nerds. These are the three most important ingredients of any hackathon.
Our project was called The Coworking Sociatea (TCS), which we’re still working on. Adelaide City has free wifi for the entire northern part of the CBD provided by Internode, we mapped this data with data from cafes, pubs, restaurants and libraries and using that combination we’re able to find the best places for people to meet and co-work. Our councils are really looking for collaboration and innovation coming out of South Australia and we’re hoping that TCS will be able to create an environment for these people to flourish in. TCS currently runs in the browser at the moment but we’re looking at making it a mobile site however this might take a while as neither of us has strong mobile experience. A responsive approach to the design is probably a better choice in the beginning.
GovHack and Unleashed has funding and sponsorship behind it and being a government event there were people who wanted to get involved and offer prizes. The awards night was on a Sunday night with the national awards being the week before. At the national awards that we didn’t attend we won a high commendation for the best university team (Sami is a uni student), no prize for that but we did get certificates. We also got an award for best entrepreneurial concept by a youth team. This is my favourite award and I love the title of it. We entered the category not expecting to get anything however we did win. This prize includes cash of $2500 and a cute little 3D printed trophy. The third prize we won was the Mega coworking prize, there’s a place in the CBD called Majoran, which is one of our first coworking spaces. I think it was the first but can’t prove that. The Majoran runs a pre-accelerator program called “Mega“. Mega is about running a business and the first steps to take in that process. Mega runs every Thursday for 12 weeks. We wanted to work on TCS in our own time and see how it went but now we’re in the Mega program so we’re going to be working on it a bit more I guess. It’s exciting and we’re not sure how to monetize it at the moment but we’re keen to give it a go.