Paddl Games Canon Hack Challenge Declared a Huge Success!

July 05, 2017
By Robelen Bajar

On 19-20 May 2017, the Paddl Games Canon Hack Challenge was launched at Canon Australia’s headquarters in Sydney. 30 students were shortlisted from over 400 applicants, representing nine NSW universities and two TAFEs to work in teams to conceive a solution to a customer service issue, build a prototype and pitch to a panel of judges within 48 hours.

Paddl Games was developed by Melbourne-based start-up paddljobs.com. Using a hack-a-thon format, Paddl Games engages students, graduates and employees in competitive teams to identify market opportunities and/or solve real commercial problems.

The standard of applicants received for the Canon Hack Challenge was outstanding, with students and graduates from a wide range of qualifications, experiences, age and backgrounds, including international students, according to CareerLounge CEO and developer of paddljobs.com and Paddl Games, Dominique Fisher.

“We were delighted to have had such a diverse group to present to Canon Australia in less than four weeks. Qualifications included Masters of Commerce, Business Administration, IT and Management; Bachelors of Biomedical Science, Commerce, IT, Finance, Applied Public Health, Medical Science, Accounting, Creative Arts, Laws and Computer Science; and, Diplomas of Marketing & Communications, and Software Development were represented across five competing teams."

Fisher explains that "some of the magic of Paddl Games Hack Challenges flow from combining students, graduates and employees in each team, so they all get the opportunity to learn from each other and use design thinking and cooperative decision making to surface new ideas. Our Hack Challenge partner, Edgelabs, worked seamlessly with us to ensure that the two days of the Hack Challenge were run smoothly and professionally to deliver considered outcomes."

The winning pitch has been developed by Canon Australia and was presented to customers on Monday, 3rd July 2017. All going well the new solution will be rolled out progressively to all customers by the end of 2017.

“The most exciting aspect of the Hack Challenge is that Canon has offered employment to a number of participating students and has committed to an ongoing internship program”, said Fisher.


The next Paddl Games Hack Challenge is on Monday, September 4 2017 in Melbourne.

Paddl, in collaboration with the Restaurant & Catering Australia, is creating Australia's first Hack Challenge for the hospitality sector. The Hack Challenge will assemble hospitality employers, service providers, the R&CA and relevant students and grads to address industry-wide issues and opportunities facing the hospitality sector beyond what goes on in the kitchen or restaurant floor. 

Students and graduates from all disciplines are encouraged to apply - 30 spots are available. Applications open soon.

Find out more and apply


Quotes from the Canon Hack Challenge participants

I believe the Canon Hack Challenge was a first in corporate Australia. Paddl Games brought 30 talented individual students from nine Australian universities and TAFE’s together with 30 employees from Canon Australia to solve a real business challenge in just 48 hours.

It was more than just another ‘innovation lab’, it was backed by a commitment from Canon to build, deploy and embed the winning solution from the Canon Hack Challenge in just six weeks, to deliver a step change in customer experience and productivity.

The Canon Hack Challenge surpassed all of our expectations and highlighted the wealth of home grown innovation and talent that exists in Australia. It inspired all those who participated to think and act differently, proving that the seemingly improbable, is indeed possible.  It’s a credit to the students, the people at Canon and those that made it possible at Paddl and Edgelabs.
— Gavin Gomes, Director - Canon Business Services
I was really impressed by how much each of the groups, made up of University and TAFE students, took advantage of the Canon Hack Challenge, to build something really impressive.
— Simon Spencer, CEO, EdgeLab Ventures
I am interested in consulting as a career so when I applied for the Canon Hack Challenge/Paddl Games [please use whichever you want], my goal was to improve my business knowledge and pitching skills. I actually got the opportunity to do both of those things plus more; what we worked on was a real business case compacted into an exciting, crazy and rewarding 48 hours, which is an opportunity I otherwise wouldn’t have had as a student! Winning was just a bonus!
— Emily Sisson, Bachelor of Medical Science, University of NSW
Paddl Games allowed me to use the skills I have learnt at university in the context of a workplace. The challenge was exciting and I enjoyed meeting and working with new people
— Miranda Clarke, Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts & Design), University of Wollongong
The Canon Hack Challenge was a fantastic opportunity to network with Canon employees and students. Within 48 hours, we were able to be mentored by industry experts and produce a prototype for a real business challenge
— Rebecca Yan, Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws, University of Sydney
Empowering. The challenge gives you an environment where you have the power to create a change in the way things are done by providing a real solution to a real problem. The feeling you get after this empowerment is unbelievably fulfilling.
— Giuliano Pessotto, Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of Laws, University of Wollongong
I’m grateful to Canon, Paddl and Edgelabs for this experience. I was put in an environment where we were properly guided to succeed. Our ideas had the support to come to life because of the diverse group of people coming from different backgrounds and degrees. It was also really helpful to have Natalie who is someone from Canon and Aiden and Ryan, our technicians being there to ensure our ideas, product and presentation were on track
— Renz Jericho Hernandez, Bachelor of Commerce, Macquarie University
Omg, what just happened?! Can we do it again???!!  Thanks again for EdgeLabs, Canon and Paddl. I wish all students in the world had, at least once, the same experience we just had.
— Henrique Costa, Diploma of Software Development NSW TAFE