Day 5 of the COSBOA Innovation Games sponsored by EnergyAustralia: Another Successful Paddl Games Challenge!

May 21, 2019
By Caitlin Pereira
Duncan Bryce, Head of Business at EnergyAustralia, kicks off the day with enthusiasm

Duncan Bryce, Head of Business at EnergyAustralia, kicks off the day with enthusiasm

The Brief

On Wednesday 15th May, Paddl Co. came together with the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and the Victorian Government, to deliver Day 5 of the COSBOA Innovation Games, the last of this five game series focused on bringing together small business, emerging talent, industry and government. (To be clear - this is NOT the final Paddl Games event, many more are on the horizon!) Each of the Games in this series were sponsored by a major corporate, who set a ‘challenge’ or ‘theme’ for the day to be actioned on by the ten participating themes. Held at the Lakeside Stadium on Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre complex, Day 5 of the Innovation Games was a huge success! With EnergyAustralia as the host sponsor, the challenge theme for the day was set to focus on ‘How EnergyAustralia can assist business to achieve greater control over energy costs both now and in the future?’

Paddl Games Challenges are one-day, hackathon-style challenges, that involve multidisciplinary teams who come together to innovate ways in which to solve a business need over the course of the day. They are Paddl Co.’s unique assessment experiences, where emerging talent can showcase their abilities by working alongside businesses, creating valuable on-the-job experience and new networks. The Challenge themes have varied through the series - from growth-based and the environmentally-conscious, to digital-focused and energy saving. This particular challenge focused on how EnergyAustralia could help businesses understand and control their energy costs.

EnergyAustralia (EA) is an electricity and gas retailing company headquartered in Melbourne, who also generate electricity using thermal coal, natural gas, hydro-electric, solar and wind power.They are strongly committed to transitioning the energy sector towards a lower emissions future, without compromising the delivery and reliability of affordable energy to customers. EA is one one of Australia’s largest energy companies, and want to continue to build trust amongst local businesses and the wider community.

Team ‘Hungry Peeps” representing Chew Burger discuss their solution

Team ‘Hungry Peeps” representing Chew Burger discuss their solution

The Breakdown

Each Innovation Games brings together a range of talent to form cross-disciplinary teams, who ideate solutions on behalf of their allocated businesses, in line with the challenge day theme.

From representatives from EnergyAustralia and small business leaders, to emerging talent from various universities and  Paddl Alumni and facilitators, the diversity of the teams lends to the success we see at the end of the day. The emerging talent participants are carefully selected from a competitive application process via the Paddl platform (paddl.com) based on their experience, skills and phone interviews. Each team consisted of 1-2 small business representatives, 6-8 of the best emerging talent, 2-3 EA mentors and a Paddl Facilitator.

Using design thinking principles, the day itself its broken up into three major blocks called ‘sprints’. From ‘problem framing and ideation’, to ‘concept design and development’ and finishing with ‘storytelling and tuning’ in the afternoon, teams are guided through each sprint by a professional Paddl Facilitator. This is to ensure the teams are kept on track throughout the day, giving them the ability to ideate and deliver the most innovative solution on behalf of their team, without getting caught up in any given step.

Coming from a range of disciplines; engineering, design, commerce, analytics, science, and sustainability to name a few; students and graduates hailed from a variety of education institutions across Victoria! They included:

  • Academy xi

  • Billy Blue College of Design

  • Central Queensland University

  • Charles Sturt University

  • Deakin University

  • Federation University

  • General Assembly

  • La Trobe University

  • Monash University

  • RMIT University

  • Swinburne University of Technology

  • Torrens University of Australia

  • The University of Melbourne

  • Victoria University

Sabika Fatima, Masters of Information Systems at The University of Melbourne presents for the “Go Green Warriors” team representing Mr. Miyagi

Sabika Fatima, Masters of Information Systems at The University of Melbourne presents for the “Go Green Warriors” team representing Mr. Miyagi

The Outcomes

With a fair few hospitality-based businesses in the room, the teams identified a variety of issues small businesses were facing in regards to energy usage, as well as ways in which EA might help them solve these problems! The day went by in a flash with unprecedented preparedness from the teams and pitches were outstanding. From dancing role-plays, to interactive app demonstrations mixed in with instructional and educational speeches filled with humor, both the judging panel and the wider audience were kept very entertained.

Top prize was awarded to ‘The Fun, Fabulous and Festive Foodies’, representing Blakes Feast, a premium catering and events company in Melbourne, for their innovative concept around portable energy solutions for their outdoor, isolated events. Blakes Feast received a whopping $5,000 credit from EnergyAustralia towards their next energy bill, and the Challengers received awesome Fitbits! Second place was awarded to ‘The Energisers’, representing Endeavour Group, who own over 20 service stations across Victoria, for introducing an ‘energy fit’ solution for the future. The Endeavour Group received a $2,500 energy credit from EnergyAustralia and the Challengers received JBL Bluetooth speakers. Third place went to ‘The Fantastic Fleet of Foxes’ representing Foxeys Hangout, a winery in the Mornington Peninsula, who introduced an educational component for business owners to understand their energy costs. Foxeys received a $1,000 energy credit from EnergyAustralia and the Challengers received portable chargers.

In other awards, the “Honourable Mention” went to the second team representing Endeavour Group, “Win Diesel”, for their benchmarking and forecasting approach. There were also individual awards - the prestigious, “Challenger of the Day” award went to Thomas O’Dywer, an Engineering student from RMIT, for his positive contributions to his team, collaborative attitude and helping drive home their team solution. “Best Explorer Profile” went to Daniel Marroquin, which you can check out here, and “Best Line of the Day” went to Trang Vo, for her enthusiastic role play efforts!

As always, the participating Businesses gained ten unique solutions, tailored to their business needs. Teams who didn’t go home with a physical prize, gained so much more from the day - the experience of thinking outside of the box in regards to energy problems as well as being able to work with people from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds.

Paddl Co. takes pride in the positive experiences everyone walks away with from Paddl Games. If you’re looking to build your Experience Profile and expand your professional network through Paddl Games and many other great volunteer, internship, casual or full time opportunities, get started with your profile on paddl.com today! If you are a small business interested in participating, please reach out to caitlin@paddl.co for further information.