Young Innovators Tackle Digital Transformation at COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria) 2018 Day 3, Supported by Canon Australia
The latest challenge in the COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria) 2018, supported by Canon Australia, was held on Thursday 11th October at the Melbourne Investment Centre. Canon challenged students, graduates, and industry professionals to develop innovative digital transformation strategies for Victorian businesses. Here’s what happened.
Day 3 of the COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria) 2018, supported by Canon Australia, saw Paddl Games return after two incredibly successful challenges in Hastings and Bendigo. Students and graduates teamed up with professionals from a variety of businesses to innovate solutions based on the theme of ‘Staying ahead of the curve: accelerating your business to thrive in the digital world’.
Paddl Co., COSBOA (The Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia), and the Victorian State Government delivered another high impact Innovation Games. Participating in the games were 10 diversified teams of 11 participants each; including 6-7 students or graduates, 2 representatives from participating businesses, a Canon employee, a Paddl Games Alumni (someone who has previously competed in the Paddl Games), and a Paddl Games facilitator.
Hundreds of Paddlrs from all over Victoria applied to participate in the challenge via PaddlJobs.com, Paddl Co.’s proprietary job board and candidate database. From the hundreds of applicants, 70 Paddlrs were competitively selected by Paddl Co. to form cross-disciplinary teams based on a wide range of disciplines, levels of experience, as well as quality of application and interview. Participants came from a diversity of backgrounds; their skills spanning engineering, science, finance, marketing, data analytics and the creative arts. Diversity was (and always is) the key to success! Paddlrs represented both the currently studying and the recently graduated; and came from over 30 different courses across 11 Victorian tertiary institutions. These included:
Swinburne University of Technology
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT)
The University of Melbourne
La Trobe University
Charles Sturt University
Employees from across the Canon business were also selected to complement the skills mix of the teams and the participating businesses.
In the days leading up to the Innovation Games, team members ‘virtually’ met via the ‘Slack’ platform, sharing the skills and knowledge they could bring to the table to help their team succeed during the challenge. Their first task was to name their team and then get ready for challenge day!
The Digital Transformations Begin!
All participants on the day were highly engaged and worked with their Paddl Games facilitators to apply design thinking, creative problem solving techniques and collaborative decision making to address the theme of transformation through the course of the day.
Over the course of Three Design Sprints, each team worked hard to produce spectacular solutions that resulted in practical ideas that would help their small businesses get an edge in the market. It was clear that there were great minds at work! After a day packed-full of ideation and innovative thinking, teams came together to present their solutions to the Judging Panel of industry experts.
Teams were judged according to the effectiveness of the solution in market, potential of implementation, creativity of the solution and relevance to the overall challenge for the day. Prizes were awarded to the top three team solutions as well as an honorable mention award and individual awards given to outstanding Paddlrs whose performance stood out over the course of the day. The judges had their work cut out to narrow down some very creative digital ideas into each of the respective award categories!
1st Place - Partners in Grime
Business: Wayne Cleaning Systems
WCS provides a variety of cleaning services across government and corporate facilities, commercial and industrial buildings, the educational sector and also various waste management services.
Winning Idea: Increasing customer retention and attraction without cutting prices, by streamlining business operations. This is achieved by tracking and monitoring worker activity as a means to provide feedback and improve efficiency.
“Doing this for the first time, I was nervous if whether what I was doing was on the right path. Thus having an alumni there who have done this before was very helpful to remove that uncertainty, and she provided us with really great tips! It was excellent, challenging, well-structured and fun!” - Sasya Natasanthi, Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications), The University of Melbourne
2nd Place - Wheeling and Dealing
Business: Rhino 4x4
Rhino 4x4 specialises in the design and innovation of stylish 4WD Accessories.
Winning Idea: Simplifying Rhino 4x4’s content creation needs while simultaneously increasing customer engagement. This will be done by incentivising user generated content across their social media platforms.
“My first. Came expecting it to be just another event, but frankly, it exceeded my expectations! Amazing show!” - Haris Ashraf, Master of Engineering Science (Electrical and Electronic), Swinburne University of Technology
3rd Place - 50 Shades of Great (who also won BEST team name!)
Business: Metro Shades
Metro Shades are a wholesale manufacturer of window coverings, who produce their own blinds through their sister company ‘Ultra Cut Industries’.
Winning Idea: Expanding their customer base and increasing overall brand awareness through a holistic online strategy addressing search engine optimisation, web design and social media.
“We had a fantastic day working with the students to brainstorm various ideas for our business. The students shared great insight about how their generation uses digital technology and how we can better leverage it to attract more customers. It was a motivating and inspirational day and [it] was great to be able to relate with other small businesses that were facing similar challenges and to see how they have overcome them. Thanks for the opportunity.” - Garth Jacobs, Director, Metro Shades
Honorable Mention: Know Your DNA
Personal DNA testing to provide insights on Health and Wellness.
Winning Idea: Drive repeat purchases for the brand by retargeting and implementing a subscription model.
“It was a valuable experience for students like me. The presentation was the highlight. I feel like I went out of comfort zone as I was able to speak in front of so many audiences.” - Amber Truong, Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering (Honours), Swinburne University of Technology
The Awards don’t end there…
Day 3 of the COSBOA Innovation Games Victoria (2018) was a huge success! The participating businesses gained innovative concepts for digital transformations that could truly revolutionise their business practices. Aside from all the team efforts, there were a few special Paddlrs who were selected for the Facilitator’s Choice Awards, Best Pitcher Award and the Best & Fairest Awards. This was a new introduction to the COSBOA Innovation Games, and these awards recognised individual hard work in guiding teams towards success. The winners of the individual prizes were those who demonstrated skills that are vital in business including communication, curiosity, and general competency. The awards were as follows:
Facilitators Choice Awards:
Harry Pittock, Master of Engineering (Electrical), University of Melbourne
Haris Ashraf, Master of Engineering Science (Electrical and Electronic), Swinburne University of Technology
Farah Saiful Hilmi, Master in Business Administration, Bachelor of Industrial Design, RMIT/Monash University
Amber Truong, Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering (Honours), Swinburne University of Technology
Sasya Natasanthi, Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communications), The University of Melbourne
Best Pitcher Award:
Madeline Moey, Bachelor of Commerce (Management & Marketing), University of Melbourne
Best & Fairest Award:
Kellen Huang, Bachelor of Engineering (Product Design), Swinburne University of Technology
And that’s a Wrap... for now!
The Innovation Games provided an opportunity for everyone to develop their creativity, collaboration and communication skills, as well as a deeper understanding of how to deal with challenges in a rapidly digitising world. For both Paddl Co. and our friends at Canon Australia, it was wonderful to meet so many talented young people, and watch them thrive when given the opportunity! Hear some of the thoughts from our business participants;
“Great avenue for students to test their mettle and network. My highlight was meeting with inspired young people and industry heads. Being able to share ideas and network was great.” - Ana Trupkovic, Retail Manager, Sweet Relish
“Participating in the COSBOA Paddl innovation games was a real eye opener for our business. It was amazing to see the approach the students take to tackle real business problems. The students that were involved were extremely knowledgeable and easy to deal with. it has empowered us as an organisation with a new way of looking at problems and developing solutions using design thinking.” - Aaron Falzon, Innovation Consultant, Chris Humphrey Office National
We absolutely can’t wait for our next challenge day, and neither can our Paddlrs! Here’s what they had to say;
"At different points of the day I learnt different things and I think that's a great testament to the quality of the event. I think it was the morning tea where they brought out chocolate muffins and those were delicious! But the highlight was probably the end at the comments and awards. I was very tired from the whole day but I remember feeling really celebratory. Even though our team did not win anything, impactful work was done and so I was happy celebrating the other teams and their efforts as I'm sure they had done the same" - Aldrich Lazarte, Bachelor of Commerce, University of Melbourne
“I loved everything about it! I got presented with an award for the best line! It was ‘shut up and take my money!’ ” - Sumaya Habib, Master of Laboratory Medicine, RMIT, Honorable Mention team member
Want to get involved?
The Innovation Games are a perfect way to network, develop your creative problem solving ability and work with like-minded students and employers, no matter what your background. Don’t miss out on the next Innovation Games; create your Paddl Profile today and stay tuned for exciting job opportunities through Paddl Jobs as well!