Spotless Hack @ the G produced some innovative solutions that will likely become an integral part of how venues of the future operate. From chat bots that direct you to the shortest fast food line (who wants to wait 30 mins for a cheeseburger?) to smart bins that let cleaners know they’re full, clever tech is soon to become part of the furniture at Australia’s favourite locations like the MCG.
Five of the most innovative start-ups scored $1000 and the opportunity to present their concepts to a crowd at the MCG, with one lucky winner (a smart waste management system) taking home the huge $10,000 prize, plus a string of other goodies to kickstart their business, thanks to Spotless and Startupbootcamp.
The hackathon is part of a refreshed business strategy which will see ASX listed Spotless Group look to become more active within the start-up community to drive innovation.
Addressing the audience at the MCG, Spotless CEO Martin Sheppard said, “Spotless has been through a process of strategy reset and right at the top of our agenda is innovation. We’ve got 36,000 people, and if we really want to succeed in business we need to be entrepreneurial, innovative and fast-moving.
“The things I see that are fundamentally different now compared to when I started in business is that the hierarchy of business has completely inverted. Leaders in organisations used to come up with the ideas and used their large workforces to implement these ideas. My role now and other executives in our business have a different responsibility. It’s not our mission to come up with the ideas; it’s about how we can allocate capital to those ideas. We now look to the base of our organisation and everyone has a responsibility to ideate and it’s the leaders’ responsibility to work out how to spend money to deploy them. That’s why we’re so motivated to engage with the start-up community.
“I think it’s really important in this process for corporates to stand up. In a recent innovation survey Australia was seen as being a very innovative nation- in the top 10 nations worldwide for coming up with great ideas, but lagged way behind in the 70’s in terms of implementation and commercialisation of ideas.
“We have a fundamental issue in Australia in taking a good and actually commercialising it. We at Spotless and other corporates in Australia have a responsibility to go to the next step from what we’ve done here over the past 36 hours to actually driving commercial outcomes. That’s a commitment that we’ve certainly made at Spotless and it’s right at the heart of our strategy.”
Who were the finalists?
An app which enables internal communication for Spotless employees and provides a platform for staff to more easily report and address issues within a facility or venue.
Issue this concept addresses: There is currently an issue with unreported issues (such as waste management) at Spotless venues and inefficiencies in addressing these by staff.
A sensory device and app which can be implemented into a venue’s bins to monitor how full they are and maps the locations and status’ of bins to improve staff efficiency and visibility of assets.
Issue this concept addresses: Waste management at venues and facilities is currently expensive inefficient and non-economical. Bins are commonly overflowing and staff need to constantly patrol, costing venues time and money.
3rd: Stadium Chat Bot
An app which provides patrons with information about their current venue, such as the location of facilities (such as toilets), the wait-time/capacity of food outlets and general FAQ. The app also allows users to send feedback to the venue and make in-app purchase (such as food and beverages) for pick-up inside the venue. It also won the People’s Choice award.
Issue this concept addresses: Big venues experience a lot of foot traffic and it can be difficult for patrons to access venue information- from FAQs to the length of queues.
2nd: MSG’s My Buddy
A small IoT device which transmits locational data and information about physical assets via cloud to users. My Buddy is customisable to projects such as cleaning, security, facilities management and more, communicates GPS, wifi and safety data and also includes an emergency button for users.
Issue this concept addresses: Existing solutions do not allow efficient communication between indoors and outdoors for staff at venues and current products/infrastructure networks are very expensive.
It also won the Most Commercial team award (the easiest to implement and be commercialised)
1st: My Cleanliness
sensory device which can be implemented into a venue’s waste facilities (ie bins and toilets) to monitor and report their status (such as how full or dirty they are) to remove the guesswork from waste management services. Data from the app is transmitted to a custom-built smartwatch for employees to use and act on the information and communicate with their team.
Issue this concept addresses: Waste management at venues and facilities is inefficient and non-economical. Current market solutions are expensive and non-adaptable across facilities (ie. solutions can be applied only to bins or only to toilets)
Who are the winners?
Cameron Leeson, founder of Make-Create (the team behind myCleanliness told Anthill more about their app in the brief interview below.
Who is the team behind myCleanliness?
Make-Create is the team behind myCleanliness. We are a community makerlab based in Brunswick, Victoria, bringing together an experienced team of hardware and software developers.
How did you come up with the idea behind myCleanliness?
Our team listened closely to the problems posed by Spotless executives at the lead-up events, one of which was inefficiencies around waste management at client facilities and venues. After many discussions at the makerlab, we decided there was a need for a smarter way to keep venues clean. We came up with the concept of myCleanliness and worked closely with the Startupbootcamp mentors and Spotless executives to further refine our idea.
Tell me a bit about the development process
In two days, the Make-Create team was able to develop a working smart-bin proof of concept, using low-cost hardware, while our software team developed a functional online platform to show the status of the smart bin. We recognised winning would require more than a technology solution, so our team also developed a realistic business case to support our technology.
In refining the business case, we came up with the idea of using low-cost smart watches to provide cleaners with an easy-to-use interface. By combining our smart sensor network with intelligent routing algorithms, we can pull together all the information needed to tackle the issue of improving operation efficiency for cleaning contractors.
What does this win mean for you and where to from here?
The Spotless Hack @ the G win was a great achievement for us, but we’re not resting! We’ve already had interest in myCleanliness from Spotless and other parties. We’re now working hard to further develop our concept into a viable product. As a community-focused organisation. This is a huge opportunity for Make-Create to showcase the talent we attract and demonstrate our potential to be a key hub in the start-up scene.