Climathon Sydney – 24 hour climate hackathon to increase the uptake of Electric Vehicles in Sydney
During Climathon Sydney, on the weekend of 28-29th October 2016, a global 24-hour hackathon for climate solutions – students, entrepreneurs, innovators, technical experts, local government and private organisations came together to solve a local climate challenge.
It was organized by EnergyLab in Sydney – Australia’s leading incubator and accelerator of new cleantech and sustainable business and technological initiatives, in partnership with Climate –KIC, which is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Our venue partner was AEONA co-working space and our generous sponsors and supporters included: Future Super, PwC, Marque Lawyers, Origin Energy, WWF Australia, Waverley Council, Woollahra Municipal Council, Randwick City Council, Suncorp Group, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures, and Active Capital IT.
Sydney’s challenge was to increase the uptake of electric vehicle use in micro-communities – and a case study, problem statements, data and research reports of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs was presented to the participants by Waverley Council, Woollahra Municipal Council and Randwick City Council.
Participants gathered on Saturday morning and heard from various stakeholders regarding challenges facing the electric vehicle uptake in Sydney. Presentations were given by representatives from Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick Councils, GoGet, Australian Electric Vehicle Association (AEVA), NSW Department of Industry, and Devika Learning.
After learning about the key challenges facing the electric vehicle industry, participants got to know each other and formed teams through the process of speed-dating.
Participants then joined teams and they worked together to first brainstorm ideas and potential solutions, and then got an opportunity to integrate business thinking to make their technical solutions commercially feasible. The process was facilitated by expert mentors from the Startup and Cleantech sector.
More than half of the participants worked late through the night, but they also had fun during Climathon. The photo above was taken at Midnight.
The beauty of Climathon being a global movement was that our participants got a chance to connect with other countries working on similar challenges. Startup Estonia was working on electric mobility solutions, and we did a live video link-up with them overnight.
Participants developed their slide-decks and did pitch practice on Sunday morning. Then they had the opportunity to pitch to a room of expert judges. Our judging panel included: Kirsten Dunlop at Suncorp Group, Cameron Briggs – Origin Energy, Vicky Lay – Artesian Capital, Kim Middleton – Marque Lawyers, Anthony Weinberg – Waverley, Woollahra and Randwick Councils, Danny Kennedy – California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), Christopher Lee – Climate-KIC Australia, Monica Richter – WWF Australia and Nick Lake & Piers Grove – EnergyLab.
After a very tough competition ParkSpark team won Climathon Sydney 2016. ParkSpark’s idea revolved around community funded, residential located charging stations (www.parkspark.xyz). They won 3 months at the EnergyLab Incubator and mentoring from various energy and tech sector experts to bring their idea to fruition. They also qualified to join Climate-KIC Australia’s bootcamp, winner of which will get a place in Climate-KIC’s Accelerator program (www.climate-kic.org/for-entrepreneurs/accelerator/)
The Runners-up were a team called Source, who won 6 months of GoGet Subscription and mentoring sessions with Origin Energy and Suncorp group executives. Two teams shared the third place: EZEV and EV Cooperative, both winning a 2 hour consultation session with Marque Lawyers to discuss intellectual property (IP) and legal and company structures.
It was a great event which brought public and private sector together and gave an opportunity to develop solutions which can be implemented locally. EnergyLab Australia plans to run Climathon Sydney next year on 28th-29th October and more details about key problems will be released closer to the date.
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