Uni Student Wins “Unleash Your App” Competition
The 2012 ‘Unleash Your App’ competition, in its second iteration, has once again unearthed innovation and ingenuity from the grassroots university scene. TripGo Sydney, a ‘green’ mobile app that assists with planning public and private transport journeys, has scooped this year’s competition.
The Unleash Your App competition, run by Optus and NICTA, calls on university students across Australia to develop innovative Android mobile apps that make our everyday lives easier. Daniel Grech, a University of Western Sydney student, answered the call with TripGo Sydney by giving Sydneysiders useful information on how to get from point A to point B, while keeping track of their carbon footprint on the way.
As the 2012 winner, Daniel will not only receive a brand-new Samsung Galaxy Note on which he can play around with his own app, but he’ll get $5,000 which is already earmarked for a trip over to California next year for the Google I/O conference. With eyes on a future career in the field, a session with industry experts from Optus and NICTA will also help refine his skills to fast-track his path to become a leading app developer.
“Since I got my first Android phone, making apps for it has been a favourite hobby of mine,” Daniel said.
“Developing apps is something I would love to do professionally in the future, and the recognition from winning this competition will help a lot.”
Austin R. Bryan, VP of Communities and Eco-Systems, SingTel & Optus said, “We’re very excited by the level of digital innovation and creativity we’re seeing amongst student mobile app developers. This year’s competition identified some inspiring local talent with great potential, with the winning apps delivering a simpler and easier experience to our everyday activities.”
The first and second runners-up both looked at areas in daily life where apps can bring a new level of convenience. Postgraduate student Zakaria Bouguettaya, past winner of the 2011 competition, developed Community ProTag, giving people the power to snap a photo of problems such as potholes, broken streetlights and more, and report it directly to their local council. The second runner-up, Oliver O’Neill, developed a crowd- sourced app that uses GPS to show where buses are on particular routes.
Both hail from The Australian National University in Canberra.
Dr Terry Percival, the Director of NICTA’s Broadband and the Digital Economy Business Team, said, “At NICTA, we work hand in hand with universities to encourage and support university students, who are the next generation of Australia’s ICT professionals and the future leaders of the digital economy. The Unleash your App competition has tapped into a rich vein of innovation and imagination, producing some dynamic and original mobile applications.”
All three winners will today pick the brains of the industry’s leading influencers from Optus and NICTA in a ‘Meet the Experts’ mentoring workshop to help them fine-tune their app.
The 2012 Unleash Your App competition reached more than 6,000 university students, culminating in entries from 10 different universities across Australia, including the University of the Sunshine Coast, Latrobe University, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Monash University, Swinburne University of Technology, Australian National University, University of Technology Sydney, University of New South Wales and University of Western Sydney.