Business School Topics
UWA students have taken out the top spots in an innovation competition run by international consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The PwC Digital Challenge invited the State's university students to use their business and technology skills to solve a real business problem.
Competing over three rounds, teams were required to submit their ideas on innovative technology, before developing their own solution to a problem facing a PwC client and refining this solution under the guidance of coaches and mentors.
Taking out first place - a $3000 cash prize and $12,000 coaching package from Atomic Sky - were UWA Business School students Alex Cook, David Kuster and Kenneth Chen. Second place went to UWA's Mark Rudrum and Michelle Ko and Curtin University's Jordan Shaquille Allen, while third place was claimed by UWA students Meng Dunmow, Sahil Malhotra and Jack Shennan.
PwC Perth's Hugh O'Brien said the Challenge - which asked students to create value in renewable energy for stakeholders including residents, governments and power generation companies - was designed to open up new avenues of idea generation and problem solving.
Teams were provided with more than two million lines of data on power production and consumption and weather patterns, and their presentations were then judged on criteria including originality, technical innovation, and the viability of their solution as a start-up enterprise.
UWA Business School student Meng Dunmow said the diversity of ideas was inspiring.
"We had to think of innovative ways to ensure power generation company Synergy remains relevant in the rapidly evolving renewable technology landscape," Meng said.
"Our team came up with both a long-term (a peer to peer energy trading platform) and short term solution (solar photovoltaic leasing system).
"I think only one other team in the finals had a similar solution as ourselves in terms of a trading platform, but there was also ideas like tailored energy consumption information and micro power distribution plants!"
The judging panel consisted of: Justin Carroll, Managing Partner of PwC Perth; Justin Scanlan, Partner at PwC Perth; Paul Zanetti, WA Police; Andy Lamb, Founder of Atomic Sky; Marcus Holmes, Startup News ; and Robyn Waltl, Digital Specialist and Brand Manager at Synergy.
Teams presented their final solutions to the judging panel on 16 October and will be invited to present their solutions to the wider Synergy Group at a later date.