Empowering the innovators of tomorrow

GENIUS: Last year’s Life Tech Challenge winner Alex Sweetman is currently developing a smart phone app for mentally ill people, which helps provide them with coping strategies when they need it most.
GENIUS: Last year’s Life Tech Challenge winner Alex Sweetman is currently developing a smart phone app for mentally ill people, which helps provide them with coping strategies when they need it most.

Story sponsored by Hume Bank.

Have you got an idea for an app that could help humanity? How about a gadget that could benefit our community? Given the opportunity, could you be the next Steve Jobs in the making? 

If the answer to any of these question is yes, stop day dreaming and start getting those brilliant ideas down on paper because the Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge is on again. 

Following its successful debut in 2017, innovative, driven and visionary people are once again being given the opportunity to take their concepts to the next level.

Last year’s winner, Alex Sweetman invented a smart phone app for mentally ill people and is currently turning it into a reality.

‘Lift Me Up’ uses artificial intelligence technology to analyse a person’s behaviour and proactively sends them a range of recognised counselling strategies to help them through the day. It is hoped it can also link them to available mental health professionals. 

With more than 3.7 million Australians diagnosed with mental illness – and a similar number suffering in silence – this app could save lives. These are just the types of brilliant innovations Hume Bank wants to see materialise.   

Successful entrants will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to an expert panel. The winner will walk away with $10,000 and an extensive mentorship program to bring their vision to fruition.

“The Life Tech Challenge demonstrates our commitment to building a next generation community focus,” Hume Bank chief customer officer Andrew de Graaff said.

“We have a lot of talent in our region throughout schools, universities and workplaces and we know new ideas and inventions are being developed every day.” 

Registrations are now open for this year's Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge.

The competition aims to benefit the community by promoting innovation and providing solutions to improve any aspect of life – from home, work, social, sustainability, health and well-being through to travel, lifestyle and education – it all depends on what enters their sphere.  

This year, Hume Bank has introduced a new ‘Rising Star’ category. The successful up and coming inventor will be awarded $2000 and encouraged to further develop their idea.

The other new feature this year is the introduction of an “ideation workshop”, aimed at those who would like to find out more about the process; further harness their idea; and get a submission ready.

This year’s expert panel includes Jack Hurley (founder of local innovation hub Possum Works), Jennifer Weller (local business owner of Creativeworkz) and Xavier Mardling (editor at The Border Mail). 

Judges will provide mentorship to the major prize winner to assist with idea execution and implementation. Local experts, Litton Legal are also providing mentorship to the winner again this year. 

“We recognise the importance of remaining relevant to our customers by investing in digital capability,” Mr de Graaff said.

“This challenge will allow us to collaborate with visionary leaders and partners to help nurture up and coming innovators. 

“Our focus this year is on the young entrepreneurs and innovators of our region and we strongly encourage high school and tertiary students to apply.”

This year’s major partners include Dutch Media, Southern Cross Austereo, The Border Mail and Ovens Murray Regional Partnerships. The Pitch Night is sponsored by Wodonga TAFE.

Registrations for the Life Tech Challenge are now open. Register your interest via Hume Bank’s website humebank.com.au/lifetech

  • Need some expert advice to get you ready and help develop that Life Tech Winning idea? Join Jennifer Weller from Creativeworkz and a team of local business leaders in a free Ideation Development Workshop on Wednesday, July 4. The two hour event will take place at 12pm in the ChamberHUB, Suite 8, 512 Swift Street, Albury. Register now humebank.com.au/workshop

Story sponsored by Hume Bank