Second Hume Bank Life Tech Challenge invites all innovators aboard

THE FIRST FINALISTS: Jane Harris, Garry Brinkmann, Malcolm Thompson, Andrew Konecnik, Torquil McKillop and Alex Sweetman last year.
THE FIRST FINALISTS: Jane Harris, Garry Brinkmann, Malcolm Thompson, Andrew Konecnik, Torquil McKillop and Alex Sweetman last year.

A community project that promotes ideas has come up with several of its own to make sure year two expands on its inaugural success.

The Life Tech Challenge returns for 2018, giving more people the chance to pitch their proposal to an expert panel, with the winner earning $10,000 and an extensive mentorship program to develop their plans.

An initiative of Hume Bank, the competition aims to help the community by promoting innovation and providing solutions to improve any aspect of life, such as home, work, social, sustainability, health and wellbeing, travel, lifestyle or education.

A Rising Star category of $2000 has been added to encourage an up and coming innovator.

Hume Bank chief customer officer and acting chief executive Andrew de Graaff said the first Life Tech Challenge “certainly generated quite a bit of a buzz”.

“It was just something refreshingly new .. that the community could actively be involved in and try out new ideas,” he said.

Mr de Graaff said the challenge had expanded its focus, increasing the mentoring and support for not only the winner, but all participants through various workshops and talking to last year’s finalists.

“To see if they can actually then effectively share some insights and share some ideas as to how they can support each other,” he said.

“So we’re not excluding anyone who while they might have a good idea, they just don’t have the business nous or they don’t have the technological insights that they need to develop their ideas further.”

Jennifer Weller, of Creativeworkz, and local business leaders will run a free Ideation Development Workshop on July 4 for people wanting to hone their Life Tech idea.

Mrs Weller said the session aimed to give participants some tools for developing their thoughts.

“I’ll show them a few tips for creative thinking and jogging their mind out of those traditional pathways that they normally run down,” she said.

“If you want to get a new idea, you’ve actually got to get out of those normal connections and to do that you have to do something that makes your brain work differently.”

Mr de Graaff said the Life Tech Challenge sought to involve more younger people, with organisers talking to schools and universities.

“Because 2018 is just the stepping stone to do even bigger and better things in years to come,” he said.

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