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Pasifika entrepreneurs participate in Tamaki’s first ‘hackathon’

Hack Tāmaki was held over 48 hours in Auckland. PC Tāmaki AKL
Hack Tāmaki was held over 48 hours in Auckland. PC Tāmaki AKL

Students from Tāmaki College and Polynesian eatery Ika Bowl were among a group of businesses, creatives, students and tech-minded people who competed in an Auckland ‘hackathon’ over the weekend.

Called Hack Tāmaki, the 48-hour hackathon included local businesses and organisations who pitched a challenge facing their business. They then each worked with a team of skilled participants to build an innovative solution quickly.

Tāmaki College entered the competition with Fusion Networks. Their challenge was to help bridge the gap between school and work by making it easier for businesses to find students and share training, experience and intern opportunities.

Another challenge was set by Ra Beazley, a proud Tāmaki local and co-founder and managing director of Ika Bowl – Polyesian Poké. Ika Bowl’s challenge was to help create a fresh business model that would get them closer to where their customers are post-COVID.

Mentors and judges included Dr. Michelle Dickinson (Nano Girl), Kerry Topp, Renee Woolcott and Barry Soutar. At the end of an epic 48 hours, the Fusion and Tāmaki College team were crowned the winners, with Jacobsen and Ika Bowl coming in second and third.

“Hackathons are an interesting concept. They’re probably around near 30, 40 years old now from out of Silicon Valley. Essentially it’s a 48-hour exercise of taking a business problem and crafting a prototype solution for that problem,” says organiser Barry Soutar.

One of Hack Tāmaki’s key aims is to help accelerate under-represented communities into the technology field, and provide an opportunity for businesses to accelerate a concept or idea to help create growth and jobs in the region.

Tāmaki’s inaugural event proved successful with over 100 participants getting involved, and businesses were impressed with the level of innovation and capability from participants.

Ika Bowl Managing Director Ra Beazley in Hack Tāmaki
Ika Bowl Managing Director Ra Beazley in Hack Tāmaki.

“To have people that that’s their full time job, experts in this area, but free… I don’t think I’ve ever been able to access something like this,” says Ika Bowl’s Ra Beazley.

“The solution that we’ve come up with doesn’t actually exist, and it makes no sense it doesn’t exist… If it is true that no one has done this before, and it’s revolutionary for my industry as much as I think it is, this could be really big.”

Watch this space…



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