Hear from Waterwise, first place winners of the H2O Hack

Story by Ophelia Phraphone, Ollie Viant and Nathan Rees.

This was our second H2O Hackathon and we were so excited to be back! Hackathons are always such an enriching experience and we loved this year’s added twist on the problem statement, in which we had to focus on using space-based technologies to improve Australia’s water management.

The hackathon incorporated valuable mentor sessions which enabled our team to engage with industry professionals. Not only did we learn about improving the technical aspects of our idea, but the mentors also helped us develop a business plan that would see our idea turn into a viable product. Being able to speak directly to mentors and receive feedback and suggestions proved to be extremely beneficial.

Our team is a Sydney-based group of university undergraduates, consisting of Olivia Viant – a biotechnology honours student, Ophelia Phraphone – a biomedical science honours student, and Nathan Rees – a mechatronic engineering student. Through our shared passion for innovation and our diverse educational backgrounds, we were able to create a product that we were really proud of.

Our product, Waterwise, is an end-to-end, real-time water monitoring system, designed to mitigate current pain points of water sampling within the mining industry as a method to stop prolonged pollution events. By calling on previous experiences in the mining industry, we used customer validation interviews and valuable insight from the hackathon mentors to iterate our design into a product which could have positive applications in the real world.

We are always so grateful for the opportunities provided to us throughout these hackathons and it was such an honour to receive first place for our design. There was definitely some tough competition but that just goes to show how well hackathons are able to help cultivate amazing ideas and push aspiring entrepreneurs to think outside the box.

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