The Perth Unearthed hackathon, this year featuring Woodside and focusing on the oil and gas industry, is happening next weekend (8-11 April) at Spacecubed.
Previous years’ Unearthed have focused more on mining, but times change and so this year the focus is on the oil and gas industry. The format of the event is the same: the industry pose some challenges that they’d like solved, and some data about the challenges. The attendees form teams to tackle the challenges and come up with novel solutions over the weekend.
The event starts on Friday with a keynote speeches by Bill Marmion, the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi, and Brian Haggerty, VP of Innovation Capability and Woodside. Attendees then finalise their teams (as before, attendees are encouraged to pre-arrange teams and co-ordinate before the event begins), and start work. Saturday is all about the work, and the mentors will be around to encourage the teams and provide expert advice where needed. Work continues on Sunday until 4pm. The event finishes up with the pitches for each team and the final judging and prizes.
Prizes are a mixture of cash and credits, with the top prize being $2500 cash and $3000 of AWS credit. The judging panel is made up of the irrepressible Larry Lopez, and Jeroen Bruen and Steve Brameld, who are both VP’s at Woodside.
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Previous years have seen teams form successful resources software companies; Newton Labs got their start at the first Unearthed hackathon, which we covered from an attendees point of view. The combination of real-world problems and data has proven to be a great starting point for teams, giving them a ready-made customer if they can provide a workable solution.
The Unearthed hackathon has gone on to become a national event last year, and this year had its first international event in Capetown, South Africa in February. It has also added an accelerator to the mix, providing funds and mentorship for resource-based startups in Australia. Despite the resources downturn, the future looks bright for resources tech in Perth.
If you’re interested in the event, you can find out more here and get participant or observer tickets here.