Born out of a desire to disrupt the Corporate Real Estate (CRE) Industry as we know it, CoreNet Global Australia Chapter together with BGIS held the first ever APAC CRE Hackathon in September 2017 over a two day period in Melbourne, Australia. Connecting industry professionals with IT experts, students, entrepreneurs and everyone else in-between, the two-day event brought together an amazing talent pool of over 70 people who attempted to brainstorm solutions to industry problems around workplace productivity, efficiency and safety.
“The time is right for the CRE industry to embrace the Hackathon. This is an industry ready for disruption. In CoreNet and in the Corporate Real Estate industry we have a group of professionals and a group of organisations that have always embraced change and always initiated change,” said Richard Gee, Chief Commercial Officer BGIS APAC. “At BGIS, innovation is one of our core values, but innovation can’t just come from within, it also has to come from outside - outside our organisation and outside of our industry. The Future Workplace Hackathon is a great place to start.”
No longer limited to IT folk alone, Hackathons have turned into multi-million dollar businesses of their own, as corporates strive to innovate and create newness faster and better than the competition. A Hackathon is a competition where people come together and make a tangible product or solution using technology over a compressed time period that directly addresses a particular problem or need.
At the CoreNet CRE Hackathon, teams competed for one of three category prizes consisting of $2,000 each, as well as an overall winner receiving an additional $4,000. To kick things off teams came together first thing on a Monday morning where the problem statement owners, mentors and judges ran through the details of the ‘The Future of Workplace’ Hackathon before leaving teams to their own devices to unearth the next big CRE disruptive technology solution.
“As an industry, we have played a major part in the workplace revolution over the last 20 years, in many ways we have lead that revolution globally. But there are still issues to resolve, there are still opportunities to be gained and there are still problems to solve,” said Richard.
After an intensive 48 hour period teams came together to present their solutions to the judges who had the difficult task of selecting one winner from each problem category around productivity, efficiency and safety in the workplace. The three winners then had to present their solutions again to over 300 people at the CoreNet Symposium where the audience selected the ultimate winner, team Halo. Team Halo addressed the problem of workplace productivity by developing a highly intelligent, integrated and effective virtual assistant which can help employees throughout their day with everything from changing meetings, updating personal appointments or booking flights. The winners were presented with their $4,000 cheque and can now go on to develop the solution further should they desire.
Overall this CRE hackathon left attendees re-energised and motivated to think about things differently, fostering a culture of agility, collaboration and innovation which we want to continue to build on and grow at BGIS as we move forward.