Innovation Challenge fosters young entrepreneurs in Parramatta

Innovation challenge winners Tarren Leon and James Hill celebrate with Tim Horan, Inu Rana and Daria Steele.

Western Sydney University and DXC Technology have come together to hold the ‘Innovating Human Identity Challenge’ – an opportunity for students to develop solutions to complex problems associated with managing human identity in the digital age.

The Innovation Challenge event, held on Friday 26 November, is part of the University’s new Venture Makers entrepreneurship training and development program.

The hybrid showcase competition was the first event to take place at the University’s new state-of-the-art, multi-million dollar Engineering Innovation Hub building located at Hassall Street, Parramatta.

As part of the challenge, 13 interdisciplinary teams including students from the University of Economics in Vietnam responded to the problem statement: ‘How we can design digital identity technologies for justice and manage digital identities for a more secure, fair and equitable world’.

The teams worked to develop digital identity solutions in areas such as security, travel, services, social media, ethics and health. From the seven teams that progressed to the finals, team ‘F8’ was announced the winner for their solution the ‘Universal Healthcare Passport’. While teams ‘COVID Free Travel Buddies’ and ‘Jelly Bean Travel’ took out second and third place for their respective solutions, ‘The Passpal’ and ‘TRAVEL-EAZE’.

Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said the Venture Makers program allows students to not only understand and seek solutions to some of the key challenges currently impacting the world, but to understand these problems from an entrepreneurial perspective.

“Our aim is to drive a new wave of entrepreneurship across Western Sydney that will maximise the growth opportunities, both in our region and globally, by preparing our graduates to develop their own enterprises and to work as entrepreneurs within other organisations,” said Professor Glover.

Keynote speaker Seelan Nayagam, President Asia Pacific, DXC Technology, commended the teams and highlighted the importance of providing students with valuable real-world experience to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

“DXC Technology is proud to be a foundation partner of the Venture Makers program, working with students to solve real-world challenges and developing work readiness skills that will be critical to support the growing Western Sydney region. We congratulate the winning team and all participants for embracing this unique opportunity to innovate human identity in the digital age,” said Mr Nayagam.

Founded by Launch Pad – the University’s Business Incubator – Venture Makers has been developed to drive transformational change and build entrepreneurial knowledge and skills with a focus on equipping students for the jobs of the future.

DXC is a long-term partner of Western Sydney University and is exploring opportunities to develop other industry-focused learning experiences, including in collaboration with the University’s 21C and Learning Futures programs, where students can undertake work-integrated learning placements.

Don Wright, Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Western Sydney University, said the students put forward a range of collaborative and innovative solutions to address human identity and digitalisation.

“One of the most important aspects of Venture Makers and these challenges is that all activities are co-designed and co-delivered with industry partners, providing an authentic learning experience for students and the opportunity to build their industry networks and connections,” said Mr Wright.

For more information on Western Sydney University’s Venture Makers program and the Innovation Challenge, visit Launch Pad.

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