Hacking or shopping? UNSW and Commonwealth Bank join forces to “hack” retailing

Friday, 3 October 2014  Features
UNSW and Commonwealth Bank event
Students from the University of New South Wales are working with the Commonwealth Bank to enhance the retail experience.
More than 50 students will spend two and a half days in UNSW Business School’s new “flipped classrooms” to “hack” retailing technology – with the aim of providing a seamless retailing experience for the customer and the retailer. 
Using one of Commonwealth Bank’s merchant solutions (BPoint, Pi, Leo and Albert) and following a lean start-up model, students from across UNSW will work in small teams to design, validate, prototype and pitch innovative solutions for retailers.
The event is supported by Commonwealth Bank and run by UNSW’s New South Innovations, with AWI Ventures. 
The students will be guided by expert facilitators, keynote speakers, mentors from tech start-ups (including Jonathan Barouch, UNSW alumnus and founder of social media focused startup Local Measure), Commonwealth Bank executives and experts in retailing.  Judges include CommBank board member and UNSW Council member Brian Long, and Alex Heap, CEO of AWI.
Joshua Flannery, Manager, Student  Entrepreneur  Development at New South Innovations said: "The UNSW CBA Hackathon is really a melting pot for students from business, engineering, art and design faculties where multiple skill sets to come together and create solutions to problems that matter. This is at the core of what our Student Entrepreneur Development program is all about. "
Gary Roach, acting Executive General Manager of Corporate Banking Solutions at Commonwealth Bank said: “Commonwealth Bank has a long history of supporting Australians and encouraging innovation. We are pleased to offer students the opportunity to work on our latest technology solutions to unleash their imagination to deliver innovative and creative solutions that can better help businesses.”
The Business School’s Associate Dean, Digital and Innovation, Professor Nick Wailes said: “Providing our students with an opportunity to work closely with a leading Australian corporation on innovative applications of their technology is a fantastic learning experience. The students have a chance to work on a practical solution to a real problem – and develop an entrepreneurial mindset, crucial to functioning in this ever-evolving business world.”
The students will compete for cash prizes and a slot in the final round of pitching for the next incubator intake at AWI Ventures, Australia’s leading Fintech accelerator.  They will also get the opportunity to meet CBA executives and the possibility of an offer of a CommBank internship.
The hackathon participating teams will join more than 240 UNSW startup teams that have benefited from free commercial, legal and continued mentoring support via the NewSouth Innovations Student Entrepreneur Development program.
Platforms: Pi – open platform for app development; Albert – android point of sale terminal; Leo – portable merchant terminal; and BPoint – 3rd party ecommerce solution.
Media contacts:
Commonwealth Bank: Peter Habib 0477 391 520
UNSW (Business School): Janine MacDonald 0478 492 110  
UNSW (Business School): Julian Lorkin: +61 2 9385 9887