Innovators gear up for Queensland’s first BikeHack

A virtual scavenger hunt using augmented reality to encourage safe exploration on off-road bike paths has won over the expert judging panel at Queensland’s first-ever ‘bike hackathon’.

The concept Leisure Hunt took out top honours and a $10,000 prize at a gathering of more than 120 tech experts, students, mentors and start-ups in Brisbane over the weekend aimed at getting Queensland’s riding bikes more often.

During the two-day hack, participants collaborated and created solutions to get more Queenslanders on bikes, before they pitched their ideas to an expert panel for the chance to share in $25,000 and meet with potential angel investors.

An initiative of the Palaszczuk Government, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said ideas covered everything from bike tech to gamification and new support services for bike riders.

“Queensland is fast-becoming a hub for innovation, with our Advance Queensland program creating more than 14,800 jobs since 2015. The bike hack was a great way to tap into our some of our state’s brightest minds to hopefully get more people riding bikes, more often,” Mr Bailey said.

“Almost 80 per cent of journeys in the south east under 5km are made by car, and if we can get people cycling instead, it’ll reduce congestion on our roads and improve the overall health of Queenslanders.

“I can’t wait to see some of the ideas our start-ups, students and innovators came up with brought to life. Events like this are a brilliant way to support our small businesses and connect them with budding investors.

“The hack will have benefits for the 800,000 Queenslanders who already ride their bike each week, and complement the Palaszczuk Government’s four-year, $240 million bike infrastructure program.

“It’s all part of our government’s 10-year, state-wide cycling strategy and action plan.

The judging panel awarded $25,000 in prize money across several categories, with $10,000 for the overall winner and $5000 to each of three category winners.

Bicycle Queensland CEO Anne Savage commended the initiative.

“We welcome new approaches to discourage private vehicle use and get more people cycling more often,” she said.

“Our hope is that with fresh ideas and innovative thinking, we can turn our minds to turn some pedals and transform our cities to reduce congestion and traffic chaos.”

The three category winners were:

  • RideWithMe: a centralised search platform for women to meet up with other female cyclists of similar abilities and interests. RidewithME was designed for women who would like to ride more often and build confidence or ride with others for fun.
  • HeadLok: a device that uses RFID technology to ensure helmets remain with rideshare bicycles like CityCycle.
  • Avanza: a business leasing ebikes to employers through a monthly subscription so their staff can ride to work on an ebike for free.

The event was sponsored by Aurecon, along with challenge sponsors Deloitte, 99 Bikes, Queensland University of Technology, Pedal Bikes and Merida.

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