Aston University Students take part in UniHack

Carolyn Keenan and UniHack finalists

UniHack, an organisation that runs hackathons on university campuses up and down the country, came to Aston University’s Great Hall from the 10-12th February. Thirty six students from degree courses spanning maths, computer science, psychology, business and the MBA took part in the 48-hour challenge to look for new ways to use the Internet of Things (IOT), both in its application and in using the data it collects. Cross disciplinary teams created products, services and apps that took advantage of this increasingly scalable technology.   

The winning team ‘Step Change’ made up of Farhan Ali, Onaseye Onabolu and Rumana Begum devised an app that connects refugees with employment opportunities.  

Four other prizes were awarded during the weekend including ‘Hustler of the Weekend’ which went to Suneel Mohindra who won a Geco Hub hot off the press from a recent Kickstarter success. The ‘Hacker of the Weekend’ award went to Lewis Blackburn who received a Drone donated by Radix. The ‘Social Media Mogul’ award went to Tristan Ripke who was rewarded with an internship with start-up Wisher.com plus £200 to go towards his own wish. And finally the ‘Design Guru’ of the weekend went to Jordan Lees who was given a prestigious art set for his prize.  

Will Churchill, Co-Founder of UniHack said “We were really impressed with the creativity and diversity of the ideas that Aston students generated. The way that computer science, engineering and business school students worked together to develop their initial ideas into sustainable businesses in such a short period of time is incredibly inspiring.”

Carolyn Keenan, BSEEN Project Manager said “The three UniHack founders were truly motivational and inspired the students to come up with innovative new ideas. As a result the students have certainly developed their entrepreneurial, creative and technical skills. A huge thanks to all the mentors and judges from the local business and tech community, who came along and gave up their time to support our entrepreneurial students.”

During the 48 hours the students took part in intense idea generation, thought experiments, working with others, and even pitching to a large audience. They experienced what it is like in a start-up environment, allowing them to develop key skills that will enhance their employability. For more information about UniHack visit their website.