Saturday 5 May saw a full house at The Factory, when four teams pitched their ideas to solve one of the nation’s biggest environmental issues, water.
The AgTech Hackathon began on 3 May combining IT experts, coders, farmers and corporates to help hack solutions to given water problems collected over the course of 4 weeks.
These solutions were then pitched, after 2 structured days, to judges in a Dragon’s Den format.
The judges were Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith, CEDA Chief Executive Linda Stewart, Massey Professor Ian Yule, water expert Stu Bradbury and local dairy farmer Kate Gwilliam.
“The pitches and solutions were very well polished” said Johnelle Hosking, hackathon organiser. “It was great to see what teams could do when under the pump. To go from the idea stage to working prototypes in 16 hours is incredible.”
Once all four teams had pitched it was over to the judges to calculate the scores.
The Mayor’s Innovation award and $1,500 cash to further develop their idea went to InfoFarm, who’s idea was to build a platform for data storage and transmission, using blockchain technology.
The Horizons Regional Council Environmental Award of $1000 cash went to Droplet who built a working prototype with sensors that alert the farmer when there is a fault in water flow reducing water wastage.
Both winning teams will continue their work through BCC’s accelerator programme in Palmerston North.