Unleasher Meetup: Innovating

Unleasher Meetups are a fortnightly networking opportunity to find your innovation project soulmates! These Meetups serve to connect like-minded individuals and facilitate finding necessary talent for your projects. Each event proposes an in-depth look into a key theme of entrepreneurship. This week’s theme is Innovating. The advent of Tech Week means that it is an excellent occasion for ideation. The Winter cold has finally set, and who better than the cheerful Jamie McDonald to envelop the space with his warmth. Jamie, the guest speaker of today, gives an update about his tech startup, Schwoop, which aims to change the dynamics of brand marketing. Inspired by Jamie, the audience is reminded that technological innovations benefit by being imbued with a humanistic element too.

As per usual, Unleashers gathered around the hexagonal tables, already energised and sharing stories with their cohort. Event host Frederick Zhang took the introduction and explained the rundown. A game was to be played. The game was intended to sow the seeds of innovation, the core of which all other entrepreneurial roots stem from. Unleashers were given the task to explore issues that they have personally faced or observed in others, no matter how small or grand. Unaffordable housing, unethical landfill waste, increased prevalence of diabetes – these were the giants that Unleashers attempted to tackle that day. Frederick encouraged the Unleashers to burrow deep into the causes of these problems. It is stated that acquiring a better understanding of the problem is like wiping away stains on glass; your vision becomes much more clear. The exercise finished with groups sharing their ideas and their solutions. Like a scratch on a matchstick, Frederick knew that any exposure to these ideas would ignite curiosity into Unleashers and lead them to greater ideas.

“People won’t always what you’ve said or done, but people will always remember how you made you feel.” Was the headline of Jamie’s presentation. He explains that cities are becoming smarter and more technologically advanced as a whole, but is also becoming alarmingly more disconnected and distant. Jamie’s first taste of innovation was to question these reconciliations. Was he truly comfortable with what he observed? Jamie recalls the roaring success of Pokemon Go, and its unprecedented ability to spawn a diverse community of interactive players. These fond memories formed the essence of Schwoop and Jamie realised that his mission was to encourage “Interactive Spaces” within cities. Holograms, computer vision, phone interfacing, interactive bus stops, all would serve to bring back the “oomph” that Jamie once felt, engaging with others, and even strangers, in meaningful ways. He incentivises connection, and informs everyone that technology can do more than just to improve the standard of living.

Jamie mentions that Schwoop is a downloadable app and a big interactive treasure hunt is planned to be held at University of Auckland during Re-O’Week. The remainder of the Unleasher Meetup was spent on networking and enjoying the provided snacks and beverages.

Unleash Space is an amazing place which you can utilise your own innovative ideas. To join the Unleasher community, click here. Like our Facebook and Instagram to be notified of upcoming events occurring at Unleash Space. Alternatively, you can sign up to our newsletter here!