Winners of Hack Tāmaki 2021

Winners of Hack Tāmaki 2021
Winners of Hack Tāmaki 2021 -Team Awhi

Not long ago, we had the pleasure of interviewing Russel Dunn and Andrew Gurr, co-leaders of Team Awhi, first place winners at Hack Tāmaki 2021. Read on to learn more about their 48-hour hackathon journey. Russel Dunn is deputy principal at Tāmaki College and Andrew Gurr is CEO of Fusion networks.

What were you looking to achieve by taking part in Hack Tāmaki 2021?
“I took part in Hack Tāmaki because I wanted to address an important need in our community for our rangatahi.” RG

What was the business challenge you chose to work with?
“Our team's challenge was about how we take high school students, and move them into the workplace. Currently there’s a gap between students and businesses, they don’t talk to each other, and we wanted to look at ways to fill that void, then make it scalable.” AG

Can you tell us a bit about your solution?
“We came up with a solution called Awhi. A digital app which builds a network of people to support a student by building a profile and matching that profile to a particular business or businesses.” AG

What was unique and different about your approach?
“Our unique value proposition was about finding ways for companies to better connect with schools to offer students internships, training and future employment. Rather than using a traditional model of placement through academic achievement, we looked instead at placing and matching students through values.” RG

How did the mentors help you realise your goal?
“They really challenged our thinking, and pushed our ideas into new, uncharted places.” RG

What did you get out of participating in Hack Tāmaki?
“For me personally, it was so satisfying to find a solution that could help not only students in our own community but also, potentially, in other communities, New Zealand wide.

Finally, for those who don’t know, what does awhi mean?
“It’s simple and beautiful. Awhi, in te reo Māori, means love. Love received, and love given.” RG