Technology has played a key role during some of the big challenges that the world has had to face.
In her recent update of the INCITE Awards commitment to use technology and innovate its 2020 program in light of COVID 19, Sue Findlay – Chair of the Awards – provided examples of how technology has helped mitigate the devastations of natural disasters.
Now, during these unprecedented times, we talk to Alex Dunmow – CEO of Ninja Software and our Platinum Sponsors on what we can be doing with technology during a pandemic.
INCITE Awards: Thanks Alex for taking the time to chat to us. Can you briefly introduce Ninja Software to us.
Alex: Ninja Software is an entrepreneurial software development company. What that means is that we participate in high risk, high reward, disruptive technology ventures. We have a team of in-house developers who are truly talented.
Our company’s DNA is all about #techforgood. We are passionate about entrepreneurial ideas for the greater good of society on a global scale.That’s also the reason why we support innovation locally through our sponsorship and being on the committee for both the Game Changer Awards (inspiring STEM in WA schools) and INCITE Awards (celebration tech innovation in WA since 1991).
INCITE Awards: On the topic of the INCITE Awards, what do you think the Awards can do more during these unprecedented times?
Alex: As I have mentioned before, there is nothing else truly showcasing innovation in WA besides the INCITE Awards. The program is the only thing I am aware of putting any kind of attention on innovation in Western Australia.
The fact that the Awards has taken the leadership during COVID 19 with a commitment to make the events for 2020 virtual, for the first time is exemplary to the industry that we can innovate, pivot and use technology to overcome challenges.
INCITE Awards: What role do you think technology can play to solve some of the challenges posed by COVID-19?
Alex: Well, we have seen many tech companies work to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Another INCITE Awards Platinum Sponsor – NEC – created the iQuarantine technology to help people self isolate safely and is offering Agile business support for remote workforce.
Y Combinator are helping over 25 innovators around the world get the funding and introductions they need to get their medtech off the ground that can support health resources, tests and cures.
Australian engineers, developers and scientists are working together to create ventilators.
I personally also see this as a time when people who are unfortunately out of work or observing the challenges can be creative to get them out of the challenges. Technology or innovation ideas can come out of situations like this. We saw it with Airbnb during a boom period with the lack of available, affordable accommodation in cities like Perth.
In short, technology has a role to help support our communities, scientists, hospitals, our Government and our frontline workers through these challenging times and also during the recovery period as the way we do things, the way we work will change.
INCITE Awards: What opportunities or support are required for innovation and technology to thrive during these times?
Alex: Now more than ever, if you have the time, I think there’s an opportunity to upskill. To learn online tech skills or improve on your existing knowledge. There are plenty of courses online that you can take and we at Ninja Software have ourselves been creating a community of self learners.
We have been directing people who come to us to certain online courses depending on their interests. We’re more than happy to help with this initial direction for anyone requiring it. Send us an email at [email protected]
Not specific to these unprecedented times, I believe that there is a great opportunity in Western Australia for our incubators and industry to build on and push on the startup mentality of risk taking, to be ok to fail fast and quickly and learn, especially with the younger generation.
I believe it is through developing this risk taking, fail quickly and trying again mindset, and creating a community around this kind of thinking and action that we can inspire bigger and better innovation in Western Australia.
INCITE Awards: Lastly Alex, do you have any advice for those in the industry on how to deal with and prepare for what’s next with COVID-19?
Alex: For me, what’s next is the great unknown at the moment. So I can also share what we are doing at Ninja Software which is to be ready to adapt as things will continue to change and secondly, trust your team – they are and always be our biggest asset and more than ever during confusing times such as this, it is important to have good daily communications, be transparent, and provide opportunities to hone their skills.