Venture Makers Innovation Challenge embraces the Metaverse

Western Sydney University’s Launch Pad and technology partner Virbela have teamed up to host the second Venture Makers’ Innovation Challenge held 17 to 19 May.

The Challenge, which explored the theme, ‘Welcome to the Metaverse’, is part of the University’s new Venture Makers entrepreneurship training and development program.

It involved nine teams comprising international students and researchers from Vietnam, Japan and Australia who explored how the Metaverse can deliver a human-centric approach to technology with clear benefits to society.

Don Wright, Director, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Western Sydney University, said all teams proposed a variety of collaborative and imaginative solutions to the challenges we face in building an equitable and fair society in the Metaverse.

“Working across areas such as increasing access to mental health support, solutions to manage memory loss in ageing populations and driving sustainability for water management, the participants created a range of unique and creative ideas that can leverage the immersive environment offered through the metaverse, ” said Mr Wright.

The teams worked to conceptualise metaverse solutions in areas such as mental health, diagnostic tools for dementia, therapeutic approaches for treating lower back pain, innovation in retail, marine conservation, immersion, social good, fitness through human-machine integration, and sustainability, with six teams – AquaMeta, Virtualization, NASA, LabVerse, The Good Team, and The Three Musketeers –  progressing to the finals.

Virbela is an international leader in the Metaverse space that brings people together to work, learn, meet, and train in an immersive virtual world – from anywhere. Through the Challenge, Virbela provided guest speakers and facilitators building opportunities for students to connect with industry leaders.

Virbela’s President and Co-Founder Alex Howland said the students were able to not only comprehend and seek answers to some of the world's most pressing problems but also to do it from an entrepreneurial standpoint.

"Virbela is building the next generation of products for the Metaverse and VR to give organisations and people greater choice and control over how and where they go to work," said Mr Howland.

"We're excited to partner with the Venture Makers program to give students the opportunity to explore this technology first-hand and prepare them for the future."

Founded by Launch Pad – the University’s Business Incubator – Venture Makers drives transformational change and builds entrepreneurial knowledge and skills with a focus on equipping students for the jobs of the future.

For more information on Western Sydney University’s Venture Makers program and the Innovation Challenge, visit Launch Pad (opens in a new window).

ENDS

2 June 2022

Media Unit