App Factory joins innovation space COHORT

Ryoma Ohira, Cailen Robertson, Dr Sebastian Binnewies, Carl Albrecht and Jake Hashim-Jones

Griffith University’s App Factory has moved into Gold Coast co-working space COHORT, looking to stimulate a culture of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation for the team in a business accelerator environment.

Professor Paolo De Souza

The App Factory was started in 2013, supported by Griffith’s School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and uses the technological expertise of the staff and students, to cater to a growing need powered by the global phenomenon of mobile applications.

Head of School of ICT, Professor Paulo de Souza said the move would produce industry-ready students who have tested their technical skills in a practical environment, also strengthening essential soft skills such as communication and project management that will be invaluable once they enter the workforce.

“Employability is and furthermore will continue to be, driven by soft skills,” he said.

“By giving our students the opportunity to practice these skills in a collaborative and entrepreneurial environment, we will make Griffith students uniquely qualified for the industry.”

“We know the move will provide students with invaluable exposure to industry and ultimately create new career pipelines and collaboration opportunities,” said Ariana Margetts, General Manager at COHORT.

“We are thrilled to welcome The App Factory into our diverse and inclusive community of innovators and can’t wait to see what they achieve in the coming years.”

The future vision of the App Factory, once established within COHORT, is to leverage the expertise in the School of ICT to drive innovative collaborations with industry and research partners, contribute to the economic growth in the precinct through entrepreneurial activities and continue to increase student involvement.

“This is an opportunity to firmly establish the App Factory as an integral part of Griffith’s success as a global university in 2020 and beyond,” revealed Dr Sebastian Binnewies, Director of the App Factory.

“Within the next five years we would like to establish strategic innovation partnerships with external clients, grow our interdisciplinary connections within the university and therefore provide more Griffith students the opportunity to increase their entrepreneurial skills and employability prospects.”

“As a student, we often have the capacity to take risks but may lack the experience to develop our ideas and product,” explained PhD student Ryoma Ohira, who works as a project manager and business analyst for the App Factory.

“Its new location at COHORT exposes us to the culture and processes involved in launching a start-up but also provides access to the experience to help us kick-start those ideas.”

The development team’s latest project will see the App Factory work as part of an interdisciplinary research team to provide a user-friendly mobile app that will allow end users to keep track of their personal health.

App Factory product, Access GC, was developed in consultation with Regional Development Australia Gold Coast and the City of Gold Coast, revealing information and location of disability services to residents and visitors to the local area. This includes information such as disability carparks, toilets and access ramps.

About COHORT

COHORT is the Gold Coast’s newest innovation space for co-working, located in the rapidly expanding Health and Knowledge Precinct close to Griffith’s Gold Coast Campus. The space has been specifically designed as a launchpad for technology start-ups and businesses to support and connect them with programs and partners that will help them break the barriers to success.

About the App Factory

The development team is currently led by Dr Sebastian Binnewies, collaborating on projects for external industry clients and with other schools and research centres at Griffith to promote interdisciplinary collaboration.

The App Factory uses the expertise of Griffith’s staff and students to develop a variety of application types for different purposes. The team are specialists in delivering mobile applications for both iOS and Android operating systems with seamless navigation and beautiful design. They also have the knowledge and capacity to work on projects such as data analytics, data visualisation and web applications.

The initiative has been an excellent addition to the teaching program within the School of ICT, giving students of all years the opportunity to undertake paid work within the application development field.

The new office space will give the App Factory access to the state-of-the-art facilities within COHORT and the surrounding area. Located alongside other like-minded businesses, the co-working space will inspire the App Factory to forge important connections with a broad range of start-ups and businesses such as IntelliHQ, a government, university and industry partnership exploring the usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare.

Supported by $5 Billion in infrastructure, the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct will provide the App Factory with a unique opportunity to surround itself with an innovative community of life sciences, health and technology-related businesses. This includes the newly opened Griffith Innovation Centre, a highly adaptable, teaching, prototyping and events space designed to bring together students from all disciplines, staff and wider industry.

Did you know?

Mobile and web applications are so entrenched into every facet of our day-to-day lives with no sign of disappearing. In 2018, Apple reported that developers had earned over US$100 Billion in revenue, making initiatives such as the App Factory increasingly relevant as the digital age continues.