UQ's Gen[In] Student Innovation Challenge - Congratulations Flynn Edwards


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Flynn was awarded the winner of the Profit Entrepreneur section, winning $4000 at UQ's Gen[In] student innovation challenge last week. Up against finalist teams from all over Queensland, Flynn delivered his solo pitch on Quantum Computing. Flynn Pic 2.jpg

He also had the privilege of being given a tour of the Quantum Computer lab and was very much being encouraged to attend UQ after graduating form QAHS.

Reflection: Flynn Edwards 
Year 11 Student

My idea, quantumTranslate, translates code from existing software packages to work on a quantum computer.  This is done to improve accessibility to faster processing times of a quantum computer.

Mr Obst put me in touch with a data scientist in Europe, to discuss my concept and the feasibility of the idea.  He had some great insight and provided useful feedback which prompted me to pivot my idea and further develop it. He pointed out this is a long-term undertaking with quantum computing still very much in the early stages of development.

After I had completed my initial application requiring a short video that described the problem needing to be solved and how it would do so, a few weeks later, I was invited to complete an innovation plan for round two. This simply required more information about the business side of releasing my product. 

To qualify for the Finals, round three, the organisers scored our applications from rounds one and two and selected the top ten. Out of over one hundred students, I was informed I had made the finals and was required to prepare a pitch for presentation for a two-day event the following week. 

The UQ Ventures mentoring sessions on Thursday were extremely beneficial, I came away very inspired and full of useful information. I met many likeminded students who were incredibly friendly and supportive of one another, even though we were competing against each other. We also attended a presentation by a start-up founder who had previously attended UQ and shared some of his university experience with us. Tyson Jennings and Tomas Piccinini, the two mentors who spoke with me, gave me some really helpful advice about communicating my quite complex quantum computing-related idea. 

Although very nervous, I presented well and thankfully completed my presentation in just under the six-minute time limit (which I hadn't been able to do consistently in rehearsal). The feedback I received was very encouraging and one of the judges suggested I talk to Nimrod Klayman, head of UQ Ventures, to facilitate connection with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS) which was located on the UQ Campus to help develop my idea further. 

While the judges deliberated on the winners, I networked with other participants and spoke with Nimrod, who offered to organise a tour of the quantum computer labs at UQ. This blew me away!  

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Shortly after photographs and my tour of the quantum tour lab I was still in shock, and a little flustered, and all the amazing things that had happened didn't really sink in until a few hours later. I had worked so hard for the competition, and it was incredible to see that my efforts had been recognised. I am so grateful to Mr Obst for his encouragement, Mrs Palekar, QA staff and students for all your support. To be at such a supportive school that helps expose students to these competitions and further still supports you to do your best in applying yourself is truly a dream come true.

​To see Flynn's outstanding final pitch to the judges, please click here.

Dion Obst
Business Management and Exercise Science Teacher
Sports Coordinator and A/CAS Coordinator 

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Last reviewed 03 June 2022
Last updated 03 June 2022