Innovation, Tech & Hackathons: Angela Bee Chan (Hackathons Australia)

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Hackathons Australia (HackAus)

Angela Bee Chan is the CEO & Founder of Hackathons Australia (HackAUS), a community for hackathon organisers, participants, sponsors, partners and government to connect, empower, grow and advance the hackathon community and accelerate an innovative culture in Australia.

HackAUS’s vision is to activate Australian innovation and make Australia the world’s largest innovation hub. Listen to the podcast to find out a bit more about:

  • Angela’s motivations for starting Hackathons Australia (HackAUS),
  • Hackathons and how to participate,
  • innovation and having an open mindset, 
  • diversity, tech trends and advice for those looking to be in the ecosystem,
  • and the background story to her Ted Talk!

What is a Hackathon?

A Hackathon is a 2-3 day creative, intensive competition where a diverse group of people solve problems using technology as an enabler. They’ve been used for centuries and were made famous by the likes of Google, Facebook and Atlassian. To find out more about upcoming Hackathons in Australia or if you would like to know more, please visit:

“It’s a way to build a Minimum Awesome Product in a short pressurised timeframe.”

Some Quotes from the Interview (edited)

  • Being able to have the confidence to speak, even though that was not something that I naturally had… but I had to build that confidence.
  • Be true to yourself, be authentic and get to know yourself. A lot of people try to please other people, or they have a role model they want to replicate… Understand your own skills and strengths, how you perform and the energy you bring, and how you can affect others.
  • For me, it’s about being inclusive and being open to supporting everyone in their decision.
  • Everyone talks about wanting to be innovative because there’s a lot of change happening, and change is good…it’s about challenging ourselves to be agile, to learn quickly and adjust to the demands of our customers.
  • It’s all around changing your perspective and your mindset…and having that open mindset.  


0:37 – Her experience giving a Ted Talk in Adelaide, South Australia.

5:10 – A bit about introversion, building the confidence to speak in public.

6:35 – Why she founded Hackathons Australia (HackAus), difficulties of finding a stable job in the PR industry after graduating.

11:20 – What is a Hackathon?

13:40 – Is Innovation a buzzword? What is innovation? The Three Horizons of Innovation and Growth.

16:25 – Resistance to change, having an open mindset.

17:10 – Thoughts on diversity in STEM and being inclusive.

19:05 – Trends that’s Angela is seeing in the ecosystem, why don’t some start-ups succeed?

21:00 – Living true to your values, especially in unprecedented times.

23:20 – Angela’s’ goals and plans for the future – using digital tools to the fullest for Hackathons.

26:15 – Her role as Head of Innovation at Schneider Electric.

27:20 – Navigating struggles and doubts: authenticity, self-awareness, having a strong support network.

28:30 – How to get involved in the innovation ecosystem?   

30:30 – Final words, some advice