UNSW startup goes local: tech solutions for Randwick City Council beaches

Young entrepreneurs partner with Randwick City Council to deliver smart lockers at Coogee and Maroubra Beach.

Yellowbox founders

Yellowbox founders Ben Delaney, Vanessa Zhao, Ho Jun Tang and Adrian Brossard.

Prize-winning tech startup Yellowbox has partnered with Randwick City Council to offer free contactless smart lockers at Coogee Beach, Maroubra Beach and the Des Renford Leisure Centre. Beach and gym-goers will have increased peace of mind that their belongings are safe while they swim or workout, thanks to the recently installed smart lockers.

Business School students Vanessa Zhao, Ho Jun Tang, Ben Delaney and Adrian Brossard used their degrees – and assistance from the UNSW Founders program – to help set up the tech company which specialises in short-term self-storage using Bluetooth technology.

The Yellowbox smart lockers can be hired free of charge through the Yellowbox app, which is available on both iOS and Android platforms. The app connects to the smart lockers and opens them via Bluetooth technology. The smart lockers also have a keypad enabling users to set a code using their phone, store their phone in the locker and open it again using their pre-set code.

The innovative idea earned the students $5,000 as runners-up in the prestigious Peter Farrell Cup in 2018. David Burt, Director Entrepreneurship at the UNSW Division of Enterprise, whose team delivers UNSW’s Founders program, congratulated the graduates on the success of their venture.

“UNSW empowers our students and alumni with the capability, mindset and networks they need to create positive impact through entrepreneurship,” says Burt. “We are particularly excited for Yellowbox’s success, having nurtured their growth through our Peter Farrell Cup and 10x Accelerator programs.”

Yellowbox smart lockers

Yellowbox smart lockers at Coogee Beach.

Randwick Mayor, Danny Said, says the project is another example of what can be achieved through UNSW and Randwick City Council collaboration.

“This idea is a wonderfully simple solution to keep personal belongings safe while people are at the beach or gym,” says Said. “It is the brainchild of four UNSW students who have worked incredibly hard to bring their idea to life.”

“I’m so pleased we can nurture and support young entrepreneurs and offer a valuable service to our residents, all at the same time. It’s a great example of the types of projects and improvements that can be made as part of the Randwick Collaboration Area Group which involves Randwick Council, UNSW, Randwick Hospitals complex and the Australian Turf Club.”

The roll out of the free, contactless smart lockers is part of Randwick City Council’s Smart Cities Beach Strategy, which seeks to adopt a wide variety of current and emerging technologies to make visiting the beach easier and safer.

Yellowbox is expanding its network to other convenient locations around the CBD, Bondi and Olympic Park – looking to work with councils, shopping centres, entertainment venues and smart buildings locally and internationally to improve liveability and experience within these venues.

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