Gearing up with Barrick for the BattleBorn hackathon in Las Vegas

The BattleBorn hackathon starts Friday March 9 and is a 54 hour, weekend-long open innovation event to be held at Rob Roy’s Innevation Center in Las Vegas, featuring real data and challenges direct from Barrick’s mining operations. Participants will be presented with four challenges and tasked with the opportunity of identifying inefficiencies and developing technical solutions to a selected challenge. In teams, participants will brainstorm solutions and develop an MVP over the course of the weekend, then pitch that solution to a distinguished judging panel of venture capitalists, technologists and industry leaders. Mentors from Barrick, Cisco, AWS and Unearthed will support participants all weekend and there is $20,000 in cash prizes up for grabs.

Software developers, data scientists, engineers, software designers, entrepreneurs and any other creative professionals or students have been invited to attend. Even those not familiar with mining will be brought up to speed before the hackathon at a series of bootcamp events beforehand. Participants will own 100% of the intellectual property they and their team create or develop at the hackathon. Barrick owns the data which will be distributed on the opening night of the hackathon. The four challenges are Watt’s it to you?: Track power consumption, distribution, and loss to identify areas where power usage can be reduced; Time’s Running out!: Provide real-time information on commodity use to Barrick and their vendors to ensure critical reagents are on site when they’re needed to stop productivity losses; Gather Risk: Develop a tool to continuously assess how social, political and economic events affect Barrick’s current and potential operations. Identify Me!: Can you locate and identify malfunctioning equipment within a mine site.

Speakers include Michelle Ash, Barrick’s first Chief Innovation Officer. In her role, she oversees the company’s innovation strategy looking both at how innovation can drive productivity in the existing business as well as how it can be harnessed to deliver alternative business models. She joined Barrick in January 2016, and brings with her more than 20 years of experience in the mining and manufacturing sectors. She began her career at Rio Tinto, and most recently worked for Acacia Mining in Tanzania as Chief Operating Officer. She has also served as Head of Alliance Planning and Co-ordination at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance. Last year, Ash was named to the 2016 list of “100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining” by Women in Mining UK. She holds a degree in Civil Engineering and an Executive MBA from the Melbourne Business School.

Also speaking is Michael J. Brown who joined Barrick Gold Corporation in 1995 and serves as Barrick’s Executive Director in the USA. Prior to joining Barrick, Michael was Vice President of the Gold Institute. He served eight years in the Reagan Administration at the U.S. Treasury and three years on the staff of the Ohio House of Representatives. Michael has a Bachelor of Science in business from the Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from George Washington University. In Nevada, Michael is a board member of the Clark County Public Education Foundation, Nevada Mining Association, Nevada Taxpayers Association, Communities in Schools of Nevada, Three Square Food Bank, Opportunity Village and Nevada Ballet Theatre.

Missy Young is speaking, and is the CIO (Chief Information Officer) at Switch. She drives the company’s solutions architecture to create a fundamental and sustainable change in the way clients ultimately design and implement intelligent data strategies. As a technologist, Missy has played an imperative role in the company’s evolution from the most innovative data center company in the world to the world’s only hyperscale retail colocation ecosystem that it is today. Since joining the company in 2005, Missy has also held roles with leadership responsibilities for all sales operations and solutions engineering with respect to potential clients and win-win contract negotiations.

Finally, elected to three terms in the Nevada Assembly, Paul Anderson was a widely-respected legislator and entrepreneur before accepting the role as incoming director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development. A native of Las Vegas, he is a third-generation Nevadan, whose grandfather moved here to work on the Hoover Dam and decided to make the Silver State home. A graduate of Clark High School, Paul served a two-year mission for his church in Fukuoka, Japan. While studying business and finance at Chapman University, he founded AndersonPC, which quickly grew to several dozen employees and offers a wide range of technological services to business clients.