Meet GES Delegate: Hamish Finlayson
Name: Hamish Finlayson
Twitter handle: SuperSnoopyBros
Country of Origin: Australia
Organization Name: LitterbugSmash & TripleTandASD
Brief Description of Organization: 11-year-old Hamish Finlayson has created two dot coms and 4 App Store apps that combine his passion for technology with his love of sea turtles and his desire to help improve the lives of people everywhere with autism (ASD). Hamish simply wants to make the world a better place. Hamish is also living with ASD.
Hamish’s efforts were recognised at the OzAPP awards in Perth in December 2015 and Hamish also received an Australia Day Award in January 2016 from the Townsville City Council for his environmental work in helping to save turtles.
What inspired you to start this organization: Living on the coast in Townsville, Hamish was exposed from a young age to the damage caused to the ocean and its animals by pollution and littering. So at only 10 years of age, Hamish developed LitterbugSmash, a game for iPads that features Triple T, the turtle who cleans up trash and saves other turtles from ghost nets in the ocean.
Hamish, who has high-functioning autism, also wishes to increase public awareness about the impacts of autism on society. “A lot of people don’t understand what autism is and I don’t want people to be afraid of it,” he said.
What is the next big step you hope to help your organization reach? Hamish wants to use the GES 2016 Summit as an opportunity to put a big global spot light on the plight of our sea turtles and the challenges people with ASD face.
GES 2016 is a great chance to pitch ideas on changing the world to some of the best and brightest entrepreneurs, investors and start-ups around the globe, as well as key government players. Hamish also wants to learn new ways to scale his ICT solutions, increase his audience reach, and check out how other entrepreneurs are using ICT to make the world a better place.
What has been your biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur? Glitches in app development software and navigation of the App Store Guidelines took a while to address.
Working alone has created enormous challenges, but luckily Hamish has met some great mentors and teams to learn how to build a start-up — including from OzAPP/MaiTai Global, BankWest in Perth, Blue Chilli and Google in Sydney, and Safety Culture in Townsville.
The fantastic advice and encouragement from everyone at the US Embassy in Australia, Keep Australia Beautiful, Keep Queensland Beautiful, ReefHQ Turtle Hospital, Townsville City Council, The Cathedral School in Townsville, the Qld Govt and Autism Qld has also been vital to Hamish’s start-up efforts.
What advice would you give other emerging entrepreneurs? Team collaboration, access to great mentors and building strong networks is a must for success.
As Nelson Mandela said: ‘’It always seems impossible until it’s done.”