He is just 13 but is the centre of attraction among the 1,500 delegates at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), which began in Hyderabad on Tuesday.
Hamish Finlayson, the youngest entrepreneur at GES, is an app developer from Australia. Hamish's autism has not prevented him from developing five apps, including one to help persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
“I have developed five apps, four of them are about the environment,” Hamish told TNM.
The Class 7 student from Queensland is passionate about the need to protect the environment and the result is his creation of four environment related apps.
“I was taught about coding in Grade 3 and I was instantly hooked, as I could make my own games, and make what I want,” he added.
LitterbugSmash was the first app he developed when he was just 10. A multimedia, multi-channel educational tool, it is a game and fundraising initiative designed to protect oceans and save turtles.
“The idea for the app came from a competition where you have to use technology like coding and robotics to solve real-life problems. From there, I got space to expand and grow. I got the attention of the previous US Ambassador John Berry, and from there it was GES 2016,” he said.
Having participated in the 2016 event held in Silicon Valley, this is the second GES for Hamish.
TripleT&ASD is the autism related app he has developed. “It has day-to-day tips to help those with autism and also for other people to know about the disorder,” the teen told IANS.
He is currently working on a sixth app, which is a virtual reality game aimed at teaching children and adults with autism life and social skills to make their life easier.
“I would like to work in the Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) space, and then maybe create mixed reality, which is a combination of both. I definitely want to improve my apps,” Hamish said.
Happy to be in India, he is also keen to learn about the country, and the entrepreneurs and eco-system here.
Hamish’s father Green Finlayson told IANS that his son always liked technology, maths and coding. “He started coding when he was just eight. He used to draw stuff on a screen,” said Green.
“His age is of learning. We don’t have specific plans to get funding but if we get an opportunity we will be happy to talk to investors,” said Green when asked if they had any plans to rope in investors.
Hamish wants to continue working on developing apps to help people and work towards protection of the environment.
“Education is definitely the priority. My parents said that homework comes first and then saving the world,” Hamish quips.
(With IANS inputs)