Business School


12 October 2017

The team building ALICE, an artificial intelligence that can play and compose music, have won QUT's own Shark Tank business pitch showcase for graduates, students and staff, the QUT bluebox Challenge.

The Popgun team, which includes computer science graduate Adam Hibble and business and law student Jack Nolan, last night took home the winning $50,000 prize.

The runner-up was business graduate Carly Brown’s UNE PIECE, makers of a stylish women’s one-piece rashie. Creatively Squared, which matches businesses with talented visual content creators and was co-founded by Masters of Creative Advertising graduate Ruth Stephensen, won the crowd vote.

Winners: Adam Hibble (Popgun), Carly Brown (UNE PIECE), Jack Nolan (Popgun),
Ruth Stephensen & Scott Thomas (Creatively Squared).


These three startups, and the other four finalists in the annual $500,000 QUT bluebox Challenge, also shared in a range of services, investment and accelerator program prizes.

Popgun’s Jack Nolan said the prizemoney will go towards growing the engineering team building ALICE, and visiting the United States to forge partnerships with tech music companies.



“This is a very technically challenging project, but the team has already made great progress,” he said.

“ALICE can play and compose piano pieces and respond to a human musician by reworking melodies, come up with new musical phrasing or suggest chord progressions.

“The aim is to expand this capacity to other instruments and to develop the technology to become an essential creative tool and source of inspiration for musicians and producers.

“It could also be a tool for those learning music. Instead of practising piano or guitar alone with sheet music, you can practice with ALICE.”

QUT bluebox is the university’s innovation, venture and investment company, helping get QUT ideas and research into the real world.

The full list of QUT bluebox Challenge winners can be found here.

Media contacts:
Karen Milliner, QUT Media, 07 3138 1841 or
After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901 or 

QUT bluebox Challenge winners: Popgun's Adam Hibble, left, and Jack Nolan.


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