Griffith University: Computer science grads create community tech solutions

HOVA is an app created by four Griffith University graduates to help solve staffing problems in the hospitality industry.
Four Griffith University computer science graduates are creating meaningful technology solutions with their burgeoning Gold Coast-based startup.

Hightro’s executive team, Carl Humphries, Sam Bruhn, Joshua Nicoll and Harrison Croaker, saw a business opportunity unfold while working together on assessment at Griffith.

“Hightro began as four mates studying computer science, who shared a vision for creating new experiences with software,” Carl, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, said.

“After competing in numerous Hackathons and undertaking group assignments and studies, what became known as Hightro, began to take shape.

“We had a shared passion for creating exciting software projects, so we teamed up to official found Hightro in January 2020.”

Carl said they strive to provide meaningful experiences to users’ through developing software that makes a positive difference in their lives.


Sam Bruhn, Joshua Nicoll, Harrison Croaker and Carl Humphries.
“We want to create something special and feel we can achieve this through software and technology,” he said.

The group is currently in the Beta testing phase of a hospitality staffing solutions app called HOVA, which they developed in partnership with Gold Coast chef Colin Jewell.

“He has worked in the hospitality industry for two decades and had an idea to create something to streamline the way shifts are filled on short notice,” Carl said.

“He had a rough idea and some concepts and combining that with our knowledge in the tech world, we were able to create HOVA.”

Carl said the hospitality industry is often chaotic and the free app, available on both Android and iOS, helps connect employers needing to fill a shift with those keen to work in just a few swipes.

“Once users have signed up, they can set their availability and wait until they are requested for shifts, making it ideal for those with casual or flexible lifestyles, like students.”

Hightro is keen to continue working on projects that make a difference in their community and are currently developing software for clients ranging from a mining equipment supplier to various Gold Coast small businesses.

“We are always looking for new ways to help the community and would love more people to get involved,” Carl said.

“Our aim is to continue creating software that enhances experiences for in community and ideally, worldwide.

“We have big goals and will work hard with the standards set by our industry to meet these goals.”

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