Spark, NZ’s premier entrepreneurship challenge, will launch its 2009 year on Wednesday 18th March 5.30pm, Level 1, Owen G Glenn Building, University of Auckland Business School. It provides the best opportunity for people (industry and university folk) to obtain information regarding this year’s programme and serves as a source of inspiration for budding entrepreneurs.
Speakers for the night include:
- Selwyn Pellet: Founder & Director of ENDACE, Founder & CEO of Imarda, Finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year 2005
- Andrew Graham: Lead Engineer of Inro Technologies, Spark 40K winner in 2005, Start-up of the year award 2008
I encourage all students and staff of the University of Auckland to get involved with the Spark Programme. The large majority of my business knowledge and experience has been through Spark, not to mention the many opportunities that spin out along the way.
In previous years the programme has featured the 10K , 40K and social entrepreneurship competitions. This year the format has been revamp to capture more entrants and allow for a greater development of ideas into businesses.
This year Spark has two main challenges:
The Ideas Challenge runs in the first semester of the year. With 20 prizes of $1000 to win (10 prizes for commercial ideas and 10 prizes for social entrepreneurship ideas), the competition provides a great avenue for all entrepreneurs to really test the waters. With only 1000 words required the challenge provides an excellent opportunity to validate a business idea, get feedback from industry experts and not to mention a significant cash prize to motivate winners to further pursue their venture. Special prizes for property and bioscience/ biotech entries will feature as well.
The $100K Challenge runs in the second semester of the year. This competition is for ideas that are ready to be turned into a commercial venture. If an idea qualifies in the $100k business planning challenge, teams get a chance to win:
- $20,000 in seed capital for the winner
- $10,000 worth of residency and mentoring at the International Centre for Entrepreneurship House (ICEHOUSE)
- $10,000 in seed capital for the runner-up
- $20,000 in additional mentoring and training at the ICEHOUSE up for grabs for the 100K qualifiers
- $5,000 in a mentoring and development package per qualifying team
This year we ( I have taken up a role in the committee this year to pursue this objective) are especially focusing on teasing out the research-based ideas/ concepts in the University, while stimulating a spirit of entrepreneurship within those that have created them.
RSVP @ www.spark.auckland.ac.nz
Graeme @ graemefielder.com