On Thursday night the winners of the Spark $100K Challenge were announced. For this event I was delegated the job of entertaining the 200+ audience, making sure the proceedings went smoothly and controlled the stage…yes the MC. It was a great night that celebrated the success of all 12 team finalists and a good example of university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem coming together – Spark, Bioscience Enterprise Programme and Chiasma, UniServices, the ICEHOUSE, the staff and of course the students.
Duncan Ledwith, the $100K chief judge, mentioned that the challenge is not a ‘playground for students’ it is serious stuff. This is something that the business community now has accepted and was even more evident this year with the quality of business plans and pitches continuing to impress. We are confident that more than just the winners will be pursuing/starting up their venture following their Spark experience. One thing that really stood out during the night was the 55sec elevator pitches – everyone of them was very smooth and down to perfection ( only one just ran over time).
The winners of the night included:
- Video Pitch Challenge Runner-up – Greenloos [ LINK ]
- Video Pitch Challenge Winner – Nova Eco Tech [ LINK ]
- 55sec LIVE elevator pitch audience text vote prize – Metabo-LINK
- $100K Challenge Runner up -$10,000 seed capital – Nova Eco Tech
- $100K Challenge Winner -$20,000 seed capital and $10,000 worth of ICEHOUSE incubation time – Greenloos
- 2 additional teams were also recognised by offering the 3months ICEHOUSE incubation time.. They were ‘The Hurtle’ and ‘Points2Change’.
- Metabo-LINK, the team that created a venture around an Unpolished GEM, novel fungicide compound from university IP. Due to their contribution to helping develop the technologies business case Uniservices awarded them a prize of $2500.
Brief team descriptions
Greenloos – have developed an odour-free portable toilet where the by-products can be recycled.
Nova Eco Tech – have developed engine conversion technology to retrofit petroleum/diesel vehicles to run on alternative fuels.
Metabo-LINK – are seeking to commercialise a novel antifungal compound for crop spoilage
The Hurtle – Bringing you new high adrenaline rides that will shake the international adventure tourism industry
Points2Change – A novel loyalty card program targeted towards benefiting charities.
Some photos from the night.
Greenloos – Winner (Pictured: Angus Blair, Brad Lovett, Lucy Luo and Dean of the Business School Prof. Greg Whittred)
Nova Eco Tech – Runners-up ( Pictured: Dr. Shu Chin Ma and Robert Fisk)
The 2009 Spark Committee
Mauzima Ali and myself ‘MCing’
Graeme @ graemefielder.com