eChallenge showcases entrepreneurship
A record 50 teams of young entrepreneurs entered the University of Adelaide's eChallenge competition this year.
Twenty-five teams with innovative ideas ranging from a secondhand textbook exchange to an automatically generated interactive shopping list are through to the semi-finals and will showcase their developing concepts to an invited audience at the Venture Showcase on Tuesday 17 August.
The annual competition, with $50,000 in cash, prizes and services to be won, is run by the University's Entrepreneurship Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) and incorporates business and entrepreneurial workshops, team mentoring by industry professionals, networking opportunities and help in developing new business ideas.
eChallenge aims to foster the development of new ideas into investment-ready early-stage companies, creating genuine commercial prospects that benefit South Australia.
Teams including students from the state's three universities and TAFE plus members from the broader community develop a business plan for a new, previously unfunded concept. One member of each team must be a tertiary student.
The semi-finalists have eight weeks of workshops and sessions with their mentors before finalising their business plans by the end of August. Judging will follow in mid-September with five or six teams progressing through to the finals round to be judged and announced at the eChallenge Awards Presentation night on 29 October.
"The interest and support for eChallenge is growing every year as shown by the record entries this year and the continuing strong support from our broad range of sponsors," said ECIC Director Professor Noel Lindsay.
"The Venture Showcase in August offers the first major opportunity for teams to hone their presentation skills and display their concepts to the assembled audience of University staff, sponsors, judges, mentors and other guests.
"Through eChallenge we are helping to develop an entrepreneurial culture in South Australia and stimulate our business community. Our young people have the ideas, the talent and the drive and eChallenge helps them turn these foundations into real business prospects."
Previous winners include:
- Saxony's SMS (2009 winner), a system for texting surf and weather conditions to potential surfers;
- ProScales (2008), a system for weighing and labelling food products, which works through a touchscreen;
- Pyglet (2007), a device which can copy music from a compact disc to an MP3 player such as an iPod or Zune without the need of a computer;
- Vinetology (2006), a robotic grapevine pruner;
- Purely Cotton Company (2005), an Adelaide clothing store which sells environmentally friendly underwear;
- Microbric (2004), an electronic construction set company which has gone on to launch the hugely popular i-bot, Ai2 and viper products.
For more information about eChallenge visit: www.adelaide.edu.au/echallenge
ECIC offers a range of academic programs in the fields of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Project Management. www.ecic.adelaide.edu.au
For more information about innovation visit Open Day Sunday 15 August.www.adelaide.edu.au/openday