Competition is heating up for more than $50,000 worth of prizes in an innovative business venture contest run by the University of Adelaide and Hewlett-Packard Australia .
The Entrepreneurs' Challenge  - also known as the echallenge - is now into its semi-final stage. The competition, which began in May, sees teams planning business ventures which have real commercial value. Teams, which must include at least one University of Adelaide student, have six months to conduct market research, carry out feasibility studies and draw up business plans for their concepts.
A total of 41 teams entered the competition, with 25 reaching the semi-final stage. These 25 teams are now taking part in an intensive workshop program which takes teams through the many aspects to consider when starting a business.
Echallenge project manager Elysia Ryan says the standard of the 25 teams to make it through to the semi-final stage has been outstanding, and bodes well for a strong contingent of teams to make the final of the competition in late October.
"The range of business ideas that are being worked on are quite diverse, and it's really pleasing to see so many young entrepreneurs working hard to make their idea become a reality," she says.
"Another exciting aspect of the competition is that each of the teams that has made it through to the second stage has been paired with a business mentor to help them develop their proposals. These mentors are some of the best business minds in South Australia, and their input not only helps elevate the quality of each team's proposal, but also the overall quality of the echallenge."
Semi-finalists will present their business plans to the judges on Wednesday, October 23. A judging panel will then select five finalist teams to present their plans on October 30. The finals judging will be followed by a dinner to announce the winners, on the evening of October 30 in the Ballroom at the Radisson Playford Hotel and Suites.
The success of the 2002 echallenge is directly attributable to the generous support of our many sponsors who include Hewlett-Packard Australia, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Computer Associates, Bank SA, Mitsubishi Motors, Corporate Express, Women Chiefs of Business Enterprise International, Taylor Collison, Adelaide Graduate School of Business, and The Federal Department of Industry Tourism and Resources through the Promoting Young Entrepreneurs' Scheme.
About HP -
HP is a leading global provider of products, technologies, solutions and services to consumers and businesses. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. HP merged with Compaq Computer Corp. on May 3, 2002. The merged company had combined revenue of approximately $81.7 billion in fiscal 2001 and operations in more than 160 countries. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.