Food label team worth its weight
An innovative system for weighing and labelling food products has won a team of young entrepreneurs this year's University of Adelaide's $50,000 echallenge.
ProScales, with members Stephen Heaney, Aaron Green, Ammi Trainor and Matthew Welling, won the $10,000 first prize at last month's echallenge finals at the National Wine Centre.
The ProScales system works through a touchscreen and removes the space limitations on food labelling. It also allows changes to label format and type to be made in seconds or messages tailored for individual products.
The echallenge is run by the University of Adelaide's Entrepreneurship Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) and each team must have at least one student member from any tertiary institution in South Australia. A record 43 teams entered the 2008 echallenge.
Teams of up to six people develop a business plan for a new, previously unfunded business concept. Semi-finalists are paired with an experienced mentor from the business community.
"Each year the echallenge captures the energy of young, bright entrepreneurial enthusiasm and channels it into investment-ready early stage companies," said ECIC Director Professor Noel Lindsay.
"It offers competitors unprecedented access to top South Australian business acumen. Past finalists have gone on to develop successful and thriving businesses."
ProScales also won the Vroom and Associates prize.
Second prize went to Somnium Innovations (Ty Yengi, Jamie Miller, Gregor Edeson and Michael Brauer) for a system to reduce the high costs of environmental management for the mining industry.
They also won the Piper Alderman prize.
Third prize went to PoolSafe (Magdalena Hadj, Eli Bailey and Joanna Retnam) for a device that detects and alerts parents when a child has fallen into a pool. They also won the ECIC People's Choice Award, voted for on the night.
The Advertiser Market Ready Award went to Transformation Play (Kirsty Parkin, Robin Potanin, Pippa Buchanan) for a concept-design and pre-production project management system for videogames with benefits for society.
Story by Robyn Mills