Entrepreneurs with global focus
As the University's eChallenge competition gears up to go global for 2011, one of last year's winning teams is in London pitting their entrepreneurial skills against five other postgraduate teams from around the world.
LEAPIN is representing the University of Adelaide in the Licensing Executives Society (LES) Foundation Graduate Student Business Plan Competition.
They were selected from 78 international teams and are competing against teams from Sweden, Russia and the United States. To qualify for the event, LEAPIN defeated an impressive field of universities, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
LEAPIN is developing remote access control and security systems for tourist accommodation (and other uses) "which enables hotel guests to leap past the check-in desk and go straight from the web to their room". In the travel industry it's called 'mobile phone room check-in' and was recently voted a top emerging travel trend.
Last year, when known as Easelock, the team won the Piper Alderman and John Heine prizes in eChallenge and came third in the national John Heine Challenge.
Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Stephen Dunn is starting a Masters in Applied Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the University of Adelaide's Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), which runs the eChallenge competition. Other team members are Richard Busulwa, who's just graduated with the same degree, Ben Luks, completing an Honours degree in Commerce (Marketing), MBA graduate Tania Jezukaitis, and Flinders University digital media student Sam Faulkner.
Accompanying them and providing strategic guidance will be ECIC Undergraduate Director Gary Hancock.
"For the team, this is an opportunity for them to show the world their talents and, of course, generate business as well as provide access to advisors, mentors and potential business partners at an international level," Mr Hancock said.
"Their success is also an opportunity to show just what our students can achieve and the value of eChallenge. A common myth is entrepreneurs are just born. We passionately believe that education plays an important role in developing successful entrepreneurs and innovators.
"For LEAPIN, their development has been accelerated on such a scale that the international market is now a reality, rather than a plan for the future."
eChallenge 2011 is now open for entry and this year has an additional online component, allowing teams to enter from anywhere in the world.
In eChallenge, teams of up to six people develop a business plan for a new, previously unfunded business concept and each team must have at least one student member from a tertiary institution.
eChallenge's online competition portal will allow teams to network with each other and their mentors, submit proposals and business plans, access resources and view workshops from remote locations.
Top teams from the 2010 Singapore eChallenge will be brought into the Adelaide competition.
For more information or to enter, visit: ua.edu.au/echallenge
Story by Robyn Mills