Wine closure device seals venture capital win

Monday, 8 April 2002

An innovative wine closure device has sealed victory for a team representing the University of Adelaide and South Australia in the National MOOT CORP Australia Venture Capital competition.

The four-member team, including Master of Business Administration (MBA) students, has won cash and consulting services valued at $100,000 to help commercialise ZORK, an alternative wine closure device designed to overcome the problem of cork taint. The team's business plan for the device was judged the best project submitted by teams from 13 universities at the final hosted by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) at the weekend. Team members Conor McKenna, Paul Capper, John Brooks and Remco Marcelis will fly to Austin, Texas, next month to represent Australia at the International MOOT CORP final, where they will compete for an additional $300,000 worth of consulting and support services.

"We are very excited," said Mr McKenna. "We want to commercialise ZORK, and now have a huge package of support services to help us. There are enormous costs associated with commercialising a product. Many entrepreneurs fail because they can't get through this commercialisation phase, so it's a great boost to have experienced consultants who can help pull us through."

As well as the overall award, the team won the Best Business Plan, Best Presentation and Entrepreneur-in-Residence (Conor McKenna) awards. The team has applied for a patent for ZORK and, for commercial reasons, is keeping details about the product confidential.

The Head of the host business school, the Brisbane Graduate School of Business at QUT, Professor Evan Douglas said that the key to the Adelaide team's success was that its innovation would serve a long- felt, global need.

"It's obviously a problem when about one in 10 of the eight billion corks used each year are affected by cork taint," Professor Douglas said. "Customers want to hear a 'pop' when they open their bottle of wine and they want something that can be resealed easily. ZORK has an aesthetic quality and a screw-top function so it meets both these demands."


Contact Details

Conor McKenna
Business: +61 402 264 670

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762