The challenge is on for young entrepreneurs
Wednesday, 1 May 2002
An exciting competition for young people with bright business ideas will be launched at 10.30am tomorrow morning (Thursday, May 2) at the University of Adelaide.
The University and Hewlett-Packard Australia are co-hosting the second $50,000 Entrepreneurs' Challenge - also known as the echallenge - which will see participating teams plan for business ventures that have real commercial value. Teams will consult with industry mentors, academics, management consultants and other key supporters throughout the competition.
"Teams have to conduct market research, carry out feasibility studies and draw up business plans for their concepts, all within a six-month period - and each team must include at least one University of Adelaide student," says echallenge project manager Elysia Ryan.
"The winning team will receive prizes to the value of $38,500, the second team $18,000 and third $5,250, and just as importantly, the prizes relate to helping the recipients get their venture off the ground. The inaugural echallenge last year was a tremendous success, particularly due to the involvement of many generous sponsors and we are very confident this year's will be bigger and better. Hewlett-Packard, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Corporate Express, Bank SA, Taylor Collison, and the Graduate School of Management have all agreed to sponsor the 2002 competition."
Hewlett-Packard Australia's general manager for strategy and ventures, Rohan Ganeson, says the echallenge is an important opportunity for Adelaide's brightest entrepreneurial minds: "The echallenge encourages entrepreneurship and the building of new Australian businesses. It stands out from other business plan competitions because it focuses on the commercial viability of the idea, not just the business plan."
Last year's winner, Gorgeous Kid, comprised Andrea rieniets* and University of Adelaide Grad. Dip. of Business Enterprise graduate Pearl Field. They are developing a business using contemporary popular music to help teach children with speech and communication difficulties. (*note: rieniets is spelt with a lower-case 'r').
"We were able to use the prizes to set up the necessary infrastructure, which in turn allows us to pursue venture capital. It set us ahead on our time schedule," Ms Field says. "The other important thing for us was the significant network of business contacts we were able to build up as part of the competition - a lot of business people saw our idea last year, have reacted favourably to it and this has given us a lot of confidence that we are on the right track."
What: Launch of University of Adelaide and Hewlett Packard Australia Entrepreneurs' Challenge
When: 10.30am tomorrow (Thursday) - Gorgeous Kid will be available for interviews, photos, etc
Where: Foyer of Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide, North Terrace
Hewlett-Packard Company -- a leading global provider of computing and imaging solutions and services -- is focused on making technology and its benefits accessible to all. HP had total revenue of $45.2 billion in its 2001 fiscal year.