Five teams are finalists for $80,000 business challenge

Friday, 25 October 2002

Innovative business ideas such as a new software program that could revolutionise the fashion industry and a new treatment method for effluent caused by olive oil processing are among those competing in the final of a business plan competition run by the University of Adelaide and Hewlett-Packard Australia.

The final of the Entrepreneurs' Challenge - known as the echallenge - will take place next week. The five finalists are: Active Innovations and Consulting, BEST Research, Complete Roofing Solutions, Fashion Tech, and Global Muse.

More than 40 teams entered the competition when it began in May. The teams, which must include at least one University of Adelaide student, have to plan business ventures that have real commercial value.

Teams have conducted market research, carried out feasibility studies, drawn up business plans, and undertaken an intensive workshop program that takes them through the many aspects to consider when starting a business. Twenty-five teams made the semi-final stage, with five of those being chosen this week to contest next week's final.

In addition to the two business ideas above, other ideas to make the final are a new product that reduces fuel consumption in vehicles such as semi-trailers and buses, a fully integrated system of house roofing, and a new storage unit for DVDs and CDs.

The final will take place on Wednesday, October 30, with the five finalist teams competing for almost $80,000 worth of prizes. The teams will present their business plans to a judging panel on the afternoon of October 30, followed by a dinner to announce the winners that same evening at the Radisson Playford Hotel and Suites.

Echallenge project manager Elysia Ryan says the finalists' range of ideas and quality of entries meant choosing an overall winner would be a tough decision for the judging panel.

"We've been delighted with the quality of all the entries, and each of the finalists' presentations has been excellent. The business ideas they've come up with are all quite innovative, and they've done a lot of work to ensure that their idea becomes a reality," she says.

The success of the 2002 echallenge is directly attributable to the generous support of its many sponsors who include founding sponsor Hewlett-Packard Australia, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Computer Associates, BankSA, Mitsubishi Motors, Corporate Express, Women Chiefs of Business Enterprise International, The Centre for Innovation, Business and Manufacturing, Taylor Collison, The Adelaide Graduate School of Business, Santos 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.


Contact Details

Elysia Ryan
Business: +61 8 8313 6056
Mobile: 0413 568 508