A world of ideas as e-challenge hots up

Monday, 28 July 2003

Our technological world continues to spin with fresh and innovative ideas. The most recent include mobile software solutions that leverage existing business systems using mobile devices, in a concept called Mobile Gaming Technologies.

And another is a location device, no bigger than a 20-cent coin, to be used in a resort environment, in a concept named Genii.

Predictably, these are some of the ideas that have emanated from this year's University of Adelaide Entrepreneurs' Challenge, which is sponsored by Hewlett Packard and coordinated by the Adelaide Graduate School of Business.

The E-Challenge calls for participating teams to plan business ventures that have real commercial value. Teams consult with industry mentors, academics, management consultants and other key supporters throughout the competition.

For the past two years, the challenge has attracted young people with bright ideas in a business-planning competition that offers more than $70,000 in prizes.

"Mobile Gaming Technologies' business concept is to provide software solutions to the mobile device marketplace. The solutions produced will be aimed at third generation mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDA's (Personal Digital Assistants)," says team members and semi-finalists Justin Dickmann and Andrew Silis.

"Our primary goal is to create mobile software solutions that leverage existing business systems using mobile devices."

"So what makes the idea special? The mobile device market is a high growth area. Analysts have predicted that applications and games will overtake ring tones as the most downloadable mobile content," they say.

In looking to the future Mr Dickmann and Mr Silis hope that Mobile Gaming Technologies can provide interesting IT employment for them as well as other South Australians.

Genii, meanwhile, is a location device for use in a resort environment. Initially designed for safety, it is hands-free and no bigger than a 20c coin. The device will also act as a cashless point-of-purchase for all locations within the resort, freeing consumers of the worry of carrying cash/cards.

"Traditionally, ski resorts have issued paper tickets to their clients. Genii eliminate the need for paper tickets to the benefit of both the client and the resort.

"The skier can be located in the resort environment at any point in time (great for socialising with friends and locating lost children) and they don't need to worry about carrying cards/money, says Austin, a Genii team member and another semi-finalist.

From the resort owner's perspective the information Genii provides will ensure a safer mountain and better use of staff through its ability to provide real-time information for mountain management/resource allocation, he added.

"Other information such as the habits and preferences of individual clients will enable the resort to market directly to the customers needs subject to the customer consenting."

With competition hotting up as the E-Challenge heads toward the final, ideas like these add to the excitement of this three-year-old event.

The winning team receives prizes to the value of $50,000, the second team $17,000 and the third $6,000. The semi-finals are on 17 September and the finals a week later.

Besides Hewlett-Packard's considerable financial injection over the past three years, E-Challenge also enjoys support from the Adelaide Graduate School of Business, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Coopers Brewery, Computer Associates, Corporate Express, Centre for Innovation, Business and Manufacturing, Woman Chiefs of Business Enterprises, Playford Capital, Taylor Collison, Madders Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys and Department of Industry, Tourism & Resources.


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