Ebook platform wins 2012 ZEN eChallenge
Monday, 29 October 2012
An innovative platform enabling publishers to sell ebooks directly to readers has won this year's University of Adelaide ZEN eChallenge competition.
'Bkclb' (Bookclub), with team members University of Adelaide PhD student Connor O'Brien (English and Creative Writing) and Master of Information Technology graduate Fred Fan, have won the first prize ($25,230 in cash and prizes) at an Awards dinner at the National Wine Centre on Friday night.
"Publishers are telling us they don't like having to deal with dozens of ebookstores in order to ensure their books can be read on multiple devices," says the Bkclb team.
"Bklcb manages the tricky bits - ebook file hosting, payment processing, and the underlying infrastructure - while giving publishers the ability to communicate with readers, customise the store experience to suit their brand, and sell ebooks that are compatible across a range of formats."
More information can be found at www.bkclb.co
The long-running ZEN eChallenge competition, which started in 2001, is run by the University of Adelaide's Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC). ZEN Energy Systems is the naming sponsor of the 2012 ZEN 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 any tertiary institution in South Australia. Semi-finalists are paired with an experienced mentor from the business community.
"We've seen yet another round of great projects, turned into investment-ready, early stage companies with the help of University of Adelaide's ZEN eChallenge," says ECIC Director Professor Noel Lindsay.
"Business growth is driven by entrepreneurship and innovation, and we are proud to be fostering this talent and helping shape these bright ideas into viable business models. We've seen many past finalists go on to develop successful and thriving businesses."
Second prize (cash and prizes worth $15,790) went to 'My Wine World' (Kerry Wilkinson, Paul Grbin, Craig Rogers, Craig Hull and Matt Roussy) for their iPad/iPhone application on "all-things-wine" for wine lovers through to industry professionals.
Third prize ($3,320) went to 'Intrn' (Shaun Campbell, Paul De Sciscio and Chris Donaldson) for their new way to connect interns with leading companies in any industry. Intrn also won the Vroom Award ($5,000 worth of consulting from Vroom & Associates).
The People's Choice Award, voted by guests on the night, went to 'FitUsIn', an online platform that connects unused gym capacity with customers that fall outside of the normal membership structure. The Diamond in the Rough Prize also went to FitUsIn ($6,750 worth of consulting from Best Solutions International); and the Commercialisation Encouragement Prize went to 'Liquid Larrikins' (one year of office space in the University of Adelaide's Thebarton Incubator, ThInklab).
eChallenge Program Manager
Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC)
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 7422
Mobile: +61 (0)401 976 207
Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762