Power-packed EChallenge in finals fever
Friday, 19 September 2003
Adelaide's first Eastern-influenced smoking bar, a unique home recording studio and a new product to protect plants against UV damage are some of the fantastic business ideas which have reached the final of the University of Adelaide's $70,000 Entrepreneurs' Challenge (EChallenge).
The EChallenge is a competition in which teams - which must include one University of Adelaide student - have to plan business ventures that have real commercial value. Teams must conduct market research, carry out feasibility studies and draw up business plans for their concept within a six-month period.
The semi-final stage of the competition was held last night (Wednesday), with the five finalists being chosen from the 26 teams that had reached the semi-final stage. The final will be held on Wednesday next week (September 24), with the winner receiving prizes to the value of $50,000, the second team $17,000 and the third $6000.
The five finalists and their products (in alphabetical order):
- Bioprotective Innovations: a formulation called Agrishield that protects plants against ultraviolet radiation. Such a development would have major agricultural implications, as farmers currently lose tonnes of grain and produce each year to excessive UV radiation;
- FT Enterprises: the FT MicroStudio, which allows home artists to record and mix their own music at home at about one quarter of the current cost. Its small size could make it attractive to young musicians learning to record their own music, as makes it a great alternative to lugging around heavy sampling and recording equipment;
- GeneSense: using specific genetic biomarkers for testing in grazing livestock. These DNA markers were discovered jointly by the Universities of Adelaide and Sydney, and utilise the latest DNA technology to improve the value of livestock products and provide quality assurance for the grazing industries;
- Genii: a system designed initially as a location device for ski resorts. Hands-free and no bigger than a 20c coin, the device will act in the first instance for safety, and also as a cashless point-of-purchase for all locations within the resort, freeing consumers of the worry of carrying cash and credit cards;
- The Sahara Lounge: designed to be Adelaide's first Hookah Lounge, this will be a hospitality-cocktail lounge and provide Hookah smoking and beverages in a contemporary bar mixed with Eastern influences. The Hookah is a smoking pipe of Eastern origin with a long flexible tube, with the smoke drawn through water in vase.
EChallenge project manager Marissa Haltis says the five finalists reflect the quality and diversity of this year's competition. "They are five very different ideas, but all very worthy of winning - the judges will have a tough decision on their hands at the finals dinner," Ms Haltis says.
The EChallenge enjoys support from its major sponsor Hewlett-Packard, as well as Adelaide Graduate School of Business, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Coopers Brewery, Computer Associates, Corporate Express, Centre for Innovation, Business and Manufacturing, Adelaide Research and Innovation, Woman Chiefs of Business Enterprises, Microsoft, Playford Capital, Taylor Collison, Madderns Patent & Trade Mark Attorneys and the Department of Industry, Tourism & Resources.
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Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
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Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
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