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UC engineering students win $75,000 business comp

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

University of Canterbury (UC) engineering students Kaye McKee and Daniel Risi have won the annual $75,000 entre business competition.

Entré is a student-founded ideas competition at UC that sees young hopefuls put their business ideas to the test with the help of mentors and business connections.

McKee and Risi came up with a proposal to reduce dairy farm power costs by charging a fixed rate for solar electricity which is cheaper than the retail price.

Bjorn Arndt and George Smith won both the PwC Most Market Ready Venture and Best Pitch award for their Glass Jar proposal that allows people living together to create a web-based profile of their flat that can be accessed through a cellphone app.

Fifth year commerce and honours law student Kate Austin won the Best Business Plan for her Hunters and Gatherers scheme which is a grocery shopping outlet that allows Canterbury farmers and growers to sell their goods direct to the customer.

Stuart Milne and Andrew Klaassen won the PowerHouse Ventures Incubator Prize for their efficient timber extraction proposal. This involved forest harvesting machinery dramatically decreasing the chance of critical injury to employees.

Hugh Devereux-Mack and Dylan Avery won the UC Innovators Awards for their Himalayan Tahr Development.

The Himalayan Tahr is a species of mountain goat that is highly prized as a trophy animal by hunters, as well as a luxury food product. Globally, Tahr is protected as a ‘near threatened’ species. However, in New Zealand it was introduced and is therefore classed as a pest to be eradicated from the wild.

Guest judges include Icebreaker innovator Brian Brackenridge.

Hannah Duder won the apps challenge section for her suggestion box app. Duder is a fourth year accounting and second year law student. Suggestion Box provides a place for any member of the public to make suggestions to businesses. Other users can agree or disagree with the suggestions providing valuable feedback for businesses.

Matthew van Voorthuizen was second with his app Read-Advancer which is an educational literacy-focused app designed to assess the reading ability, speed and comprehension of any individual. Capabilities are tested and then a comprehensive course is tailored to their ability.

Daniel Smith was third in the apps section with his vacant computer locator app which provides University of Canterbury students with dynamic feedback on how many computers are vacant in each of the IT workrooms and libraries across campus.

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