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2019 Velocity $100K Challenge competition winners announced

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New Zealand’s next generation of star innovators and entrepreneurs have been identified at this year’s Velocity $100k Challenge competition finals. Among the winners were an aquaculture technology venture set to revolutionise the mussel industry, a space technology venture solving power supply issues, a poi-based health and wellbeing venture, a glaucoma-detection tool and a social venture designed to aid the Pacific’s medical equipment donation systems.

Velocity is a student-led entrepreneurship programme open to all students and staff at the University of Auckland and delivered in partnership with the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

A core component of the Velocity programme is the Velocity $100k Challenge – a competition where participants have the opportunity to win seed-capital and a coveted place in the University’s six-month incubator VentureLab, where they will receive mentorship, work space and other support.

Student CEO Nick Goldstein says “The judges had a really difficult time deciding who would win this year’s competition. They were incredibly impressed with the range and quality of competition entries. It’s an intensive programme to go through that involves presentations and creating sound business cases. There are many, many hours of work that go into being a Velocity entrant which is a testament to the grit and tenacity of all the qualifiers.”

Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Wendy Kerr says “We are always excited and expectant of each year’s cohort of Velocity participants, whether or not they have won a place in the competition. Taking part in the Velocity programme opens up so many experiences and access to knowledge, networks and skills. Many of our Velocity alumni have gone on to become business leaders or create world-changing ventures”.

Over the past 16 years, Velocity participants have been involved with more than 120 ventures, attracted over $224 million in investment, and created more than 700 jobs with products and services in over 35 countries. Previous winners have included PowerByProxi, IMeasureU, Thought-Wired, and Kara Technologies.

2019 Velocity $100k Challenge overall winner

Greenshell Spat Co – winner of $25k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Aquaculture technology company Greenshell Spat Co have developed disruptive technology for the early stage rearing of Greenshell mussels. Their on-water nursery systems are designed to prevent juvenile losses of up to 95%, an inefficiency preventing the Greenshell mussel industry reaching is $1b+ potential. Furthermore, their juveniles significantly reduce harvest periods, increasing earnings at no additional cost for farmers.

Runner up

SpinPoi – winner of $15k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Are you ready to spin your health around? SpinPoi is revolutionising global wellbeing one orbit at a time with their poi/health programmes. Accessible. Fun. Evidence-based. It’s time for the world to follow Aotearoa back to the practice of poi, and forward to a healthier future.

SpinPoi was founded by Dr Kate Riegle van West, an interdisciplinary researcher and artist with a passion for play and wellbeing. Over the past decade she has conducted the first study to scientifically investigate the effects of poi on health and has given poi workshops across the globe. She was awarded the Future Leader Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Best Doctoral Thesis award from the University of Auckland for her work in the poi/health field. She continues to push the boundaries of poi, with a focus on utilising poi in aged care as a tool for improving physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing.

Social Entrepreneurship category winner

Pacific Med Tech – winner of $5k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

The current system for ad-hoc donation of medical equipment into low-resource settings such as the Pacific Islands is broken.  The need for specialists to repair the equipment is not taken into account. The social enterprise Pacific Med Tech has been established to sustainably and holistically address this issue.

New Venture category winner

Luxor Astronautics – winner of $5k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Space technology is advancing rapidly but solar panels cannot provide enough power to keep up. This causes engineers to compromise their ideal components for others that require less power to operate. Luxor Astronautics innovative product will remove power limitations from the space industry, allowing it to achieve what was previously impossible. 

Research category winner

Rapid Assessment of Vision using Eyetracking (RAVE) – winner of $5k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. It is painless, and starts in the peripheral vision, meaning it can progress unnoticed until almost no vision remains. Current detection methods are inaccurate and time-consuming: RAVE offers a cost-effective, portable, rapid, and objective screening tool for detecting early vision loss.

 

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson

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New Zealand’s next generation of star innovators and entrepreneurs have been identified at this year’s Velocity $100k Challenge competition finals. Among the winners were an aquaculture technology venture set to revolutionise the mussel industry, a space technology venture solving power supply issues, a poi-based health and wellbeing venture, a glaucoma-detection tool and a social venture designed to aid the Pacific’s medical equipment donation systems.

Velocity is a student-led entrepreneurship programme open to all students and staff at the University of Auckland and delivered in partnership with the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

A core component of the Velocity programme is the Velocity $100k Challenge – a competition where participants have the opportunity to win seed-capital and a coveted place in the University’s six-month incubator VentureLab, where they will receive mentorship, work space and other support.

Student CEO Nick Goldstein says “The judges had a really difficult time deciding who would win this year’s competition. They were incredibly impressed with the range and quality of competition entries. It’s an intensive programme to go through that involves presentations and creating sound business cases. There are many, many hours of work that go into being a Velocity entrant which is a testament to the grit and tenacity of all the qualifiers.”

Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Wendy Kerr says “We are always excited and expectant of each year’s cohort of Velocity participants, whether or not they have won a place in the competition. Taking part in the Velocity programme opens up so many experiences and access to knowledge, networks and skills. Many of our Velocity alumni have gone on to become business leaders or create world-changing ventures”.

Over the past 16 years, Velocity participants have been involved with more than 120 ventures, attracted over $224 million in investment, and created more than 700 jobs with products and services in over 35 countries. Previous winners have included PowerByProxi, IMeasureU, Thought-Wired, and Kara Technologies.

2019 Velocity $100k Challenge overall winner

Greenshell Spat Co – winner of $25k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Aquaculture technology company Greenshell Spat Co have developed disruptive technology for the early stage rearing of Greenshell mussels. Their on-water nursery systems are designed to prevent juvenile losses of up to 95%, an inefficiency preventing the Greenshell mussel industry reaching is $1b+ potential. Furthermore, their juveniles significantly reduce harvest periods, increasing earnings at no additional cost for farmers.

Runner up

SpinPoi – winner of $15k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Are you ready to spin your health around? SpinPoi is revolutionising global wellbeing one orbit at a time with their poi/health programmes. Accessible. Fun. Evidence-based. It’s time for the world to follow Aotearoa back to the practice of poi, and forward to a healthier future.

SpinPoi was founded by Dr Kate Riegle van West, an interdisciplinary researcher and artist with a passion for play and wellbeing. Over the past decade she has conducted the first study to scientifically investigate the effects of poi on health and has given poi workshops across the globe. She was awarded the Future Leader Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Best Doctoral Thesis award from the University of Auckland for her work in the poi/health field. She continues to push the boundaries of poi, with a focus on utilising poi in aged care as a tool for improving physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing.

Social Entrepreneurship category winner

Pacific Med Tech – winner of $5k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

The current system for ad-hoc donation of medical equipment into low-resource settings such as the Pacific Islands is broken.  The need for specialists to repair the equipment is not taken into account. The social enterprise Pacific Med Tech has been established to sustainably and holistically address this issue.

New Venture category winner

Luxor Astronautics – winner of $5k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Space technology is advancing rapidly but solar panels cannot provide enough power to keep up. This causes engineers to compromise their ideal components for others that require less power to operate. Luxor Astronautics innovative product will remove power limitations from the space industry, allowing it to achieve what was previously impossible. 

Research category winner

Rapid Assessment of Vision using Eyetracking (RAVE) – winner of $5k in seed capital and a place in the VentureLab incubator.

Glaucoma is the world’s leading cause of irreversible blindness. It is painless, and starts in the peripheral vision, meaning it can progress unnoticed until almost no vision remains. Current detection methods are inaccurate and time-consuming: RAVE offers a cost-effective, portable, rapid, and objective screening tool for detecting early vision loss.

 


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