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2020 Velocity $100k Challenge finalists named

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2 September 2020

Home building automation, placenta burial, educational toys, microplastics disposal, patient ventilation, hospital rostering, fish classification and urban farming are just some of the venture ideas that have made the finals of this year’s Velocity $100k Challenge.

The Velocity $100k Challenge is the flagship competition within Velocity, New Zealand’s leading university entrepreneurship development programme. Delivered by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Velocity is now in it’s 17th year. It has a legacy of opening up limitless opportunities and identifying the entrepreneurs and change-makers of the future.

In the Velocity $100k Challenge participants enter with an idea for a problem to solve: a social issue, an environmental problem, a market opportunity to make the most of or even one based on university research. Entrants show how their idea could become a venture and judges from within New Zealand’s entrepreneurial ecosystem then decide which ideas display the potential to fly.

Velocity Coordinator Kirsten Beckman says “It was great to see so many excellent entries submitted into the competition, especially at a time when everyone’s lives have been massively interrupted with the lockdown and COVID-19. We were so encouraged to see that innovation is still at the forefront of people’s minds, especially with a focus on technology, education, and natural sustainable practices. The entrants made it very difficult for our judges to narrow it down from 80 entries to only 15 qualifying teams! We are lucky enough to have a team of judges and mentors, including many industry leaders, who continue to support the Velocity programme, in order to help teams grow their ideas and transform them into ventures. We are very excited for what the future has in store for our qualifying teams!”

Next up, entrants who have made it through to the next stage of the competition will receive mentoring and workshops to discover how to translate their idea into reality. The finalists additionally compete for seed-capital and further support to grow their venture. The winners will be announced at the $100k Velocity Grand Final, taking place in October.

2020 finalists

New Ventures category

Atheca – Atheca is a technology company with a mission is to facilitate, foster and empower the discovery, organising and creation of academic knowledge with our all-in-one toolkit.

CreateBase – The best tool for learning and success is motivation. It is difficult to become motivated for science, technology, engineering or mathematics if there is a constant sense of abstraction and lack of application. CreateBase aims to revolutionise the education sector by building high-quality educational tools and contents.

Dolly Mumma – My grandmum, Dolly taught me that cooking is about making people taste the love. At Dolly Mumma, we show Kiwis that there is more to Indian food than butter chicken! Our pastes give you a taste of the real India yet are versatile enough for a soup or Sunday roast.

MyVegWall – MyVegeWall is an automated gardening system combing hydroponics and IoT to provide customers with immediate access to fresh produce. We often find ourselves lacking time to constantly make grocery trips to purchase fresh produce. With MyVegeWall, customers have access to homegrown produce with minimal involvement and no gardening expertise.

Nikau Robotics Limited – Nikau Robotics is stepping up to the challenge of the construction industry. They have developed an on-site manufacturing tool that automates woodworking. Nikau Robotics are making automated construction accessible to small businesses that have previously been excluded from these technological advancements.

Ūkaipō – Ūkaipō will provide an educational voice that will bring about the revitalisation and strengthening of the experience and connection of the placenta burial practice through their Rau Whenua package. This provides not only the mothers themselves, however their future generations to come, with an incredible, beautiful and connection building tradition.

Social category

Kiwrious – Kiwrious believe that science is fun, creative and social and we help students experience this for themselves. Kiwrious is a low cost sensor kit that empowers students to engage in scientific inquiries in and out of school.

Maara Fresh – Maara Fresh organic produce company.

PuriFibre – Media have recently reported on how microplastic fibres are being emitted from our clothing when cleaned in the washing machine. The fibres enter the waterways, harm marine life and therefore humans when they enter the food chain. PuriFibre is a ball thrown into the washing machine and traps microfibres inside.

Socious XR – Socius XR harnesses VR/AR technology to provide under supported individuals with Autism struggling with social interaction a more comfortable space to practice verbal/non-verbal communication via realistic immersive simulations. Providing autonomy to live their best life.

Urban Farm at the Resourcery – The urban farm at the resourcery provides a local alternative food system that is much more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly than conventional agriculture. Local food scraps are converted into organic produce, and locals keep ownership of their production method, strengthening local resilience and the social web of the neighbourhood.

University Research category

FishBox – The marine life around New Zealand is a priceless commodity, yet both the people in the fishing industry and those that police the fishing industry use inefficient manual processes to measure and classify hauls of fish. FishBox is a modern solution, for efficient management of this precious resource.

G-Ventox – The current Covid-19 infection pandemic has required mechanical ventilation of many patients over prolonged periods in order to maintain oxygenation. However, outcomes of ventilated patients have been variable and often unsatisfactory. We have a new experimental technology that will improve patient oxygenation and thereby improve patient outcomes.

PCM-PU Smartboard Solutions – Researchers at the University of Auckland led by Prof. Farid Mohammed has developed PCM foam composites of high energy density, that is sprayed on the back surface of gypsum boards to form PCM-foam-smartboard panel (PCMF-SBP). The smartboard can switch between the insulating and thermostatic characteristic of heat absorption and desorption.

RosterLab – RosterLab uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques to build exceptional rosters for hospital staff, much more quickly than is possible by hand. With a simple to use web application for roster creation and associated staff phone app, we can automate almost all of the rostering process.

$100k Challenge 2020 Qualifiers
$100k Challenge 2020 Qualifiers

social media

2 September 2020

Home building automation, placenta burial, educational toys, microplastics disposal, patient ventilation, hospital rostering, fish classification and urban farming are just some of the venture ideas that have made the finals of this year’s Velocity $100k Challenge.

The Velocity $100k Challenge is the flagship competition within Velocity, New Zealand’s leading university entrepreneurship development programme. Delivered by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Velocity is now in it’s 17th year. It has a legacy of opening up limitless opportunities and identifying the entrepreneurs and change-makers of the future.

In the Velocity $100k Challenge participants enter with an idea for a problem to solve: a social issue, an environmental problem, a market opportunity to make the most of or even one based on university research. Entrants show how their idea could become a venture and judges from within New Zealand’s entrepreneurial ecosystem then decide which ideas display the potential to fly.

Velocity Coordinator Kirsten Beckman says “It was great to see so many excellent entries submitted into the competition, especially at a time when everyone’s lives have been massively interrupted with the lockdown and COVID-19. We were so encouraged to see that innovation is still at the forefront of people’s minds, especially with a focus on technology, education, and natural sustainable practices. The entrants made it very difficult for our judges to narrow it down from 80 entries to only 15 qualifying teams! We are lucky enough to have a team of judges and mentors, including many industry leaders, who continue to support the Velocity programme, in order to help teams grow their ideas and transform them into ventures. We are very excited for what the future has in store for our qualifying teams!”

Next up, entrants who have made it through to the next stage of the competition will receive mentoring and workshops to discover how to translate their idea into reality. The finalists additionally compete for seed-capital and further support to grow their venture. The winners will be announced at the $100k Velocity Grand Final, taking place in October.

2020 finalists

New Ventures category

Atheca – Atheca is a technology company with a mission is to facilitate, foster and empower the discovery, organising and creation of academic knowledge with our all-in-one toolkit.

CreateBase – The best tool for learning and success is motivation. It is difficult to become motivated for science, technology, engineering or mathematics if there is a constant sense of abstraction and lack of application. CreateBase aims to revolutionise the education sector by building high-quality educational tools and contents.

Dolly Mumma – My grandmum, Dolly taught me that cooking is about making people taste the love. At Dolly Mumma, we show Kiwis that there is more to Indian food than butter chicken! Our pastes give you a taste of the real India yet are versatile enough for a soup or Sunday roast.

MyVegWall – MyVegeWall is an automated gardening system combing hydroponics and IoT to provide customers with immediate access to fresh produce. We often find ourselves lacking time to constantly make grocery trips to purchase fresh produce. With MyVegeWall, customers have access to homegrown produce with minimal involvement and no gardening expertise.

Nikau Robotics Limited – Nikau Robotics is stepping up to the challenge of the construction industry. They have developed an on-site manufacturing tool that automates woodworking. Nikau Robotics are making automated construction accessible to small businesses that have previously been excluded from these technological advancements.

Ūkaipō – Ūkaipō will provide an educational voice that will bring about the revitalisation and strengthening of the experience and connection of the placenta burial practice through their Rau Whenua package. This provides not only the mothers themselves, however their future generations to come, with an incredible, beautiful and connection building tradition.

Social category

Kiwrious – Kiwrious believe that science is fun, creative and social and we help students experience this for themselves. Kiwrious is a low cost sensor kit that empowers students to engage in scientific inquiries in and out of school.

Maara Fresh – Maara Fresh organic produce company.

PuriFibre – Media have recently reported on how microplastic fibres are being emitted from our clothing when cleaned in the washing machine. The fibres enter the waterways, harm marine life and therefore humans when they enter the food chain. PuriFibre is a ball thrown into the washing machine and traps microfibres inside.

Socious XR – Socius XR harnesses VR/AR technology to provide under supported individuals with Autism struggling with social interaction a more comfortable space to practice verbal/non-verbal communication via realistic immersive simulations. Providing autonomy to live their best life.

Urban Farm at the Resourcery – The urban farm at the resourcery provides a local alternative food system that is much more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly than conventional agriculture. Local food scraps are converted into organic produce, and locals keep ownership of their production method, strengthening local resilience and the social web of the neighbourhood.

University Research category

FishBox – The marine life around New Zealand is a priceless commodity, yet both the people in the fishing industry and those that police the fishing industry use inefficient manual processes to measure and classify hauls of fish. FishBox is a modern solution, for efficient management of this precious resource.

G-Ventox – The current Covid-19 infection pandemic has required mechanical ventilation of many patients over prolonged periods in order to maintain oxygenation. However, outcomes of ventilated patients have been variable and often unsatisfactory. We have a new experimental technology that will improve patient oxygenation and thereby improve patient outcomes.

PCM-PU Smartboard Solutions – Researchers at the University of Auckland led by Prof. Farid Mohammed has developed PCM foam composites of high energy density, that is sprayed on the back surface of gypsum boards to form PCM-foam-smartboard panel (PCMF-SBP). The smartboard can switch between the insulating and thermostatic characteristic of heat absorption and desorption.

RosterLab – RosterLab uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence techniques to build exceptional rosters for hospital staff, much more quickly than is possible by hand. With a simple to use web application for roster creation and associated staff phone app, we can automate almost all of the rostering process.


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