Velocity ended the year with one epic celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship at the $100K Challenge Grand Final, which had a record number of 95 entries. We were joined by 300 guests in OGGB 4 who eagerly waited for announcements of which finalists would be walking away as one of five prizewinners.
Representatives from each of the sixteen finalist teams gave elevator pitches which were much enjoyed by the crowd, who had a chance to vote for their favourite pitch of the night. All finalists had spent weeks intensely developing their ideas, thanks to mentoring and workshops included in our Launch Pad Programme, so this was an opportunity to give the audience a taste of all their hard work. As expected, the calibre of these ventures was extremely high.
Space start-up ZENNO Astronautics was the biggest winner of the night, taking away $25,000 to assist in continuing the development of systems and software for satellites. The $15,000 runner-up prize went to Electroclear, which is developing a permanent non-toxic solution to impede biofouling. The three remaining awards went to Together for Good in Social Entrepreneurship, Avasa in New Ventures, and The Surgical Canary in University Research. We wish these winning teams, and all our finalists, the very best for the next stages of their entrepreneurial journeys.
The Grand Final is the culmination of all that has been achieved throughout the year, and the biggest event on the Velocity calendar. For the Velocity team, it was a also time to reflect on all the amazing efforts in 2018. As stated by CEO Matt Canham, Velocity would not have the impact that it does without the generous support they receive from their sponsors. A huge thank you to foundations partners: The University of Auckland Business School and The Icehouse; gold sponsors: ATEED, Return on Science and UniServices; silver sponsors: Hudson Gavin Martin and Yealands, for all that they contribute to the Velocity programme and people.
We are very proud to have hosted the newest generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and we can’t wait to see what’s next!