Alumni Spotlight – Isaac Cleland

Isaac Cleland 

Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be spotlighting some inspiring $100k Challenge Alumni and their journeys to becoming successful startups that are making waves in their industries. 

Are you a postgraduate student who is working on a project that could directly impact people? This year it could be your turn to develop your project further and change lives! You could be like Isaac Cleland, the founder of RosterLab, who participated in the $100k Challenge last year with an idea from his PhD research. 

Isaac is an excellent example of how PhD students can turn their research successfully into an impactful venture. From an engineering science background, he had already developed an early interest in optimisation algorithms and web applications before starting his PhD at the University of Auckland in 2016. In his thesis, Isaac investigated how the speed of generalised scheduling algorithms for nurses and doctors can be improved at hospitals. Recognising the opportunity to use his expert knowledge to set up a business, he joined the Velocity $100k Challenge 2020 with his team RosterLab. Out of 80 entries, RosterLab won the $100k Challenge as the “Overall Winner” and took home $15,000 in prize money, together with a valuable mentoring programme that helped him to set up his business. 

Today RosterLab is a registered company, with Isaac and his team improving the healthcare industry through optimising rosters using AI. However, the founder of RosterLab sees this only as one of the first steps to revolutionising the healthcare industry: “The health industry is huge, but ROMEO could easily be applied to other industries as well. This web application can automate almost all rostering processes.” 

We are very excited to keep following Isaac’s journey and see how RosterLab will continue to impact the healthcare industry and other markets in the future.

If you, like Isaac, are a postgraduate student with a project that you’re passionate about, enter our $100K challenge today!