$100k Challenge Qualifiers 2021

2021 Velocity $100k Challenge finalists announced 

The Velocity student-led entrepreneurship programme has announced its 2021 $100k Challenge competition qualifiers. Fifteen teams were selected by a panel of expert judges out of 90 submissions across all faculties, the second highest number of entries received since Velocity was founded in 2003.

Velocity’s annual $100k Challenge invites staff and students to submit their solution to a social issue, an environmental problem, a market opportunity, or an idea based on university research. Each year Velocity provides $100,000 worth of mentoring, workshops, and seed-capital to turn first-class ideas into world class businesses. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the qualifiers event was moved online, however the virtual event was still a successful celebration of entrepreneurship excellence. This year, the judges chose qualifiers based on three categories; academic, social, and new ventures. Hosted by student team members Jade Lewis and Jeffery Liu, over 100 people joined the online event from their bubbles to hear the winning team’s pitches. The qualifying entrants presented solutions for problems in a variety of areas, including health, education, and music. 

The 15 qualifiers have made it through to the next stage of the competition where they will participate in Velocity’s LaunchPad Programme. Through this programme they will receive mentoring and attend workshops with industry professionals. The finalists will then compete for seed-capital and further support to grow their venture. The overall winners will be announced at the $100k Velocity Grand Final event later this year. 

2021 Finalists 

Academic Category

ABI EIT Lungs are one of the most vital organs in the human body, but doctors do not currently have a method for continuously monitoring lung health. ABI EIT seeks to change this using Electrical Impedance Tomography, which is a safe, low cost, portable medical scanning technology. 

RisosEnterprises Today, without massive treatment, drinking freshwater could and has been fatal. Sensing water-pollution is the key for a healthier society but is impeded by high cost and long testing-time. RisosEnterprises develops technology that cuts down both, using novel high-tech laser-based in-line autonomous sensing for water pipes, rivers and lakes. 

SuperCarbon SuperCarbon offers a novel platform to be used in a rechargeable, reusable, antibacterial and antiviral facial mask that filters and inactivates the bacteria and virus in the aerosols, and a rechargeable and antibacterial wound dressing that prevents infection and stimulates wound healing by providing low voltage on the wound site.

Social Category 

Fistbump – Fistbump is an interest and personality matchmaker with a machine learning algorithm that tailors like-minded people specifically to you. Through their platform you can chat anonymously and friend the matches you like.

Foodweb Foodweb aims to introduce primary school students to a variety of food from each of the food groups in a way that is fun, multicultural and educational.

Sequa Sequa is a New Zealand sustainable personal care product company on a mission to save the ocean from chemical and plastic waste. They provide unique and  sustainable personal care products that customers can swap for an incentivised discount in an affordable and sustainable manner.

The Next Step The Next Step is an educational outreach programme designed to inspire low-decile high schoolers to enroll in university. With mentorship, workshops, and one-on-one support, they aim to guide students from less privileged backgrounds to take the next step in their educational journey.

New Ventures Category 

Buniome Buniome is a service-oriented platform to address bunion symptoms. Individuals can scan their feet with their smartphones to order a personalised and affordable bunion corrector.

Delta Waterways Delta Waterways is developing a web-hosted tool that uses high-resolution satellite imagery and machine-learning to monitor and predict changes to New Zealand’s waterways. The result: the ability to rapidly and comprehensively assess waterway degradation with minimal human resources, dramatically increasing the ease of access to and availability of data.

H2OQual H2OQual aims to launch sensitive, low-cost, and integrated point-of-care water quality monitoring device. The technology will be mass-producible and will enable ubiquitous deployment. Cloud computing and machine learning coupled with the internet-of-things (IoT) framework will be utilised for the analysis of sensor data and sharing of information.

Hireahobbyist.com Hireahobbyist.com makes freelance manufacturing easy and affordable. Hireahobbyist.com is an online platform that connects skilled individuals with consumers to offer their skills as services.

Hulu Music Hulu Music is an educational mobile application that helps to maximise the impacts of music learners’ practice and minimise music educators’ workload on after-class management. Their vision is to redefine music practice and to make musicians’ time more valuable.

Modelero Modelero is a software package which allows organisations to use modern machine learning-inspired techniques to quantify the uncertainty in and interpret the predictions of their spreadsheet models.

Moodi Moodi is a women-centric brand disrupting the protein powder industry with products that focus on how you feel, not just how you look. Their plant-based protein includes superfoods and adaptogenic ashwagandha, clinically proven to boost mood and reduce stress. We make protein inclusive, sustainable and accessible for all modern wāhine.

Native Harvest — Native Harvest brings delicious native berries to consumers. Many native products, like manuka honey, are highly valuable. However, the sweet edible berries produced by indigenous plants are currently unavailable to the public and only foragers can enjoy them. Native Harvest aims to change that, bringing Aotearoa’s biodiversity to a wider audience.