The 15 finalist teams for the University of Auckland’s Velocity $100k Challenge have been announced. Venture ideas have been developed by students and staff that address a range of economic, social and environmental problems. The concepts represent the diversity of entrepreneurial thinking at the University with the ideas including solutions for water issues, sexual consent, mental health, dementia, chronic pain, sustainable packaging and satellites.  

Velocity is the University of Auckland’s student-led entrepreneurship development programme, administered by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) for the benefit of students and staff of all faculties. Over the last 19 years, thousands have participated in the programme, developing their entrepreneurial mindset, innovative capability, and enterprising skills. Alumni of the programme have taken this knowledge into a myriad of careers in a vast array of industries and have gone on to become founders, creating ventures that benefit their future and the future of the communities they serve. Since 2003, alumni of CIE’s programmes have collectively ignited 276 ventures, which have created 3,250 jobs, operate in 182 countries across the globe and have raised $1.36 billion in capital.  

At the celebratory event last night, the 2022 finalists pitched their ideas to a room of entrepreneurs, investors, members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and the University community. The finalists were selected through a robust judging process with 50 industry professionals volunteering their time to assist with the selection of the finalist teams.  

 Jiao Xie, co-founder and CEO of Transactional ai, and Velocity alumni, was the guest speaker at the event.  Jiao spoke about her experiences as a founder. She credits Velocity for starting her on her entrepreneurial journey and providing the knowledge to become an entrepreneur. 

 The teams will now move forward into the Launch Pad programme where they will be supported to develop their ideas further through a series of workshops and two mentors. They are competing for five ultimate prizes – a share of a prize pool valued at $100,000 including a place in the VentureLab incubator, where they are given support and mentoring to get their venture off the page and out into the world. 

 The Velocity $100k Challenge qualifiers for 2022 are: 


AriaDementia affects not only the patients but also their caregivers. With the aged-care industry struggling with a shortage of staff, how can we ensure the patients are receiving personalised, high-quality care? Aria proposes to introduce an AR intelligent agent designed based on current non-pharmaceutical intervention for dementia patients. 

NeuroCernNeuroCern is a revolutionary “cutting through the cutting edge” solution that harnesses the pioneer computer-vision technology to resolve uncertainty in neurosurgical resection. Their proposed technology allows surgeons to improve precision while they are operating on the brain and augments their ability to know where it is optimally safe to resect. 

TENS-AIChronic pain affects more than 30% of people worldwide and is a major source of suffering and economic burden. TENS-AI delivers personalised electrotherapy with AI to help people recover from chronic pain. This mHealth service platform aims to improve access to pain management, with lower cost and better treatment outcomes. 

Waitality – Solutions for cheap and robust onsite water quality monitoring remain elusive. Waitality are developing a water sensor that utilizes UV-Vis spectrophotometry and tryptophan-like fluorescence, combined with artificial neural networks, to detect water parameters such as coliforms and turbidity, to determine if the water is safe to consume. 


Greater Goods – Greater Goods aims to be a low waste locally sourced plant-based milk retailer combatting packaging and food waste. They aim to launch their milk refillery scheme for businesses utilising large volumes of plant-based milk, in Tāmaki Makaurau to minimise plastic and tetrapak waste being routed to landfill. 

Intelligent Emergency – Emergency Department waiting times have increased drastically over the past decades, to the point where 8 hours waiting times are not uncommon. Intelligent Emergency aims to reduce waiting times by streamlining doctors’ access to crucial patient information. 

OutThere Astronautics – Complete reliance on satellite-to-ground communication architecture for all satellite communication will not be a sustainable infrastructure for the growth of commercial space use and space exploration. OutThere Astronautics aim to provide alternatives for small satellite use. 

Udo – Udo is an online food service designed to help hospitality expand into the ready-made meal market. Each week Udo will deliver fresh restaurant made ready-meals right to customers doors. Customers will be able to order a variety of meals across multiple different restaurants with only one single delivery fee and package. 


EchoRadar – EchoRadar aims to locate and monitor the critically endangered Māui dolphins. This information is then delivered to nearby commercial and charter fishers, who are prompted to adjust their actions accordingly to reduce the bycatch of Māui dolphins. Thus, EchoRadar fosters more sustainable fishing practices. 

ISpy – Nit Egg Detector – Do you know it takes an average of one hour of combing to do a head lice treatment? Parents are tired of spending money and energy where if you miss ONE egg the cycle starts again. ISpy spots those eggs NOW so no egg is left unseen, reducing reinfection. 

Kо̄ura – Kōura aims to empower the next generation of consumers to protect their natural beauty through innovative, regenerative, and clinically validated broad-spectrum sunscreen formulations. 

Let’s Talk Consent – Let’s Talk Consent is a production company that aims to counter the narrative to rape culture and promote consent culture instead. The venture’s founders aim to empower the voices of our rangatahi by providing them with a platform to disengage from narratives that perpetuate and normalise New Zealand’s epidemic of sexual harm. 

Lighthouse – Mental-health services are overburdened and unable to meet the ever-increasing demand. We need innovative scalable methods for improving access to services. Lighthouse are developing a scalable digital tool to support clinicians and their clients with the delivery of a brief
mental-health and behavioural intervention in New Zealand primary care. 

MICAS – MICAS endeavours to prevent mental health issues within New Zealand’s first generation mandarin-speaking communities through creative arts. MICAS invites diasporic inquiry and connection in the hybridised realm between physical and digital realms. MICAS is about migrants finding and co-founding their identities as one community in their new home. 

She Will – She Will was founded by six young entrepreneurs who have felt and understood the effects of gender disparities in Aotearoa’s engineering industries. She Will aims to help reduce these disparities by providing a centralised hub where like-minded organisations can promote their brands, events and resources to aspiring female engineers.