Innovation Challenge Prize Giving 2019
Hundreds gathered to listen, learn, cheer, dance and celebrate at the 2019 Innovation Challenge prize giving held on May 23.
The Innovation Challenge is a key event for the University of Auckland’s entrepreneurship programme Velocity. Students and Staff are invited to share a venture idea to solve a problem, big or small. Each 1,000 word entry is assessed and considered for a $1,000 prize with 40 prizes up for grabs. Categories included the School of Computer Science Big Data prize, the AI prize and the Female Founder prize.
This year, a total of 247 entries were received. Problems tackled included affordable housing, sustainable octopus fishing, easing the process for treaty claim settlements, farm irrigation, baby bowel movement monitoring, airport parking, recycling confusion, textbook piracy and gut health.
Velocity Programme Adviser Judith Marecek says that the Innovation Challenge offers an opportunity for those who might never otherwise have considered starting a venture to taking their first step. “There are few things as intimidating as a blank slate, or in this case a blank piece of paper. Once students have taken this first step to articulate an idea and think it through, they are often encouraged to take a second step on the path to becoming an entrepreneur”.
Entrants are now moving into the judges’ feedback stage. This is an excellent opportunity for entrants to receive quality feedback from industry experts. The feedback received will help them with their next steps to further develop their ideas, with many of the participants choosing to go forward to enter the Velocity $100k Challenge.
The student organising committee gives thanks to all the entrants, judges and supporters. The high enthusiasm and support from all have made this year’s Innovation Challenge a huge success.
Above: Ezel Kokcu imparting entrepreneurial wisdom and knowledge
Below: Networking in the Fisher and Paykel auditorium foyer