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Finalists Announced in Nescafé Big Break

Finalists Announced in Nescafé Big Break

What does a hydroponic lettuce grower, a coloured sheepskin manufacturer and a 3D computer game developer have in common?

They are all New Zealand teenagers selected as finalists in the 2002 Nescafé Big Break competition.

Mark Rowe (16) of Harewood in Christchurch, Hamish Williams (17) of Kimbolton in Manawatu and Hamish Black (19) of Hakataramea Valley in Mackenzie Country will fly to Sydney next month to pitch their business ideas to a judging panel comprising of Nescafé Big Break past winners against nine Australian youths for a share of AUD$256,000.

Nescafé Big Break is for any young person with a great idea that needs a cash start to realise their dream.

The three Kiwi youths have been chosen as finalists from a pool of 400 semi-finalists which were selected from more than 5000 trans-Tasman entries.

Hamish Williams currently runs his own hydroponics business growing lettuces for local restaurants and cafes. He produces on average between 500 and 800 fancy lettuces per week. He needs a big break so he can expand the business and provide employment for others.

Mark Rowe and his contemporaries Nathan Adams, Bryn Baritompa, Andrew Norriss and Richard Viney are planning to design, produce and market a 3D computer game of commercial quality based on their own Astral 3D engine. This would become the first ever 100 percent New Zealand made 3D game.

Hamish Black has a business developing an extensive range of rare coloured sheepskins and woollen clothing. He needs a big break so he can buy more stock (sheep) and increase product supply.

"The coloured sheep wool industry is an untapped niche market in New Zealand and internationally and is relatively small in comparison to the white wool industry," he says.

At the moment Hamish's business provides customers with high quality, handcrafted woollen garments such as hats, gloves and jerseys and commercially processed sheepskin rugs.

This year Nescafé Big Break age group categories were extended to offer more people the chance to enter. The two age categories were 16 - 19 and 20 - 24. Six winners from each age group category will each receive AUD$20,000, and four runner-up winners will each receive AUD$2,000.

Nescafé Big Break is unique in that it's not designed to be a high achievement award. It is about giving our young people the freedom to choose what they want to do with their lives and providing them with the cash to pursue their dreams and goals.

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