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2008 Cable Car Challenge Returns

For Immediate Release

2008 Cable Car Challenge Returns, On Track To Be Bigger And Better


Wellington , Friday, July 4, 2008-- The search is on once again for budding entrepreneurs and fledgling start-ups with an idea that they want to turn into a successful business.

A business plan competition with a difference, the Cable Car Challenge has quickly established itself as a successful annual event tohelp develop high-growth companies and foster entrepreneurship in the Wellingtonregion – Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt, Porirua, Kapiti, Wairarapa and Wellingtoncity.

Now in its second year, the 2008 Cable Car Challenge introduced a new twist to traditional business plan competitions. During its final stage, the challenge culminates on the Cable Car, one of Wellington ’s most iconic destinations, where finalists will have just a few minutes during the short journey on the cable track to make their elevator pitches to judges.

Established by the Wellington Innovation Network, a collaborative association of organisations that promote and facilitate innovation in the region, the competition is supported by Wellington City Council, Victoria University, Massey University, Wellington Institute of Technology, Whitireia Community Polytechnic, Trade Me, Clemengers BBDO, Bank of New Zealand, Ellis Verboeket Terry, Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s Escalator programme, Deloitte and Industrial Research Ltd.

“As a result of the huge success of last year’s Cable Car Challenge, we are raising the bar for the competition this year and are on the lookout for some high quality entries,” said Wellington Innovation Network Chairman Rob Acton. “This is a serious business plan competition so the Cable Car Challenge is less about numbers and more about the quality of the business propositions.”

The Cable Car Challenge recognises that good ideas are not enough and many other elements need to be present to transform an idea into a potential high growth business, including access to seed capital and sound business planning advice. Mr Acton added. With this in mind, the competition offers all contestants access to business advice and support to help them develop their business plans as well as additional assistance for finalists with pitching their idea.

This year’s challenge boasts a bigger prize pool and includes start-up companies that are under two years old. The winner, either an early stage business or an idea, will receive a grand prize of $30,000 in seed capital and $20,000 worth of business support services. A second prize of $10,000 seed capital and $5,000 in-kind business services will be presented for the best idea.

After entering the challenge with a brief description of their business or idea, contestants are assisted at workshops to submit a two-page business plan. From these submissions, up to 25 semi-finalists will be selected to develop a more comprehensive five-page business plan and eight finalists will be chosen from these.

Entries for the three-month 2008 Cable Car Challenge open on Tuesday, July 8 and the winners will be announced on October 30. Some key dates for the competition are:

• July 8.Launch of Competition.
• July 15.First workshop to brief contestants on expectations.
• July 29.Business planning workshop for contestants.
• August 5. Entries close for first stage of competition (the submission of a two-page business plan).
• August 19. Shortlist of about 20 – 25 semi-finalists announced.
• August 26, September 2, 9, 16, 23.Business planning workshops run over six weeks.
• September 30. Five-page business plans submitted.
• October 14.Eight finalists announced.
• October 21. Pitching workshop for finalists.
• October 29.Finalists pitch on Cable Car to judges
• October 30. Winners announced by Mayor Kerry Prendergastat Mayor’s office.
Last year’s winner, Paul Treacy, Managing Director, Eyemagnet Ltd, said the Cable Car Challenge competition helped promote the company and offered an invaluable opportunity for it to examine and build on its business plan and to turn its business proposition into a succinct message. “The short format for the business plan and the pitch highlighted to us that preparation is critical to success in either a competition or in business,” said Mr Treacy. Since winning the challenge, Eyemagnet has taken big strides with its business growth plans and is now expanding internationally.
For more information visit www.cablecarchallenge.com or www.cablecarchallenge.co.nz

Prepared for the Wellington Innovation Network by Communicator.

ends

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