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From Bright Sparks To Leading Lights


For immediate release
17 April 2003

FROM BRIGHT SPARKS TO LEADING LIGHTS

Aimed at turning first-class ideas into world-class businesses, spark*: The University of Auckland Entrepreneurship Challenge is an innovative programme designed by students. The challenge will be launched on May 8.

spark* is modelled on successful initiatives run at MIT (USA) and Cambridge University. Billions of dollars have been generated by these competitions and spark* Chair Monique Cornish believes that "all the elements are in place for similar successes in the Auckland region."

spark* starts with Vision to Business, a course that delivers the kinds of entrepreneurial skills needed to foot it in the business world. Those then taking up the $10K Challenge go into win one of ten $1000 awards for their businesses profile.

Bolder teams can enter the $40K Challenge requiring them to submit a business creation plan to be judged by successful industry practitioners. The winning team will receive a prize package valued at $30000, the runner-up $10000, to develop their businesses.

All participants receive extensive mentoring to help them enhance the robustness of their plans. Finalists have the opportunity to present to leading angel investors and venture capitalists.

spark* is run by The University of Auckland Postgraduate Students Association in conjunction with The University of Auckland Business School and The ICEHOUSE. Foundation Partners include Microsoft New Zealand and The Edwards Charitable Trust.

Ends

For more information: Visit the spark* website, www.spark.auckland.ac.nz, or contact:

Monique Cornish Chair spark*: The University of Auckland Entrepreneurship Challenge spark-chair@auckland.ac.nz


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