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From ovaries to gum: the best ideas shortlisted

Media Release
Friday 30 June 2006


From ovaries to gum: the best ideas shortlisted for $40K prize

Virtual ovaries and energy-boosting chewing gum were among the entrepreneurial ideas named as finalists in the Spark $40K Challenge at the University of Auckland last night.

Ten finalists were announced at the Qualifiers Celebration for the annual Spark $40K Challenge, a student-led competition run in partnership with the University of Auckland Business School to encourage innovative entrepreneurs.

The Spark $40K Challenge invites University staff and students with viable business ideas to submit a detailed venture summary in the hope of winning a share of $40,000 worth of start-up capital and resources to turn their idea into a successful business.

An impressive 62 entries were received this year and each submission was judged by an independent panel of industry experts.

The ten qualifying teams will receive extensive mentoring and training to help develop their business proposal into a complete business plan before an overall winner is announced in September.

The ten finalists were:

NuChew: chewing gum entrepreneurs who have developed two new gum flavours - Rush with guarana and caffeine for energy, and Chili with lavender for relaxation.

International Ovarian Score Group: a ‘virtual ovary’ developed through research by leading fertility scientists to help predict individual’s fertility and the likelihood of pregnancy.

uniFriend.co.nz: an online hub to give university students across the country a central platform to inform, communicate and interact with one another.

e-Five: an E-learning venture providing on-line computer literacy training to companies.

dPortal: an online portal connecting diners with restaurants, allowing real-time table booking, virtual tours of restaurants and 360 degree menu viewing.

GAPSTER: GAPSTER’s revolutionary idea fills a gap in the student market, but at the moment it’s under wraps. More will be revealed soon.

Googly Inc: this team has used revolutionary technology to improve the design of bowling machines used in cricket, making them more user-friendly.

Voype: a communications company that aims to provide voice and data solutions without the hassle of complex solutions and pricing structures.

Anti-Reflective Technologies Ltd: this team has developed an anti-reflective coating that can be easily applied to laptop, phone and camera screens to reduce reflections, making them easier to view.

Myskillpool: an online people market where people can advertise their skills and employers can search a large database of talent.

Spark is a student-led organisation established four years ago to foster an entrepreneurial culture both at the University and the wider New Zealand community. Its aim is to provide students and staff with the skills, knowledge and determination needed to turn their ideas into world class businesses. Spark offers three challenges throughout the year: the $40K, $10K and Spark Aspire challenges.

Spark’s major partners are ASB Bank, Auckland UniServices Ltd, Microsoft, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and No 8 Ventures.

ENDS

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