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Canty Students Win With Global Enterprise Team

Canterbury students in winning 2008 Global Enterprise Challenge team

Two Canterbury students Ben McNab (Rangiora High School) and Louis O’Brien (St Thomas of Canterbury) were in the New Zealand Global Enterprise Challenge team which won the annual international competition.

Late Monday afternoon students from 15 countries submitted a three-minute video presentation and written business plans via web-link to a panel of international judges based around the world, to compete for the right to win first place in this year’s Global Enterprise Challenge.

The title was fiercely contested with working prototypes of sonic dishwashers, sophisticated mock-ups of advertising campaigns and other inventive presentations. Four awards were made in the early hours of yesterday morning (New Zealand time). The overall winner was New Zealand, with Australia taking second place and Wales third. A creativity award was shared by Germany and Korea. McNab and O’Brien, Kendra Morgan from Avonside Girls’ High School and Tony Nelmes of Linwood College, were among 80 senior secondary school students who are directors of student companies in the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme, which is run locally by Canterbury Development Corporation.

“It’s fantastic that four of our students were representing Canterbury in the New Zealand event. That two were selected for the winning international team makes us even prouder,” CDC YES coordinator Karen Goldsworthy says.

The students assembled at Massey University’s Albany Campus during the weekend to prepare for the challenge. The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Helen Clark, launched the New Zealand challenge on Saturday and warned that the competition would be tough and challenging. Among those present were the Deputy Mayor of North Shore City, Professor John Raine, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Massey University and local business people.

The New Zealand students competed against England, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, Singapore, United States of America, Scotland, Wales and Australia.

The 24-hour challenge issued by the international judges was to produce a working model of an innovative product, process, service or plan that will reduce the impact of growing demand on the world’s dwindling water resources. New Zealand students were divided into nine teams, and each team presented its plans to a panel of local judges including The Hon Tim Groser, National MP, Suze Strowger, Ministry of Education, Paul Lockey, a trustee of the Enterprise New Zealand Trust and Steve Corbett, CEO of the e-Centre at Massey University. The judges chose a team that developed a product called “LillyPod” a stand-alone, floating saltwater farm, growing Salicomia (a plant grown in salt water). The aim of the team was to develop a worldwide commercially viable sea based farm which reduces the impact of crops relying on fresh water.

This team then went on to represent New Zealand and made their presentation via an internet link to a panel of international judges based around the world.

In a web-streamed announcement of the winners, the GEC’s judge coordinator, Len Norman said, “it has been an exciting event and the work quality has been absolutely outstanding. Creativity is extremely high. Business plans were very detailed and believable and the standard has improved year on year”.

Dr Neil Pellis, Chief Scientist at NASA announced the winners of the event, with first place being awarded to Team New Zealand, whose members are:

Adam Botterill, Westlake Boys’ High School Ben McNab, Rangiora High School Kristina Clarke, Long Bay College Matthew Holt, Long Bay College Louis O’Brien, St Thomas of Canterbury College Brigid McLeod, John Paul College Melissa Eade, James Hargest High School Michelle Panzer, Garin College Stacey Kenzelmann, Orewa College “For New Zealand students to compete in a global arena and more than hold their own should give us great confidence in our future generation” said Tony Caughey, Chairman of the Enterprise New Zealand Trust. “Given the time constraints and pressure, our students were outstanding”, he said.

Global Enterprise Challenge announcements and winning entries can be found at:


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