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UC Innovators winning ideas announced

UC Innovators winning ideas announced

The University of Canterbury Innovators’ Summer Start-Up Programme has culminated in the top ten teams presenting their projects to a panel of judges, coinciding with the official opening of the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship.

The 2015/16 summer programme saw 33 students working on 31 ventures including for-profit, charitable and social enterprises, spanning across health, engineering, clothing, food and agriculture industries.

At the official opening of the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship, instead of a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, the students were challenged to come up with something innovative in a 24-hour challenge. They designed and built a clever illuminated sign with three Edison bulbs representing the centre’s main components for success: the community, UC and the students.

The UC Centre for Entrepreneurship Operations Director, Dr Rachel Wright says that the sign also worked metaphorically. “Without all three elements in place, the centre would not light up. We need all three for the centre to reach its potential and to light up the world with ideas.”

Dr Wright says that the judges – entrepreneurs and business leaders Peter Montgomery, Ben Kepes, Michelle Sharp, Geoff Brash and Kevin Park - had a difficult time deciding on the winners, with a very close decision.

The spectators, including members of the local business community who helped mentor, intern and encourage the students, have been impressed with the calibre of the ventures created by the UC Innovators, says Dr Wright.

“It was a great event with so many comments about the quality of the presentations from people who were blown away by the talent of the students and how great their ideas were.”

The UC Innovators Summer Start-Up 2015/16 results:

First place winner: - Wireless Guard created by Taylor Howatson & Anthony Lefebvre - Allen

Wireless Guard has developed a sensor module which transforms a home’s doors and windows into smart connected devices, which allows people to monitor when their doors and windows are locked and closed (or otherwise) from a smart device.

Second place and People's Choice winner: VoltCuffs, Andrew Graham

Voltcuffs is developing an electrical health and safety aid that incorporates wireless voltage detection into a wristband that alerts the wearer with a visual, audio and vibration warning whenever their hands are near an electrical hazard.

Third place: Khullu, Stefan Warnaar

Khullu makes high-performance outdoor clothing using (sustainable and responsible) Tibetan yak wool and merino.

Highly commended: TipRun, Nick Donkers

TipRun provides door-to-dump rubbish removal across Christchurch, recycling or donating items where possible.

Highly commended: In Situ Photo Project, Hannah Watkinson

In Situ Photo Project combines a fine art photo gallery in the heart of Christchurch with an inclusive community engagement/education programme, aiming to attract and retain talented people and expand opportunities for emerging artists.

Caption: The UC Centre for Entrepreneurship Operations Director, Dr Rachel Wright helps progressively light up the UC Entrepreneurship sign at the opening ceremony helped by entrepreneur, mentor and UC Innovators judge Peter Montgomery.


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