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UC student wins top NZ Dragon’s Den style competition

University of Canterbury student wins top NZ Dragon’s Den style competition

UC’s NZ Big Break winner Pip Widdon, right, with two other UC finalists Sam Stapley and Thomas Pearse

September 3, 2012

A University of Canterbury (UC) student is the New Zealand winner of Australasian competition Big Break Project, a difficult Dragon’s Den style tertiary business competition.

Pip Widdon has won the NZ event from 144 teams (pairs or as individuals) and she will now take part in the Australasian finals in Melbourne on October 2 and 3. The winning team will receive $20,000 for themselves and $50,000 for their university.

UC accounting lecturer and MBA director Tony Mortensen said today the result represented not only a great win for Widdon who had put in a tremendous amount of work but also a positive result for UC and New Zealand.

``Given she also beat so many teams from New Zealand and Australian universities to get to the final reinforces the idea that we grow some real talent in this country.

``I believe we have to make sure we support up and coming professionals like Pip so we can create a more efficient and productive economy in the future. With people like Pip on our case I’m sure our future looks bright.

``Quite a number of students from UC go on to have stellar accounting and management careers and I believe this is a result of the high calibre of teaching staff.’’

Two other UC students Sam Stapley and Thomas Pearse made it to the last four of the New Zealand finals. The competition, organised by one of the world’s largest accounting bodies CPA Australia, was run for the first time in New Zealand this year and included many Australia entrants. The event challenges undergraduates to get a head-start in their careers.

UC accounting Associate Professor Dr John Vargo said UC’s success in the NZ CPA Big Break project was just further proof why the Canterbury Business School was ranked in the World’s top 100.

Last year another UC business student Tim Brand won a CPA meet astronaut Neil Armstrong competition.


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