Summer Startup Update week ten: Top Summer Startup ventures announced!

31 January 2020

After ten busy weeks in the UCE Summer Startup Programme, 24 students pitched their ideas to a panel of local experts, who selected the top ventures, who will pitch at the Summer Startup Showcase.

  • Summer Startup Programme finalists 2020

    The students who will be presenting at the UCE Summer Startup Showcase on Tuesday 4 February.

After ten weeks of hard work on their ventures, it all came down to a three minute pitch and Q&A session for the student founders of the UCE Summer Startup Programme. The judging panel consisted of experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the field - Mads Moller, Oliviah Theyers-Collins (both ThincLab) and Christian Walsh (University of Canterbury). After hearing from 19 ventures, the panel selected 11 to pitch at the Summer Startup Showcase on Tuesday, 4th of February, at The Piano (register now for your free ticket). 

The ventures presenting at the Showcase are: 

Zincovery - Jonathan Ring
“Waste from the galvanizing industry is hazardous to the environment. Zincovery provides waste recycling for lower cost than disposal, saving money and the environment.”

Defiant DisAbility - Annabel Hurton & Eleanor Hurton
“Defiant DisAbility has a vision to improve mental health outcomes for young adults living with disabilities through the creation of shared, purposeful, social experiences. Our conferences, workshops and community events provide the support and community demanded and deserved by disabled youth.”

Progressiva - Katie Young
“More than 3000 stroke patients lose their ability to speak every year. Progressiva is a digital platform which connects people with a speech therapist who acts like an online personal trainer for communication.”

Vxt - Lucy Turner & Luke Campbell
“Vxt is a smart assistant which converts your voicemail to text and provides other tools which automate administrative tasks. Since August 2019, thousands of Kiwis have started using Vxt and more than 70,000 voicemail messages have come through the app.”

New Zealand and Beyond - Chelsea Aitken & Millie Morgan
“New Zealand and Beyond empowers boutique New Zealand skincare brands to tackle the Chinese ecommerce market. We have formed a coalition of brands to reduce the cost, risk and resource required for successful market entry.”

MerklePath - Raghav Sood
“MerklePath bridges the gap between blockchain data and everything else. Our comprehensive API and data services gives any organization the ability to quickly query blockchain data without dealing with all the complexity and intricacies of accessing the raw data.”

Identify - Caitlin Dow
“Identify brings new life to native wood offcuts, recycling it into affordable, sustainable jewellery designed to make you look and feel beautiful.”

eClean - Ngārie Scartozzi
The eClean bioreactor removes nitrates, phosphates and other contaminants from waterways. Designed for deployment on farms, the eClean Bioreactor minimises the impact of agriculture on downstream waterways.

The Gro•Up Group - Anzac Gallate & Jack Fraser
“The GroUp Group enables teachers to engage students in science and sustainability through innovative education programmes, empowering the next generation of active citizens, and restoring a natural Aotearoa.”

Smyle - Emma Pickup
“Created out of love for the health of people and the environment, Smyle produces nutritious plant milks while treading lightly on Mother Earth. Start your day with a Smyle.”

Kelpn - Abel Goremusandu
“Kelpn is developing a kelp-based bioplastic, with the goal of creating the world's most sustainable bioplastic.”

Congratulations to the entire cohort and to the ventures selected for the Showcase.

The Showcase on Tuesday will be hosted by social entrepreneur Jason Pemberton. After the presentation, there will be an opportunity for networking, with drinks and nibbles provided! 

Register on Eventbrite now for your free ticket to attend the Final Showcase at 6pm on the 4th of February. 

The UCE Summer Startup Programme enables student founders to fast-track the development of their ideas, commercial ventures, and social enterprises over 10 weeks. The Programme includes intensive mentoring, dedicated coaching and engaging speakers.

For further information please contact:

UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) by emailing:

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