Bridging the Gap

26 January 2021

How can New Zealanders better engage with Asia, at a time when we are more physically isolated from the rest of the world than ever?

  • bridging the gap

    A student pitching their team's solution to the panel of judges.

briding the gap winners

The first-place team, Wok this Way.

The Bridging the Gap Challenge, made possible by the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the UC Business School, challenged 27 students to answer this question. Over two days, the seven teams developed events that could be run at the University of Canterbury to increase UC students’ awareness of Asia. 

With a mix of domestic and international students taking part, the Challenge provided the participants with a great opportunity to meet new people and learn more about Asia from one-another. As always, the Challenge also featured an inspiring speed mentoring session and delicious food!

As well as cash prizes from a $1,500 prize pool, the top teams will receive support to help make their ideas a reality. 

Winning teams:

  • 1st: Wok This Way’s winning idea involved themed asian cooking tutorials via Zoom, followed by competitions in which flats enter photos of their culinary creations to win prizes. 
  • 2nd: Gateway to Asia pitched a one-day, Asia-focused festival on the University campus to engage new people with Asia. The judges were impressed by their idea to include virtual reality experiences.
  • 3rd: Foodfil the Gap proposed an engaging video series in which UC students sample Asian foods and are quizzed on their cultural knowledge.

“It was a great experience for me to be part of a team of five people I had never met before. I learnt a lot about Asia’s diversity, developed my teamwork and leadership skills, and got to meet lots of new people.” - Challenge participant.

“Through the impressive energy and creativity of the teams, some really innovative and feasible ideas were accelerated in under 48 hours. The Asia New Zealand Foundation was proud to be a co-sponsor of Bridging the Gap, and we are looking forward to collaborating with participants to turn some of these pitches into reality!”Alistair Crozier, Asia New Zealand Foundation