Oliver Hunt

Studying towards a Master of Engineering in Management

UCE Involvement:

Summer Startup Programme 2017/18


Snow Executive, CUBA 2015

Sponsorship Rep, ENSOC 2016

Summer Research Scholarship, CReaTE Group Otago University, 2016/17.

Master of Engineering in Management, 2017

How did you come across the UC Centre of Entrepreneurship (UCE)?

I knew it existed because Dr. Rachel Wright took the business model development part of our MEM course. I had also seen promotional material around campus and have a friend who went through the Summer Startup Programme (2016/17), James Richardson from Sonder Leather, who recommended it.

How did you find the UCE Summer Startup Programme?

Really good, especially as a sole founder. It gave me a lot of insight, mentoring and 'sounding boards' to bounce ideas off and critique what I am doing. The fresh perspectives which I would not have been exposed to otherwise were very helpful.

What is your business?

Medsalv is a business I started in September last year, it helps hospitals reduce their supply and environmental costs by reprocessing single-use devices. These devices would otherwise go to landfill, so I see it as a good opportunity to make our healthcare more sustainable.  

What have you learnt from the Programme over the summer?

Lots of little things: Follow up everything, write stuff down, make sure you keep an updated calendar, check then check again and when presenting practice, practice, practice. Also, ensure you make use of the people in the centre, they often know things you are wanting to learn about.

What has been people’s reactions to Medsalv?

Overwhelmingly positive and often surprised. I haven’t really had any negative reactions.

What advice would you give to a student wanting to begin their own startup?

Get advice from experts in the area – if there is an area. Unless they are your competitors, they will probably help you - people tend to like helping students. Talk to your customers early so you can validate your idea asap, this is probably the first thing you should do.

How did you find being on the snow executive for CUBA?

It was good. Somewhat stressful with the Uni Games but it was a good experience to organise and run.

How was ENSOC and have you learnt anything from being involved in clubs?

Don’t crash the hired vans. It’s expensive. Make sure you apply yourself so you have something to show for it at the end of the year. 

What do you find interesting or cool about being an entrepreneur?

It’s your own challenge and you have to have your own motivation but if you have it, it’s really fun. You can structure your time as you want which does mean sometimes you have long nights but you can also take advantage of those sunny days and dodge the traffic.

What are your plans for Medsalv this year?

Keep working on Medsalv, grow it into major NZ hospitals and take on some employees.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I hope to grow Medsalv into a business that can support myself and future employees, and in the longer term look to grow it overseas.