(From left to right) Krystle Brough Associate Director at Grant Thornton New Zealand, Saish Dharvotkar Associate Developer at MYOB, Charlie Kavanagh Team Vinta, Corbyn Greenwood Team Vinta, Grant Hunkin Associate Partner Data & Analytics at EY, Mark Pearl Engineering Protege Manager at MYOB.
Two Christchurch students from the University of Canterbury have won the MYOB IT Challenge for their innovative and user-friendly receipt management mobile application.
Corbyn Greenwood and Charlie Kavanagh of Team Vinta won the software company’s tech challenge for their mobile application that will reduce overspending for micro-business owners and allow for integration with MYOB through the cloud, or act as a standalone app.
MYOB engineering protégé manager and IT Challenge judge, Mark Pearl said the team’s application stood out to the judges because of the simplicity of the idea and potential to deliver better value to microbusiness owners.
“Team Vinta’s submission was extremely well thought out, identifying a specific problem plaguing many microenterprises – tracking expenses and keeping copies of GST receipts – then producing a working prototype that solved the key underlying technical challenges,” said Mr Pearl.
“While similar apps exist, current solutions don’t analyse spending data, they only capture and store it. By analysing receipts on capture, Vinta would allow business owners to track, control and better regulate their spending with minimal effort.”
Third year computer science undergraduate Corbyn Greenwood said he and Charlie were extremely pleased with their achievement and thoroughly enjoyed developing an IT solution for small business owners.
“We whole-heartedly believe in this application and know it is something small business owners really need. Winning the MYOB IT Challenge has given us the motivation to develop the Vinta application even further,” he said.
Corbyn and Charlie met at the University of Canterbury’s student accommodation two years ago. The pair decided to apply for the MYOB IT Challenge after seeing it advertised on Facebook.
In the week-long regional round of the MYOB IT Challenge, the pair conceptualised wireframes for the application’s design. After progressing through to the trans-Tasman final, Corbyn and Charlie were given a month to develop a working prototype.
“The application needed to be semi functional for the marketplace event,” Corbyn said. “However, prior to the competition, neither of us knew how to create an app.”
After weeks of research and plenty of trial and error, the pair had a working prototype. They now plan to develop Vinta even further through the Summer Startup Programme at the University of Canterbury.
“One of the judges from EY, Grant Hunkin, also said he’d like to help us take the prototype to the next level,” Corbyn said.
Both Charlie and Corbyn would like to own their own tech business in the future, however in the meantime, have said they’d like to apply for jobs at MYOB after they graduate.
About the MYOB IT Challenge
The MYOB IT Challenge, organised by MYOB in conjunction with the University of Auckland’s Management Consulting Club (MCC), first launched in 2015 and is a fusion of business prowess and technical analysis.
This year, participants from the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Melbourne competed in groups of two, three or four, and were given approximately five days to prepare a 10-minute pitch.
Four successful finalists were then chosen to compete in a marketplace event in Auckland, where they were given the opportunity to sell their working prototype. Each finalist then presented their business case – including the concept of their solution and any marketing and go-to-market strategy – to a panel of judges.
In total, the 2019 MYOB IT Challenge received a record 97 entries from more than 300 university students from across New Zealand and Melbourne, Victoria.
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