Success for $85k entré competition winners

09 October 2014

Businesses for custom high heels, tutoring assistance for students and assembling kitset products have all be successful ideas in the annual $85,000 entré business competition

Businesses for custom high heels, tutoring assistance for students and assembling kitset products have all be successful ideas in the annual $85,000 entré business competition for 2014.

Entré is a student-founded business ideas competition at the University of Canterbury (UC).

The $85k Challenge is the biggest and most prestigious challenge that entré has to offer. Open to all UC and CPIT students, it offers entrants the chance to develop key business and presentation skills while refining their idea into a viable business over the course of the year with the help of mentors and business connections.

Entré CEO Stew Whitehead says that the quality of entrants this year has been outstanding.

“We have such a diverse group of entrants with ventures relating to agriculture, fashion, tourism and hi-tech industries just to name a few,” he says. 

“The judges have made several comments about just how impressed they are with the student ideas and the progress they have made throughout the competition.”

Elizabeth Riach, who is completing a Graduate Diploma in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology (CPIT), won the grand prize for her project “My Killa Heels”, which is a one-of-a-kind company that specialises in fully custom, hand-painted shoes for special occasions.

Lucy Player-Bishop, who is in her fifth-year of a double degree in law and arts at UC, was runner-up with her project “Chalkboard”, which was created for students looking to offer or receive academic assistance. Player-Bishop also won the most market-ready prize.

Chalkboard has a website and accompanying app that helps to streamline the tutoring process and allows for students to search for qualified tutors and create profiles to automate the tutorial payment process.

Second-year UC commerce student Jorgen Ellis was also a runner up for his “Kitset Assembly Services” project. Kitset Man is a business aimed at offering high quality, moderately priced, kitset/flat pack assembly for New Zealand households.

The service includes picking up the customer’s purchase from the store and delivering and assembling it onsite, with the convenience of all packaging being removed and disposed of sustainably. Ellis also won the best pitch prize.

Fourth year UC Law and Commerce student Ellie Barrett won best business plan and engineering masters student Tom Beaumont and UC engineering graduate Campbell Alexander won the Community Focus Award for their “Clean Streams” cloud based software prototype. 

The competition was first held in 2005 and, since then, thousands of students have been involved in workshops and competitions.

For more information: 
Phil Barclay 
Communications and Stakeholder Relations Manager
027 889 5636
phil.barclay@canterbury.ac.nz