Click here to read original story published at Auckland University
21 October 2021
“Knowledge is always the very first step for improvements” – Alex Risos, Founder and CEO of RisosEnterprises Ltd. – Future of rapid waterborne E. coli water detection is coming!
A new generation of start-up founders has been released into the world with the completion of the University of Auckland’s 2021 Velocity entrepreneurship development programme.
Winners of its business planning competition, the Velocity $100k Challenge, were announced via an online Grand Final event. The guest speaker for the evening was Sir Ian Taylor (Ngāti Kahungunu), founder of leading Computer Graphics production house Animation Research Ltd, 2019 New Zealand Innovator of the Year, and 2020 Deloitte 200 Visionary Leader of the Year.
The Velocity $100k Challenge is New Zealand’s leading student-led entrepreneurship competition, supported by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Now in its 18th year, Velocity has ignited more than 164 ventures, created 950 jobs and Velocity ventures have raised more than $306 million in capital.
From 90 initial entries into the $100k Challenge, 15 teams were selected to continue and given the privilege to participate in Velocity’s LaunchPad entrepreneurship professional development programme where they received mentorship and finalised their business plan and pitch to compete for five ultimate prizes. Each winner receives a share of the $100,000 prize pool, including sponsorship of a place in the University of Auckland’s 6-month VentureLab incubator, which will begin in February.
CIE Director Darsel Keane says “Velocity is an internationally renowned programme and past participants of Velocity and VentureLab have described these programmes as life-changing. It can also be world-changing. We’ve seen past brilliant student and staff participants develop ground-breaking solutions in EdTech, AgTech, MedTech, social entrepreneurship and more. Velocity isn’t just about the winners though. Many thriving ventures have been developed by past Velocity participants who did not place in the finals, or participants have taken the entrepreneurial mindset they have developed and built careers leading innovation in existing industries. We hope all our Velocity participants will take the energy, courage and insight they have demonstrated while at university to pursue whatever makes them happiest in life”.
2021 Velocity $100k Challenge winners
RisosEnterprises – Waterborne E. coli testing is a monumental effort, prohibitively expensive and takes days to yield results. Eighty percent of New Zealanders are not only unhappy with environmental water but especially with their drinking water. RisosEnterprises is working on technology that is much faster and more accurate than any existing water testing instrumentation to date. This cuts down testing costs and reaction times to critically enable widespread testing for effective countermeasures. RisosEnterprises are creating the Waicorder (TM), a star-trek inspired water tricorder that everyone can use to sense water quality anywhere, anytime. Communities will benefit from a healthier environment and drinkable water, while private industry cuts down on production losses, especially beverage manufacturers.
PrintGig – PrintGig is passionate about creating a world where 3D printing is integrated into everyone’s daily lives and makers can make money doing what they love. PrintGig will achieve this by connecting experienced freelancers with consumers who want easily accessible and affordable 3D printing services.
Fistbump – Fistbump is a friendship service designed to help users meet like-minded people, hang out and make genuine friends. So far, Fistbump has over 300 users and has helped make over 80 friendships (in just two small launches). Fistbump is a purely platonic app that matches based on interests and personality. Users can match and chat anonymously and decide if they want to be friends. Fistbump is now expanding into coffee hangouts, events, and gamification.
Supercarbon – Supercarbon is a ground-breaking technology with sustained antimicrobial and antiviral properties and multiple applications, including electroceutical wound dressings, antiviral and antibacterial face masks, anti-pathogen air filters, and anti-ageing beauty facial devices. Supercarbon’s lead product, the HealectricCarbon wound dressing, uses microcurrents to accelerate healing in chronic and acute wounds and prevent infection. It can significantly improve patient outcomes whilst markedly decreasing healthcare costs.
Delta Waterways – Delta Waterways’ product, driven by the latest in satellite imaging and machine learning technology, significantly enhances the frequency, resolution, coverage, and accessibility of environmental monitoring data. It represents a radical paradigm shift in the monitoring of freshwater and enables a much better understanding of environmental degradation, informing policy, and driving positive change.
Acknowlegment and thanks to: The Photon Factory, Cather Simpson and MBIE