Category Archives: Entrepreneurship

Upcoming: UCE Sustainability Challenge, 19-20 April

Do you want to make a difference to our planet, meet new people, and have the opportunity to win cash in the process? The UCE Sustainability Challenge is a two-day challenge running 19-20 April and is open to all tertiary students that are interested in positively contributing to our planet. It is all about innovation around environmental sustainability problems, such as waste and carbon outputs. Whether you’re a first year finance student, a third year political science student or a postgrad engineer, we want you.

We supply all of the information and people you need to get the most out of the experience and you’ll have access to a team of amazing mentors and experts from around the city who can help guide you through the problem and prepare to pitch to the judges. You have the option of entering as a team of 4-5 or you can enter individually and we’ll place you in a team at the challenge launch. Registrations will be accepted as they come in, so register quick!

Registrations close on Tuesday 17 April, 5.00pm.
Find out more and register here>


48-Hour Health Challenge

The 48-Hour Health Challenge is a perfect opportunity to engage with some of the big problems facing the Health Sector in Canterbury and New Zealand and take home part of a $3,000 cash prize pool!

Over the weekend you will work in teams tackling one of the Challenges set by the Health Precinct Advisory Council. You will discuss and test your concept with experts from the health sector and mentors from the business community.

At the end of the weekend each team will pitch to a panel of judges with the top three teams taking home cash prizes!

Ideas developed and pitched during the weekend may be taken up by the Health Precinct and implemented – if this happens participants will have the opportunity to continue to be involved.

48-Hour Health Challenge
24 and 25 March, 9.00am – 6.00pm
Applications close Friday 16 March, 12.00pm

More information here>

Summer Startup Programme – Apply now

Katherine Pearse was part of the Summer Startup Programme 2016/17 and highly recommends other students sign up this year. Applications are open until Monday 18 September. Find out more>

Last summer, I was one of 36 students to take part in the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) Summer Startup Programme. It was a full-on but totally inspiring 10 weeks. For me, it was all about giving it a shot and trying something different. Applications for the programme are welcome whether or not you have an idea for a business or social enterprise.

170906 Katherine Pearse

Over the 10 week programme you are guided through the stages of bringing a business or social enterprise to life. Some people (including me) had just an idea at the start of the programme, while others already had a fully fledged business or social enterprise, and used the programme to gain further help and expertise. An example of students and their businesses on the programme included; a student developing the idea of a technology based virtual reality system for health and safety in the workplace. While other students were more focussed on the concept of a social enterprise and had businesses ranging from a successful public art exhibition project to one that creates fair-trade and ethical street wear (Mallu). Other ideas were by students who had really successful home storage systems (Tom from Pegboard Co. and Laura from Rad Home). It was really fun to be in such a diverse environment with people who were so passionate about their ideas!

Working at UCE over the summer and having that time solely focussed on a business idea was key – not to mention all the support from UCE. Each week has a different focus that is applied to your business/social enterprise, from intellectual property to marketing to investment – you name it, it was covered! A highlight for me was the countless speakers (almost everyday) who gave presentations on their own entrepreneurial journey and businesses. Think serial entrepreneurs, at the top of their field from all over New Zealand. Mentorship is another big focus of the programme. We had numerous ‘speed networking’ sessions with those in the business/entrepreneurial/social enterprise scene in Christchurch who helped to validate and give feedback on our work. Moreover, we were able to really capitalise on the connections and mentors provided by UCE.

The unique learnings from the programme, business connections, chance to meet new people in an inspiring environment and a $5k scholarship are all worth it – you are basically paid to give your entrepreneurial streak a chance over the summer! I’d highly recommend you apply!

More information about the Summer Startup Programme can be found hereApplications close 12pm, Monday 18 Septemberapply now!