Tag Archives: UC Centre for Entrepreneurship

UCE Summer Startup students announced

The UCE Summer Startup Programme is a chance for students to work full time on fast-tracking the development of their ideas into realistic business ventures.

The ten-week Programme includes engaging workshops and seminars delivered by UCE and experts from Christchurch’s local innovation ecosystem. Students are supported through comprehensive mentoring and coaching while exploiting the Lean Business Model methodology to rapidly progress their ventures.

This year’s scholarship recipient’s ideas range from innovative shoe brands made with Coir (Coconut Fibre), to biodegradable hay wrapping alternatives for farmers, to an app for patients suffering from aphasia to overcome social isolation.

Returning scholars include Luke Campbell and Lucy Turner with Vxt, a smart assistant that converts voicemails to text.

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This is the seventh year the programme has run. It offers students the opportunity to push themselves to the next level over the summer semester and apply the knowledge they have to a real world application they are passionate about.

The Summer Startup Programme cohort is supported through $5,000 UC Innovators’ Scholarships. Scholarship recipients include five postgraduates and 23 undergraduates from across all five UC Colleges. Students come from a range of degree programmes including engineering, science, arts, commerce, law, product design, and Māori and indigenous studies.

At the end of the summer, every participant gives a five-minute presentation. The top ten are selected to compete at the Summer Startup Pitch Showcase. The Showcase is on Tuesday 4 February and is open to the public.

Congratulations to the following 28 students for earning a place in this year’s Programme:

  • Adarsh Raju
  • Ally Callinicos
  • Amanda Board
  • Amelia Morgan
  • Annabel Hurton
  • Anzac Gallate
  • Caitlin Buchanan
  • Caitlin Dow
  • Caitlin Soal
  • Chelsea Aitken
  • Corbyn Greenwood
  • Eleanor Hurton
  • Emma Pickup
  • Helen Mataiti
  • Jack Fraser
  • Jonathan Ring
  • Kaspar Soltero
  • Katie Young
  • Kayla Drummy
  • Kyla Allen-Jennings
  • Lucy Turner
  • Luke Campbell
  • Ngarie Scartozzi
  • Raghav Sood
  • Samuel Corder
  • Sara Al Halwani
  • Stefano Barfucci
  • Stephanie Beattie

Ministry of Awesome’s new Startup Activation Coordinator a recent graduate

If Christchurch becomes even more awesome in coming months it may be in part due to recent UC graduate Jacob Varghese.

After a five-week internship at Ministry of Awesome in January, Jacob Vargh now works as Ministry of Awesome’s Startup Activation Coordinator. Ministry of Awesome’s Startup Activation Programme works as a launch pad for entrepreneurs in the city, giving them support and mentoring to make their venture market ready.

Jacob moved from India to New Zealand in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economics from the Loyola College, Madras University, India. In December 2017 he graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Business (PGDipBus) at UC.

A day in the office involves one-on-one business mentoring with multiple Christchurch startups.

Jacob found his PGDipBus, a UC Executive Development Programme (EDP) course, very helpful in honing his business skill set, stepping up to a more senior level and preparing him to tackle a managerial position. He was also a student at UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE), participating in Bootcamps and coming along to guest speakers, his highlight being Bill Reichert.

“The best opportunity UCE gave me was inviting me to a talk by Bill Reichert, Managing Director at Garage Technology Ventures. To engage with someone like that in a university setting was great and definitely a highlight.”

Jacob says he has found UC Centre for Entrepreneurship and Ministry of Awesome to be closely linked.

“They both have an aligned vision in wanting to make Christchurch the city of opportunities, constructing a good ecosystem and creating jobs for our future workforce.”

Using social enterprise to benefit community wellbeing

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week Brittany Stewart, Logan Williams and Timothy Mills debunk some of the myths about social enterprises they learnt while taking part in the Kathmandu New Zealand Student Social Enterprise Challenge. The theme of the challenge was wellbeing and as the team discovered, generating social benefit can be quite challenging.

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Recently, I had the opportunity to compete in the Kathmandu New Zealand Student Social Enterprise Challenge at UC. We had just 48 hours to create and develop a social enterprise with the goal to provide improved mental health and wellbeing to our communities.

Our team developed Shirt off my back, a social enterprise which aimed to improve the wellbeing of kiwi kids in low decile schools by providing them with essential clothing they may not have with the aim of improving the quality of their day-to-day-life and their engagement at school.

Going into the challenge I thought I understood what it meant to create a viable social enterprise, but I was wrong. There are many misconceptions to social enterprises which often prevent people from undertaking the challenge of starting one up. I plan to set these misconceptions straight to prove why social enterprises are becoming more important than ever to help our communities.

  1. “Social enterprises are just about being environmentally friendly”

Social enterprises are well-known for their environmentally friendly products. However, there are many social enterprises which aim to have a social impact, where they want to create businesses which give back to communities, like Shirt off my back.

  1. “Social enterprises do not make any money”

During the challenge, the most difficult part of creating our social enterprise was figuring out how to make money! However, many social enterprises are very profitable. Shirt off my back uses a one-for-one model. For every item of clothing a consumer buys at one of our retail partners, the retailer will give an item of clothing to Shirt off my back to distribute to kids that need them most.  The aim of a social enterprise is to deliver benefits by using their revenues to finance activities that generate social benefit.

Social enterprises have the potential to address issues in our communities in a self-sustaining way. Social enterprises provide the opportunity for people to improve their communities in a way that neither capitalism nor charity has yet been able to match.

If you want to find out more about social enterprise in New Zealand check out: http://akina.org.nz/

UCE Summer Startup Programme

Student 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 September – apply now!

2 UCE teams place at MYOB IT Nationals

Two teams from the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship were placed in the top three at the MYOB IT Challenge Nationals held last weekend in Auckland with their innovative business solutions.

Team GYOB includes students Fiona Ambler, Logan Williams, and Prasanth Sasikumar, who were awarded second place for their innovative stock management application, which uses augmented reality technology.

Team SafetyCheck, consisting of students Hugh Baird, Stephan Hofmann and Angus Schuler, was awarded third place for the idea to develop health and safety management software to further enhance cloud-based accounting.

The teams received return flights and accommodation to Nationals, as well as a share of the $5,000 prize pool.

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