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Idea Pitch winners share in $15k prize pool

Wednesday, 16 November 2011 | By Michelle Hammond
Student Entrepreneurs has unveiled the 2011 winners of its Idea Pitch competition, which saw 20 student start-ups from Victorian universities compete for prizes worth more than $15,000.

 

Student Entrepreneurs, a student entrepreneurship group based at the University of Melbourne, recently held its fourth annual Idea Pitch competition, open to student start-ups across Victoria.

 

Participants were required to pitch their business idea for the chance to win a prize. This year, the prize pool amounted to more than $15,000 worth of cash and in-kind services.

 

Idea Pitch marketing manager Andrew Yau says the elevator pitch is an essential component of every start-up, so the competition is designed to give student start-ups an opportunity to practice.

 

“[The participants must present] their vision in under 60 seconds. It’s called an elevator pitch as 60 seconds is roughly the time it takes for an elevator to drop from bottom to top,” Yau says.

 

“After a grueling and competitive interview process, 20 finalists were chosen from over 85 applications… These pitches were filmed in an actual elevator – moving and all – and, come finals, were played for all the world to see.”

 

“With investors, CEOs, project managers and fellow founders in attendance, the finals… attracted an audience of over 150.”

 

There were two categories for participants to compete in: the idea category and the start-up category.

 

The idea category was won by Greensheds, which is seeking to improve working conditions on construction sites, while Sonit – a computer learning service for mums – was named runner-up.

 

The start-up category was taken out by eSports league SEAL, while work health and wellbeing program Primo was runner-up.

 

Greensheds described Idea Pitch as a “competitive opportunity for personal enrichment of skill and personal development”.

 

SEAL, meanwhile, says it is a great opportunity to build networks “and surround oneself with like-minded and ambitious people”.

 

Idea Pitch isn’t the only event held by Student Entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, it hosted a 48-hour student hackathon, whereby university students launch a start-up over a single weekend.

 

Amir Nissen, founder and manager of Student Entrepreneurs, says the event is held over 48 hours to highlight how easy it is to start a business.

 

“Once you’ve done a hackathon, you realise how much you can get done in a short space of time,” Nissen told StartupSmart.

 

“The students realise the key is to build something and see if it flies, which is a better way of doing a tech start-up these days.”