UABS Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Finalists Named for 2011
Six promising entrepreneurial New Zealand companies have made the shortlist for a potential share of $1 million in seed funding to go global and take on the world Kiwi-style… thanks to The University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge.
The finalists – ViFX Limited Partnership, K9 Natural Food, enlight photo, KlickEx, JUCY Group and Nexus6 – have made the final list in the closely fought competition which is into its third year and offers $1m in funding from an initial $3m donation by ex-pat international financier New Zealander Charles Bidwill.
The six companies will undergo further scrutiny in the next month, before the winners are announced on October 26 at a Business School celebration. Past winners are Piako Gourmet Yoghurt, Allpress coffee, Outpost Central, Biotelliga, Biomatters and Senztek.
Selection committee chairman Brian Hannan says the quality of qualifiers this year has meant a difficult decision, and the six are of the calibre and potential that Mr Bidwill envisaged when he offered the seed funding four years ago.“We appreciate the effort that businesses are putting into their entries into the Challenge,” Mr Hannan says. “That outstanding effort is proving very difficult for those of us who have to make decisions on who goes through.
“However, the six chosen have huge potential to succeed in international markets, and we hope they can demonstrate in the future what New Zealand companies can achieve.
“We are especially pleased to have a Christchurch-based company in our group of finalists for the first time since the Challenge started in 2009.”
The finalists are:
ViFX Limited Partnership, a leading Auckland-based IT consultancy specialising in innovative advanced virtualisation and storage solutions and Cloud Computing strategy, operates throughout Australasia within the enterprise, government and tertiary education fields.
Nexus6 is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices for monitoring healthcare assets, and is planning to establish itself in North America. The Auckland-based company also hopes to expand its overseas distribution network.
K9 Natural Food, a Christchurch-based producer and marketer of raw natural dog and cat food, was developed from the founder’s observations of grey wolves in Alaska. Purely replicating nature, K9 products offer a significant increase in health and performance of pets.
enlight photo is an award-winning design company based in Auckland and dedicated to the creation of practical inventive products for photographers. The company is about to launch products for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad that will offer never-before-available functionality from affordable shutter release cables.
KlickEx Corporation (Auckland) brings banking systems in different countries together, providing cheap, real-time domestic and sophisticated cross-border remittances networks between banks, customers, small businesses and out to mobile phones across the South Pacific and around the world.
JUCY Group is one of Australasia’s leading and fastest growing independent tourism brands, and plans to become an international success by offering consumers the opportunity to experience JUCY throughout their travel experiences in the United States and Europe. That could also include hotel developments in Australasia and even air transportation, the Auckland-based company says.