Sunday 23 January 2011

The John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge – A launch pad for water treatment technology


The John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge – A launch pad for water treatment technology

This year’s John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge winner, Relivit, is in the process of commercialising a new industrial treatment technology to process niche waste streams. The challenge, hosted by the University of Adelaide and organised by Queensland University of Technology, was proudly supported by the AIC.

The challenge is a new venture competition for tertiary students, designed to enhance the quality of entrepreneurship education, to increase the rate of success for new ventures and to extend national and international networks for young entrepreneurs and educators.

The AIC, as a supporter of the initiative, has provided the winner and first runner up with access to Gateway Enterprise - an online resource of integrated business tools for individuals, innovators and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) looking to take an idea or product to market, while the AIC’s South Australian State Manager, Simon Williams, was one of the judges in the competition heats.

Simon, along with other members of the competition heats judging panel, reviewed a wide range of products from students across Australia including a green technology company focused on the collection of atmospheric moisture, a dedicated children's transportation service and a science experiential education program. “We’re delighted to support the John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge and the initiatives presented were truly innovative and extremely diverse. It was a pleasure to be part of the judging panel involved in assessing such high calibre products and ideas.”

This year’s winner, Relivit, intends to build a number of facilities to process certain niche waste streams which are currently difficult to process viably at a small scale. These facilities will source waste under contract and use a new industrial treatment process to recover valuable resources, thereby meeting environmental and commercial needs to divert waste from landfill. The Relivit team members from Swinburne University of Technology were Gareth Williamson and Mark Dunn and academic advisor to the team was Dr Seth Jones.

The winners will receive $10,000 in cash start-up funds as well as the right to represent Australia in the Venture Labs Investment Competition with up to $15,000 in airfares and accommodation to attend the Texas finals. $3,000 worth of legal services from McCullough Robertson Lawyers and a full service listing on the Business Angels database valued at over $1,000 will also be received by the winning team.

The first runner-up was Taxi Apps which is a mobile phone based taxi booking and fare payment platform. One of the application's main features is to connect passengers and taxi drivers directly by broadcasting their location using mobile phone technology. Team Members, from the University of New South Wales included Andrew Campbell, Ned Moorfield, Larissa Tichon, Trung Nghi Tiet and Will Tan Zhi Yi. The team’s academic advisor was Dr Martin Bliemel.

Easelock, the second runner-up, is a web-enabled check-in software suite for accommodation providers which generates unique time-sensitive PIN numbers enabling accommodation providers to offer a 24 hour check-in process, negating the need to staff a front desk. The team members from the University of Adelaide included Richard Busulwa, Steve Dunn and Ben Luks. The team’s academic advisor was Gary Hancock.

For further information about the John Heine Entrepreneurial Challenge, please visit the website.

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