One for the students… Griffith Innovation Challenge

I received some info this morning about Griffith University’s Innovation Challenge. It’s another great initiative by a university to encourage innovation and give quality start-ups a boost. Some of the workshops in the program are also open to the public, so keep an eye out for those.

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Griffith University’s annual venture planning competition encourages students with innovative product or service ideas to develop a business plan and pitch ideas to potential investors.  With over $60,000 in cash and prizes to be won, the Griffith Innovation Challenge (GIC) provides an opportunity for students to unleash their inner entrepreneur, and take ideas to the next level.

Former competitors BCLV are preparing to launch their innovative “functional jewellery” product later this year – following an impressive win in the 2009 Griffith Innovation Challenge. In addition to winning the overall cash prize (which was then $10,000), the team also scored an extra $4,000 for winning the Business Group prize category – along with membership to the Australian Organisation for Quality – Queensland Inc (AOQ).

“Being in the competition has been good for us because it’s encompassed many of the skills we’ve been learning such as HR (and) financials, and has let us integrate all of those skills,” team leader Leonie Chesterton said.

“We’re excited to be at the stage where we’ve now got a prototype of our product, and will soon be commercialising our idea,” Leonie said.

Throughout July and August, GIC competitors attend a series of free workshops (which are also open to the public) to learn about business planning and development. During this time, competitors also work with experienced business planning ‘coaches’ (industry mentors) – through the GIC’s free coaching program.

In September, students submit business plans for assessment. From these submissions, up to seven teams are selected to continue through the final stages of the Challenge.

Once selected, finalists are required to give a formal presentation and elevator pitch to the judging panel, before winners are announced at the Final Awards Evening in October.

The winning team stands to receive $15,000 cash plus a DELL laptop for each team member, along with access to business incubator space and expertise for up to six months. Meanwhile, five additional prizes of $4,000 cash are offered for runners-up.

The GIC is proudly sponsored by DELL Australia, Logan City Council, Gold Coast Innovation Centre, Griffith Enterprise, Australian Organisation for Quality – Queensland Inc, Co-op Bookshop, Cullens Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, G’s Gold Coast, Gold Coast Campus Bookshop, MAC1, and STA Travel.

More info / Register now

To register in the 2011 Griffith Innovation Challenge, visit www.griffith.edu.au/innovation-challenge. Registrations close Friday 29 July.

To sign up for GIC email updates, send an email with the word ‘SUBSCRIBE’ in the subject to griffithinnovation@griffith.edu.au.

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