Bootcamp kicks off

Published Dec 18, 2017

The seventh annual Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp got off to a great start on 20 November, with 10 teams turning up to begin their entrepreneurial journey. 

“The quality of this year’s teams and their ‘big ideas’ made it too difficult to leave anyone out so we created an extra space so that we didn’t have to!” says Programme Manager and Viclink’s Student Entrepreneurship Manager, Emily Sullivan. 

Emily says that looking through the applications, she was delighted to see that teams weren’t solely focused on creating start-ups, but wanting to cultivate an entrepreneurial mind-set and business skills for their future careers, whatever they may be. “We want them to take the skills they learn, and the connections they make, and use those to create their own careers— whether it’s working for themselves, or for someone else.”


Meet the teams: 

Reckons:  Recognising that there is a disconnect between youth and civic organisations, Team Reckons is aiming to build a platform to help young people engage with, and give their opinions to, civic organisations such as councils and local government. 

HandsOn:  Museums typically refresh their permanent exhibitions only once every 10 years—at great expense—and are struggling with making exhibitions accessible. The HandsOn team wants to use interactive digital technology to help museums solve these problems.

Creative Subscriptions: With children spending more time than ever on screens and digital devices, and many parents working full time, it’s harder for parents and children to connect deeply. The team has come up with an idea for a social enterprise business that sends customers a monthly box of supplies and instructions for activities that parents and children can do together. 

ISO Platform: International students can be left waiting for three to six months to find out if they have been accepted into a New Zealand university. The team wants to create a platform for them to use during this time, to help them prepare for study in New Zealand.  The team is currently working with international students to investigate what they need the most assistance with and are building the platform around that. 

Mind Me: It can be painful for small to medium business owners playing email tag with their customers, with a constant back and forth to get the information needed to generate quotes and qualify leads. Team Mind Me has created Mindy with Smart Processes, an artificial intelligence-based integration tool thatlives natively or can be integrated into accounting software, to help ease that pain, and help business owners save time and money.

Pihinga: While others debate what can be done to lessen child poverty, Pihinga just want to get started with an initiative of their own. Their aim is to network with businesses that can outsource work with flexible hours to parents at home, and provide a meaningful source of income—as well as valuable skills and work experience—to  empower parents to provide for their whanau. If you want to know more or to help them out contact Eleanor, but if you're looking to hire over the next few months, contact Jarrod.  Pihanga are also asking parents who want to join their community to go to their Facebook page  

Ratahi Brothers:  High school and university students around the world are currently forced to buy expensive scientific and graphic calculators—despite most of them owning personal devices such as smartphones that should make calculators obsolete—simply because these devices are unable to be taken into formal examinations. The team’s idea is to develop an app that meets exam security requirements by blocking mobile functions that could be used for cheating, such as WiFi, and are currently exploring the concept in a university context. 

StudyTrack: Currently there is no easy way to try a university course without enrolling and attending a substantial part of that course. The StudyTrack team wants to change that by creating a web platform for universities to offer ‘try-before-you-buy’ crash courses so students can be inspired, gain relevant skills in that area, and then choose from a range of institutions offering that course of study. 

Jody and Gemma: There is a large gap in the market for teenage girls’ clothing in New Zealand, with a survey indicating that 60 percent of girls feel frustrated with the current options on the market.  Team Jody and Gemma want to create local opportunities for teenage girls to shop for desirable, affordable clothing online within their own country—meaning local shipping fees, fast shipping and no currency conversion fees. 

Parallel: Trying to find a car park can be an uncertain and therefore stressful experience. Team Parallel is focused on finding underutilised car parks in Wellington and then connecting them with motorists seeking car parks. The team has even sold their first car park within the second week of Bootcamp—a  Bootcamp record! The ultimate goal is to provide access to convenient short- and long-term car parking that can be booked in advance. Check out their website.