Better together concept inspires winning business ideas

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A solution to the issues New Zealand dairy owners are facing took out the Most Viable Business Award at the Soda Inc. Innes48 Start-up Competition at Wintec in March.

The winning team, Creative Dragons travelled from China to compete in the 48-hour business start-up competition. They wasted no time in identifying and responding to the major issues facing local convenience stores – being robbed, low margins and long hours. Their solution, C&D Box, a cooperative concept, responded to the theme of the weekend ‘better together’ by putting store owners together to benefit from better security through technology, group buying and support.

Creative Dragons received $10,000 from platinum sponsor Wintec. The team included students and graduates from Wintec and the University of Waikato, graduates from Wintec’s tertiary partners in China and academics from Chengdu University of Information Technology.

However, it was a local team, Brown & Down Boys, that stole the show. This family team consisted of father and son, Ted Pogai, and son Christian-Lee Pogai (12 years old) and their family friends Livi Hirawani (15 years old), Adam Williams, Porourangi Gudgeon and Maari Renee Moke.

Brown & Down Boys took out the Peoples’ Choice and the Best Pitch awards with an Airbnb style concept to respond to the issues New Zealand marae are facing to maintain their facilities. Their concept, an authentic tourism experience for participating marae won the hearts of the audience and judges alike through its sharp and at times, witty delivery, combined with a great idea designed to create “win-win” partnerships.

Winners of the Most Innovative Idea, team Casually Yes, developed Hook Me Up. This business idea aims to bring the fishing community together through a web-based programme to hook anglers up with boat owners and create a more valuable fishing experience.

Soda Inc. chief executive Erin Wansbrough said the weekend had been a gripping journey for the fifteen teams and everyone involved was ‘better together’ for it.

The Soda Inc. Innes 48 Start-up Competition was made possible with the support of: Wintec, Gallagher, ASB Bank, Waikato-Tainui, LearningWorks, University of Waikato, Callaghan Innovation, Deloitte New Zealand, Fieldays, Norris Ward McKinnon, NetValue, Hamilton City Council, Chow:Hill, Good George Brewing and Loveblock Wines.

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