Congratulations to the 2009 winners of the Spark Entrepreneurial Challenge – a business planning competition run annually by the ICEHOUSE and the Auckland University Business School. The winners were announced at a ceremony at the Business School on Thursday, where the winning team – Green Loos – were awarded the $30,000 top prize.
Brad Lovett, Angus Blair and Lucy Luo developed a business plan and built a working prototype for their composting portable toilet that took out the top prize. Lovett said the prize money would be used to develop the moulds for their first mass-produced Green Loos, and to help protect their intellectual property.
The Green Loo works by composting the waste so it doesn’t smell. “We are not adding any harmful chemicals, so it’s a completely natural process that we are utilising in a very novel way that no one has done before,” said Brad Lovett.
The Spark Entrepreneurial Challenge chief judge Duncan Ledwith is reported in the NZ Herald as saying the Green Loos team has a winning combination – a great founder who just gets it, a smart, articulate sales guy – and a very switched on financial person as well. “That is a dream team, you just don’t often get that to be honest,” he said.
We’ll look forward to seeing the Green Loos team succeed!
The Spark Entrepreneurial Challenge is billed as New Zealand’s premier business creation competition.
The process of entering and competing in Spark is a worthwhile one – I was a member of the running up team in the 2008 Spark Challenge with the BrightMind LABS project. The process certainly helped to focus our team’s energies on planning properly for the development and roll out to market of our first product – MyFriendQuest – which has happened pretty much to plan over the past year.
Spark is unfortunately limited to teams which have among their number at least one member who is either a staff member or a student of the University of Auckland. A great initiative – and what a difference it would make for New Zealand if there were 20 incarnations of Spark operating around the country each year!
Entrepreneurs thrive from this sort of focussed business planning process – and the seed capital prize is also a great motivator.
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