Australian eChallenge 2020 Winners
Meet the winning teams bringing their ideas to life as part of this year’s Australian eChallenge.
The Australian eChallenge is the country’s longest running entrepreneurship pre-accelerator program, offering future entrepreneurs a springboard for their ideas. Combining both coursework and a competition, the Australian eChallenge provides young innovators with the opportunity to develop their business ideas, access expert mentoring and discover how to commercialise their product. The winners were announced on Tuesday December 1st, at a ceremony hosted at the National Wine Centre.
Taking out the first prize was team HoneySense. Creating a buzz in the Australian honey industry, Adrian Johnston and Tanya Jayne of HoneySense combined their biology expertise with artificial intelligence to accelerate the process of pollen counting and quality assurance. This innovation will be instrumental in improving the purity and quality of Australian honey, leading to an increase in value in the export market. The team at HoneySense will take home the first prize of $10,000, as well as $2000 worth of consultancy services from Madders Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys and a one year residency in the University of Adelaide’s start-up incubator, ThincLab.
In second place was Mandy Mercorella and Brendan Dobson from EcoSystem Farms, who have created a prototype aquaponics farm in the Fleurieu Peninsula producing high quality trout as an alternative to primary industry. Their mission is to revolutionise existing agricultural practices and provide a sustainable platform for use by small scales farmers to commercial growers. The team at EcoSystem Farm have won $5000 in cash, $5000 worth of space and services from Thinclab and $1000 in consultancy services from Madders Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys.
Our third prize winners, Pest Defender, used machine learning to develop a new non-lethal approach to pest control, assisting farmers in defending their livestock from pest damages and loss. Team mates Tylah Kendall and Artem Ambrose will be taking home $2000 prize money, $5000 worth of space and services from Thinclab and $500 worth of consultancy services from Madders Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys.
This year’s eChallenge Encouragement Award was awarded to the bright young team from Wirreanda Secondary School, TAan.Co. The team won a recent Shark Tank eSchool competition, giving them a chance to enter into the Australian eChallenge and present their innovations to a national panel. Team member’s Avalon Choat, Nate Wallace and Tyler Morgan designed a waste reducing, re-usable coffee cup lid that can fit to any paper cup. The team have won $500 in cash for their efforts.
Winning the Bold Sponsor prize, was the team at eMotion. After being introduced to a teen with a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy who relied on his caretakers for all daily activities, including sleep, they were inspired to create a solution. This led to the creation of a mechanical “SMArt” bed, using sine-wave based motion to allow the user to freely change positions in the bed without the need of a caretaker. The team, consisting of Alecia Gee, Annie Simpson, Tarin Ritchie and Urwah Nawaz will take home $10,000 worth of branding and website packaging from local company Bold Web Design and $5,000 worth of space and incubation at ThincLab.
Our final award, the Enabled Sponsor prize was awarded to Reuben Bishop, Harry Robinson, Daniel Colwill and Charlie Hoad from Acture. Acture provides clients with an online based environment to test and simulate digital campaigns, providing feedback on impact and performance. The team will take home $10,000 worth of digital solutions from Enabled and $5,000 worth of space and services at ThincLab.
With 49 teams in the competition, representing 180 participants across 2 challenge categories, it was a tight competition with many creative innovations put forward. Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to all of the teams who participated in this year’s Australian eChallenge!