Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's police reporter.

Student's idea wins $30,000 top prize

A business-savvy Hawke's Bay student has booked his share of $30,000 for his online appointment-making business idea.

Ex-Central Hawke's Bay College student Thomas Harding, 22, recently won the overall prize at the University of Canterbury Entre Business Challenge.

The engineering management student and his business partner James Moore developed the idea for AppointMe, an online appointment service aimed to make booking appointments simple and user-friendly for customers.

"The idea itself is really quite simple," Thomas said.

"It is online booking for health services so you can look up your doctor online and look at what sort of available appointment slots they have and which one suits you."

He said the competition was a six-month process that included submitting a video pitch and culminated in a Dragon's Den style pitch.

AppointMe also took out the Best Pitch category for the competition.

Their prizes included $20,000 cash, $3000 in financial consulting advice, $2000 in design, $5000 worth of flights and an iPad each.

Thomas said the pair were using the prizes to get AppointMe up and running, and had already begun planning the venture.

"We know it is feasible so are just looking at whether it is affordable to run as a business," he said.

Entre is a not-for-profit, student-run company at UC Canterbury and aims to encourage and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit among university students.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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