Auckland's young budding entrepreneurs have shown they have business ideas impressive enough to rival successful companies as part of the 2016 IDEAStarter youth entrepreneurship contest.
Six winners were selected out of 137 entries and announced at an awards ceremony held at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) on Tuesday night during Techweek AKL 2016.
The winning ideas all centered around technology - including an app which helps young people share their feelings through colours, a water meter in your pocket and an idea to attract more girls at school into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).
In the 15-18 year category there were three winners: Isaac Mercer for SafeDriver, a mobile application that provides audio alerts to drivers about what they need to look out for while driving, Zach Preston for Sentinel, a self sustaining system that allows rainwater tank owners to view the water level of their tank from their smartphone, Alexia Hilbertidou, Kayla Turner and Sayurie Naicker with GirlBoss NZ - an organisation to inspire girls to develop science, technology, engineering and maths skills.
In the 19-24 years category there were also three winners: Vivek Kumar for Fulcrum an online platform aiming to solve the disconnect between textbooks, classroom learning, homework and tutorials, Caitlin Smart for GreenLightGo - an app that allows people to share their feelings with their support network and Mildred Wong and Sam Yoon for NoBS Ratings - an all-encompassing social and ethical impact system for businesses.
IDEAStarter is part of Youth Connections, supporting youth employment and enterprise in Auckland, which is primarily funded by the Tindall Foundation and Auckland Council.
The competition backs young entrepreneurs aged 15-24 years to turn their business ideas into action, whether they want to change the world or solve a problem in their own community.
IDEAStarter Judge Ken Brophy, Chief Enabler and Co-Founder of Joy Business Academy (JBA) describes the quality of thinking of young award winners as 'outstanding'.
"Some of the up-front strategic positioning work was very impressive and more robust that some actual businesses I have worked with during my consulting past," he says.
"The technology focused ideas presented could not only solve problems identified in New Zealand but also really pressing problems in countries globally, especially third world," Ken Brophy says.
IDEAStarter business mentors will work with award winners to help them develop their ideas further with a view to bringing them to market if feasible on further investigation.