DoseDirect, a prescription pickup and delivery service that delivers repeat prescriptions from the pharmacy to a customer’s door, has taken out top prize in the Innes48 Business Startup Competition held in Hamilton, New Zealand over the weekend.
Created by team ‘Get Some’, the idea won the Wintec Most Viable Business Award, receiving NZ$10,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. Winner of the Gallagher Craziest idea that might just work Award was New Air by Team ‘Stratcom’, a portable breathing apparatus for people in smog-filled cities. The canisters contains 150 breaths of fresh New Zealand air.
Meanwhile, the Best Pitch Award was taken out by team ‘Girl’s Power’ for Step by Step, a wedding planning service that aims to cater to Chinese couples having destination weddings in New Zealand.
Now in its fourth year, the Innes48 competition saw 80 participants compete across 15 teams, with cofounder Rachel Adams, also head of operations at ‘destination incubator’ SODA Inc, saying this was the most diverse group of participants yet: the youngest participant was 19 years old and the oldest 60.
Originally launched as a way to get Hamilton’s startup community engaged and inspired, Adams said Innes48 has grown bigger every year. Participants can enter as individuals or as teams, and come with pre-formed ideas or with a blank slate to see what happens over the weekend.
“It’s a platform that lends itself to people meeting other like-minded individuals, or entering as a team and really learning from the mentors. They also learn through quick-fire workshops we do over the weekend, just to give them those simple concepts and tools they can take away, like validation and problem solving, and business modelling workshops,” Adams said.
Mentors in this year’s competition included Alastair Grigg, head of platform ventures at Xero, cofounders of Soldiers Rd Portraits Vienna Nordstrom and Taaniko Nordstrom, Will Mahon-Heap, cofounder of Equitise, and Dr James Hutchinson, ommercialisation manager at KiwiNet.
The pitches were judged by Melissa Clark-Reynolds, director of ACCURO, Radio NZ, and Software Education, Robett Hollis, founder of Aranui Ventures, Graham Gaylard, chair of SODA Inc and founder of bioinformatics company Real Time Genomics, and Chip Dawson, who among several other things is Global Executive Director for Forecase 5 andManaging Director for International Business Management Limited.
Prizes aside, Adams said the connections made over the weekend are the most important part of the competition, with participants meeting at the event over the years going on to found successful companies.
The growth of the competition reflects the growth of Hamilton’s startup scene itself.
“It’s definitely matured. There’s always been a lot happening in Hamilton, but it’s been kept under the radar for many years. I think an event like this just brings those sort of people together and that kind of energy to the surface,” Adams said.
“It’s becoming more apparent and people are more aware of it, which is the point of [the competition] as well. We want people to be better at telling their stories and helping each other out.”
Image: Team Get Some. Source: Supplied.