Smart parking wins Business Plan Competition

Rachael Bowring (left) and Kate Klavins of Digital Parking Solutions, winning team in the Flinders Business Plan Competition

A scheme for managing parking that would lower costs for both carpark owners and drivers – as well as reducing parking fines – won first prize in the Flinders University Business Plan Competition for 2013.

Digital Parking Solutions is the name of the fictitious company devised by Rachael Bowring, Kate Klavins, Sui Mao and D’Arcy Morris.

Their winning entry was devised and developed as part of the Business Planning for New Ventures topic with lecturer Kevin Kirchner in the Flinders Business School. As part of their prize, the winners have received a scholarship from the New Venture Institute at Flinders that will allow them to attend Venture Dorm, a series of commercialisation and enterprise workshops.

Competing against thee other teams of finalists, the winners pitched the benefits of digital monitoring system that would see car park users pay electronically only for the time actually used.

Ms Bowling and Ms Klavins presented to a panel of three judges (Ms Cathie Brown from TAFESA, Mr Elena Krotinis from Deloitte Private and Dr Sinead O’Connell from Flinders Partners) and an enthusiastic audience.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parkin said all four teams had shown a thorough insight into the factors required to launch a new business venture.

“The topics at Flinders which generated these business plans give students the skills and knowledge needed to prepare for the realities of commerce, as the impressive quality of presentations in the competition clearly demonstrated, said Professor Parkin.”

Professor Parkin said that these topics represented one aspect of Flinders’ commitment to entrepreneurship and business innovation: through the New Venture Institute, the University also facilitates enterprise courses for new and existing businesses in the wider community.

Of the other three finalists, the winner of the People’s Choice Award was Paringa, a fictitious company envisaged as marketing a novel anti-cancer drug derived from sea sponges, comprising students enrolled in the BioBusiness topic supervised by Professor Chris Franco, while the team behind Easyfix, a smartphone application that provides advice on maintaining and modifying motor vehicles, was also enrolled in the  Business Planning for New Ventures topic.

The fourth fictitious company, Pickers and Choosers, was envisaged as operating an accommodation facility for seasonal grapepickers in McLaren Vale.  It was devised by students of the Tourism Business Planning topic co-ordinated by Professor Bill Spurr.

Digital Parking Solutions was presented with trophies and a $1000 prize, while the People’s Choice Award of $500 went to Paringa. The two prize-winning teams both received scholarships from the New Venture Institute that will allow them to attend Venture Dorm enterprise workshops. The other finalist teams each received prizes of $250.

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