An Adelaide based engineering start-up that uses drones to sample water quality and a 3D online market place that links 3D designers directly with customers have taken the top awards at Flinders University’s New Venture Institute eNVIes awards.
Drones Over Water founder, designer and pilot Dan Squire took the gold eNVIe, along with an accompanying prize pack worth more than $25,000 after inspiring the eNVIes judges with a live pitch about his business on the night.
As part of that pack, he will receive a $5,000 travel scholarship to Austin, Texas, $10,000 in-kind services from eNVIes sponsor News Corp, $1,500 cash from Adelaide City Council and a range of other goodies from event partners including Algo Mas, Cowell Clarke Commercial Lawyers, Newsmaker, BDO, Leunig Advisory Pty, Monkey Do Studio and Majoran.
3D marketing company Trinpy, which took the silver eNVIe award thanks to a standout performance by founder Andrew Karas, will also get to travel to Austin, one of the global start-up hotspots, as part of a prize pack worth more than $10,000.
Other prize winners on the night were Blogstock, which won the People’s Choice award, and previous eNVIes winner Finch Composites, which won the inaugural Disruptive Innovator Award named in honour of the immediate previous Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Emeritus Professor Michael Barber.
The live pitch format put six of the top entrepreneurs from the current crop of VentureDorm powered by Megagraduates head to head in front of VIPs including some of Adelaide’s top business figures.
Over 250 people attended the gala night at Published Arthouse in Adelaide’s CBD, including SA Government Minister Zoe Bettison and Deputy Lord Mayor Houssam Abiad, himself a serial entrepreneur, who MC’d for the fourth year running.
Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling welcomed guests including the judging panel of NVI Director Matt Salier, Cowell Clarke Commercial Lawyers Partner Megan Jongebloed, Office of Science, Technology and Research (OSTAR) Director Andrew Dunbar, Follow[the]Seed and SYD Ventures Founding Partner Andrey Sherben and State Director, Microsoft – South Australia Eva Balan-Vnuk; plus MPs Katrine Hildyard, Chris Picton and Vincent Tarsia
The event was the first awards in partnership with Majoran, following the merging of the NVI’s Venture Dorm program with Majoran’s Mega program earlier this year.
NVI Director Matt Salier said it was an amazing opportunity for students and innovators from the broader community to come together and create the new technology and service based businesses of tomorrow.
“We love to see the passion and enthusiasm from the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs,” says Mr Salier. “Through NVI, Flinders is at the forefront of entrepreneurial education, these start-ups have all formed through learning by doing, and it is the result of this on display tonight.
“Our programs create the key personal enterprise skills the entrepreneurs of tomorrow need, it is these personal enterprise skills you’ll see in all of the graduates tonight and which are crucial to driving the economies of tomorrow.
“Venture Dorm was originally spun out of MEGA and adapted its approach to be practically applied entrepreneurial education.
“This collaboration between Majoran and the New Venture Institute (NVI) was another step toward boosting the signal of the amazing work happening in the start-up scene in Adelaide to a national and global audience.
“We want to give these passionate emerging founders the best chance at creating a start-up or business model of value, so all of our activities are focused around this.
“A program like this brings together the very best students, researchers and entrepreneurs in a collaborative environment. At NVI we can build links, and foster knowledge-exchange, in ways that build businesses and enhance impact that is hard to replicate elsewhere.”