Velocity $100k Challenge winners revealed

20 October 2017
Suture Future win $25,000 at Velocity's $100k challenge

A new surgical stitching device is being developed in New Zealand that could save complications and even lives by saving time.

The team behind Suture Future, which includes medical students Joevy Lim and Adrian Ng, commerce/arts student Rui Han Yeu and mechanical design engineer Ivan Sim, say by improving efficiency their device will directly translate to lower rates of complications and deaths from surgery.

This week, they won $25,000 in seed capital in the Velocity $100k Challenge, the University of Auckland’s Dragon’s Den-style competition for emerging entrepreneurs. Their first prize also gives them access to the Potential Programme, which includes incubation time at The Icehouse.

They aim to launch their first product by early 2019.

Past prize-winners have successfully developed their ventures, including last year’s runner-up, CAT-TRAX. CAT-TRAX uses cloud computing to replace the current paper-heavy system used to refer and manage cataract patients. It has been rolled out in the Waikato area, with the aim of dramatically enhancing the provision, delivery and quality of cataract surgery throughout New Zealand.

This year’s runner-up was MicroVision, an accurate computer vision technology that allows measurements of deformations never before possible. It can monitor, analyse, and predict the mechanical behaviour and performance of large structures such as cranes and wind turbines as they operate in-field. “This will provide valuable insights into design, performance, maintenance and safety,” says team member Craig Squire.

Kara Education, an online educational platform that aims to deliver education material to Deaf children using sign language, won the Social category. “We plan to work with educational institutions and online material providers to become the Coursera for the hearing impaired,” says team member Arash Tayebi.

STOP Smart Sewer System, which offers data collection and/or round the clock monitoring for wastewater networks, won the University Research category. “Currently, wastewater authorities around the world struggle with monitoring sewer function and struggle with subsequent overflows and other network failings,” says team member Wei-Qin Zhuang. “STOP will offer a simple, cost effective, yet highly effective solution to provide insight into these complex and expansive networks.”

Augmented Reality (AR) tool Invoke, which summons real-world objects into your augmented experience, took out the New Ventures award. “AR is a rapidly growing industry that will completely change the way you consume and interact with media in the future. We’re working with a host of AR developers to showcase this tech soon,” says team member Geoff Zink.

Velocity is a student-led entrepreneurship programme delivered in partnership with the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, based at the University of Auckland Business School.

Velocity CEO Matt Bastion says: "We are incredibly proud of our 2017 $100k Challenge finalists. They are some of the University of Auckland's most exciting ventures and feature many of our most promising innovators. We will follow them keenly.

“The 100k Challenge is also a chance to celebrate the thousands of students and staff we have inspired, educated and supported throughout our programme in 2017. After 14 years, we know that many of the people we engage each year go own to achieve amazing things all around the world, so we wish the best of luck to our class of 2017." 


Nicola Shepheard
Tel: 09 923 1515 
Mobile: 027 537 1319