Entrepreneurs' Challenge qualifiers announced

12 August 2010

The top qualifiers for the 2010 Entrepreneurs' Challenge have been announced and 26 promising companies have been selected to persuade the judges and stake their claim to a portion of the $1 million available for funding.

"It is inspiring to see that the calibre of entrants has reached such a high level, in just our second year of competition. These qualifiers all have the spirit that entrepreneurs need to succeed on a global scale and be strong ambassadors for NZ," says Brian Hannan, Challenge Committee Chair.

  • The qualifiers will each submit a more detailed application and finalists will be announced in mid-September.
  • The finalists will compete for access to funding of up to $1 million dollars, for up to three years, for the purposes of further growth and development.
  • The winners will also be able to capitalise on expertise and networks on offer through The University of Auckland Business School.
  • The winners of The 2010 Entrepreneurs' Challenge will be announced in November.

The 26 companies are:

2Touch Technologies Mesynthes Ltd Spider Tracks Ltd
3i Innovation MiniMonos Symansis (NZ) Limited
AWT New Zealand Ltd Nakedbus NZ Limited Teknatool International
Biomatters Limited Optima Corporation TicketDirect International
Coastline Markers Ltd Outsmart 2005 Limited Tomizone Ltd
eBUS Limited Piako Gourmet Yoghurt TracMap NZ Ltd
Fresh Export Ltd Podscape Holdings Unimarket Holding Ltd
Greentide Ltd Powershield Limited Vernerdi Ltd
Huffer Direct Limited SIMTICS Ltd  

2Touch Technologies
2Touch Technologies Ltd develops and supplies specialised software and interactive surface solutions, primarily for the education and training sectors. Their solutions emphasise ease of access, maximum flexibility, and inter-operability.

Since launching in Australia in 2008, 2Touch has enjoyed strong growth in both Australia and NZ and is now targeting further export markets for its successful business model.

3i Innovation
3i Innovation Limited has sold more than 500 traffic applications in 16 countries and is regarded as one of the world’s leading suppliers of on-road lighting solutions, to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety while utilising energy-efficient LED technology.

3i’s traffic applications are used in some of the most influential and important traffic infrastructure in the world including the Golden Gate Bridge, I-110 (Los Angeles’ oldest and busiest freeway) and the iconic Elbtunnel in Hamburg.

AWT New Zealand Ltd
Established in 1998, AWT enjoys a fast-growing reputation for being a leading water consultancy in New Zealand, providing specialist water technology services.

The company immerses itself in the science and engineering of water and the environment and its practical application. This strategy has seen a number of successful project outcomes.

Biomatters Limited
Biomatters combines expertise across science, software development and business to focus on genetics and bioinformatics software development, experiencing success with its flagship software product, Geneious.

Biomatters now plans to launch an enterprise version of Geneious in the second part of 2010 to extend its business reach into the pharmaceutical and biotech markets

Coastline Markers Ltd
Coastline Markers is a leading supplier of Linemarking and associated products throughout the North Island and provides specialist services to the South Island.

Coastline is involved in road marking in the North Island, and has branches in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington.

eBUS Limited
eBUS was formed to connect production, post-production, advertisers, media agencies and broadcasters, in an emerging Asian market and now have offices in Singapore and Mumbai.

Their aim is to connect India and the Asia Pacific region.

Fresh Export Ltd
Fresh Export Ltd experienced a phenomenal 2009 trade year in the Pacific Region. They operate under Carina Brands.

Their objective is to establish a number of divisions from which branded products and added value products will be marketed globally. The initial division will be a Dairy Division with the second division being a division based on Manuka Honey.

Greentide Ltd
Greentide Ltd is a bioagritech company researching and manufacturing biological-based pesticides striving for environmental responsibility and food safety based in Pukekohe. Greentide Ltd is concentrating on the global development of Bio Control solutions.

Greentide is in the process of building the largest commercial production centre for fungal-based entomopathogens and natural metabolites in the Southern Hemisphere.

Huffer Direct Limited
Huffer clothing was formed in New Zealand in 1997 with Steve Dunstan and Dan Buckley coming together to build a brand that today has a depth of three ranges, which is distributed in the United States, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

Huffer pride themselves on being known as “board sports inspired fashion” and on having a design style that is created with functionality in mind. Huffer’s values, passion and commitment are based on the development, sustainability and success of their brands.

Mesynthes Ltd
Mesynthes is aiming to become the leading global supplier of regenerative tissue substitutes for reconstructive plastic surgery and targeting worldwide markets which exceed US$1 billion in annual sales.

Part of the company's focus is on establishing Endoform™ as a leading tissue substitute for use in reconstrucutive surgery. As a platform technology Endoform™ could be applied in other areas, which could present further opportunities for licensing and co-development.

MiniMonos.com is a virtual world for kids, focused on sustainability, generosity, community and fun.

And its target market is enjoying the experience - they have made more than 26 fan blogs, produced art, created videos, written poems, and run competitions with their own pocket money challenging each other to care for the environment.

Nakedbus NZ Limited
Nakedbus.com operates a low cost, city to city bus network in New Zealand. From four routes in September 2006, the business has grown into a nationwide network of 30 vehicles (and growing) with bargain prices on every service. nakedbus.com is renowned for being the first to offer $1 fares.

Building on the success of nakedbus.com, and its innovative business model, the company is looking forward to continued growth in New Zealand, with the addition of new routes and release of complimentary travel products. nakedbus.com also has plans underway for the launch into its first export market early in 2011.

Optima Corporation
Optima is a world leading operations research company that delivers best in class optimisation and simulation software solutions for select global markets. It is globally recognized for its industry expertise and ability to provide leading edge and innovative solutions.

Optima's solutions have quickly forged an international reputation as market leaders with a rapidly growing customer base in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The company’s focus is to invest in a sales distribution model to support its aggressive revenue growth targets. Its future focus will remain on the EMS industry and its goal is to secure our position as the global market leader.

Outsmart 2005 Limited
SmallWorlds is an online game that spans the markets of social games, virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games bringing together the best aspects of digital media, casual games, instant messaging and social networks.

Outsmart, the developers of SmallWorlds, plans to capitalise on its success by launching into four new foreign language markets, as well as developing new virtual worlds and social games over the next 2-3 years.

Piako Gourmet Yoghurt
Piako Gourmet Yoghurt, very simply, wants to take what they believe is the very best gourmet yoghurt in the world to New Zealand and then the world.

Over the past two years the product has proved a phenomenon in New Zealand, redefining the category within the domestic market. With this in mind they have put in place research and contacts that should allow them to be producing overseas by the end of 2010.

Podscape Holdings
BigLittleBang enables children to form collaborative relationships online, whether it be making music together or attending a concert - all within a safe, monitored environment.

Powershield Limited
Powershield Ltd has developed battery monitoring systems for stand-by battery applications. These are used in data centres where continuous power is critical to the operation of services.

In the last two years the company has grown as data centres have increased and expanded in size. The aim of the company is to provide a managed service via the internet to monitor, analyse and report on the condition of batteries.

Using a standard PC, SIMTICS Healthcare delivers expert web-based training to medical students. Combining four different learning media – rich text, 3D anatomy, video and a unique Integrated Cognitive Simulator™ – complex clinical procedures are brought to life in an interactive three-dimensional environment.

Its target by FY14 is around NZ$50 million annual revenue. This will involve securing a mix of sales including 8-12 training establishments, one or two commercial projects, and around 10,000 individual procedures sold via its webshop.

Spider Tracks Ltd
Spidertracks is a crash-proof aircraft location technology that helps find people fast. The system actively watches over every flight, 24/7. The “spider” tracking device in the aircraft sends position information via a satellite network continuously from take-off to landing, which is laid down as a track over topographical maps and accessed online. If the spider stops transmitting, the system immediately sends text and email SOS messages to the pilot’s nominated contacts so rescue services can locate the aircraft quickly based on its last reported position.

A new offering, purpose designed for the general aviation market and light aircraft has just been launched in the United States.

Symansis (NZ) Limited
Symansis aspires to be a significant player in the field of supplying biochemical research tools to cell biology researchers worldwide, particularly in the areas of drug discovery and stem cell research, both very significant markets.

Symansis is looking to accelerate the expansion of its product menu and invest in the development of its worldwide sales infrastructure and capability.

Teknatool International
Teknatool International is a global manufacturing exporter, with facilities in China and the USA. Teknatool International was the recent winner of the NZ China Trade Assocations Investor Award and the coveted Supreme Award for best NZ business in China.

Teknatool International is expanding its operations and opportunities, further developing and commercialising its proprietary intelligent drive technology, the DVR motor. The first DVR OEM project hits Lowes stores in the USA in November.

TicketDirect International
Dunedin-based TicketDirect is expanding its international ticketing business, targeting event venues in Canada, Britain and the USA based on “cloud computing”. Cloud computing is a technology model where services are hosted on, and can be accessed through, the internet.

TicketDirect hopes to build on its decade of successes in New Zealand and Australia where it now represents 11 of 14 ITM Cup provincial rugby unions, the Crusaders and Highlanders, 5 ANZ Championship Netball Team, the Sydney Cricket Ground and other large outdoor events.

Tomizone Ltd
Tomizone is the largest provider of wi-fi hotspot services in Australasia and the Pacific with around 20,000 Hotspots. For over four years, Tomizone has provided sponsored and revenue share fee-based access to Wi-Fi.

Tomizone will continue to conclude smart deals for the benefit of its customers and partners and look forward to its continued position as a trusted brand with a strong network and a great service.

TracMap NZ Ltd
TracMap is New Zealand’s leading agricultural GPS business. In 2010 it was NZ's 8th fastest growing company in the Deloittes Fast50, and in addition was named Emerging Company of the Year in the NZ Hi-Tech awards.

After 3 years development, the company has produced a simple to use job tasking and mapping system which provides significant productivity gains for tasks such as roadside spraying, mowing parks and reserves, and street sweeping. The company's initial focus is in NZ, and the States of NSW and Victoria in Australia.

Unimarket Holding Ltd
Unimarket is the global leader of SaaS Collaborative eProcurement networking, providing software on demand to streamline procure-to-pay operations and achieve cost savings within and across organisations.

Initially started in New Zealand and now also in the United States, Unimarket is experiencing rapid growth from a focus in the higher education sector. With its recent entry into local government and healthcare it looks forward to continuing rapid growth.

Vernerdi Ltd
Venerdi is a NZ-based family business with a strong presence in the gluten-free baked products market. Its passion is to create healthy products for the mainstream consumers, which is why its organic, gluten-free bread can be found at the local supermarket and a gluten-free pizza or burger at local fast food outlets.

The company philosophy is now to take what it has learned in New Zealand and help consumers worldwide, while adding to the diverse range of value added products and ideas being exported from New Zealand.