Canterbury student creates virtual suggestion box

Canterbury student creates virtual suggestion box

University of Canterbury student Hannah Duder has dragged the old, wooden suggestion box into the digital age, with an app named just that - Suggestion Box.

The Facebook app is a free and anonymous way for customers to give feedback to businesses, Duder says.

"Most people do not like confrontation or do not have the confidence to tell a business the ideas they have. The physical suggestion boxes require too much effort for this day and age.

"People rarely want to spend time writing a comment down on paper when people can see. Also, suggestion boxes are usually hidden away and not that inviting. The Suggestion Box replaces the old hand-written system, which is an archaic dust collector."

Using the app, customers can write suggestions of up to 140 characters and rate other suggestions as positive or negative.

Duder says the app could replace not only pen and paper feedback systems used by businesses, but also online survey products.

The app is set to be available to Android and iPhone users next month. Duder will develop it further over summer.

Suggestion Box was the winning entry in the apps challenge section of the university's Entre business competition. Entre is a student founded entrepreneurship contest.

AgriSolar, a proposal to reduce dairy farm power costs by engineering students Kaye McKee and Daniel Risi, was the grand winner of Entre this year.

Bjorn Arndt and George Smith won the Most Market Ready Venture and Best Pitch awards for their Glass Jar proposal that allows people living together to create a web-based profile of their flat that can be accessed through a cellphone app.

Kate Austin won the Best Business Plan for her Hunters and Gatherers scheme, a grocery shopping outlet for farmers and growers to sell direct.

Stuart Milne and Andrew Klaassen won the PowerHouse Ventures Incubator Prize for their efficient timber extraction proposal. 

Hugh Devereux-Mack and Dylan Avery won the UC Innovator Awards for their Himalayan Tahr development.