The Kiwi-invented Greenkeeper – a system that helps companies reduce their carbon footprint, not a golf maintenance pro – has walked away from the Bright Ideas Challenge with a cool $25,000 to accelerate its growth.
Another 14 category winners were recognised tonight, but Greenkeeper was named the brightest idea of all. It ensures desktop and laptop computers are switched off when not in use, alleviating the fact the IT sector currently has a greater carbon footprint than the aviation industry.
“The entrants in this year’s Bright Ideas Challenge are an impressive reflection of the aptitude and depth of Wellington’s entrepreneurial community,” said Nigel Kirkpatrick, Grow Wellington chief executive.
“As a region, Wellington really is an entrepreneurial hub; the ideas that have been generated by the 2011 Challenge are a huge testament to that.”
The Bright Ideas Challenge, an initiative of Grow Wellington, encourages idea generation and facilitates connections and support between entrepreneurs and Wellington’s innovation community.
Now in its second year, the competition attracted 925 submissions from entrepreneurs around the Wellington region.
Last year’s brightest idea, Im-Able – which develops rehabilitation tools for stroke patients – won backing from US investors in June.
Greenkeeper Systems Ltd (Helen Joronen)
77 Pieces, Magic Mirror (Sebastian Marino and Barbara Grieve) – allows consumers to virtually try on garments.
Ezybook (Wayne Rudd and Ben Fernandez) – enabling service businesses to manage appointment and class bookings online from home or work.
CLEAN TECHNOLOGY CATEGORY:
Greenkeeper Systems Ltd (Helen Joronen) – ensures desktop and laptop computers are switched off when not in use.
GNS, The Macerator (Randall McDonnell) – uses new technology to process samples for fossil analysis, faster and with fewer chemicals, for use in research and oil exploration.
Mexis (Rachel Hatch) – developing Human Computer Interface devices that transform virtual reality worlds into more natural experiences.
CONSUMER PRODUCT CATEGORY:
TINKture Tattoo Aftercare (Gillian Parkinson) – aids and speeds the new tattoo healing process with one natural vegan product.
Educa (Nathan Li) – an online software package designed for early childhood education centres and parents to capture, organise, digitise and share children’s learning and experiences.
ProFellow.com (Vicki Johnson) – a private, crowdsourced database of professional and academic fellowships.
IPHONE APPLICATION CATEGORY:
Continuity iPhone App (Hil Cook and Ange Duncan) – documenting continuity in film and TV.
FleetSafe NZ Ltd (Jonny Eastwick) – a best practice driver evaluation and training programme.
WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL AWARD:
Water Efficiency Rating Tool (Lee Bint) – a calculation of possible savings and a method of achieving them.
Appease (Pam Ward and Saskia Wallace) – technology which enables parents and caregivers to track their children’s whereabouts.
FUTURE ENTREPRENEUR CATEGORY:
Lasertag FPS (Jeffrey Wu) – a game for computer and video game enthusiasts who want to make their experiences even more real, allowing for all the actions associated with playing video and computer games but in an active environment through the use of lasers.
MOST EXCITING ENTREPRENEUR:
Segment Developments, INO™ (Jesse Newson) – a personal property protection device for domestic and commercial applications.
MOST EXCITING OPPORTUNITY:
Mimic (David Bennett) – products and services which produce artificially intelligent digital and robotic characters that will simulate human-level intelligence and behaviour.