New Grants

On Thursday May 21st it was MBS Entrepreneurship Club’s distinct pleasure to host the 10th annual Melbourne University Entrepreneurs’ Challenge Awards Night at Ormond College. The event marks the capstone of a successful year long series of events designed to challenge and encourage Melbourne Entrepreneurs to think creatively, develop business plans and present innovative ideas.

Thirty eight teams, comprised of students, community members, alumni and faculty, entered the competition this year. After two intense rounds of judging the entrants were narrowed down to six finalists who attended the gala event. Over 100 people, a broad network of investors, serial entrepreneurs, alumni, competition participants and government agents crowded into the dining hall at Ormond College to hear the guest speakers and the announcement of this year’s winners.

The featured speaker this year was Larissa Brown, the 2008 Australian Young Environmentalist of the Year. She is the founder and executive director of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to supporting Australians to make their communities, workplaces and sectors more sustainable.

Our outstanding partners and sponsors this year were Davies Collison Cave, Melbourne Ventures, Pitcher Partners, Treadstone, along with support from the University of Melbourne, Agents of Change, Center for Sustainability Leadership, and of course the Melbourne Business School.

And the winners are…

First place prize of $15,000 in-kind services from Pitcher Partners and $8,000 cash to BakRest, an innovative back support device, invented and patented by Australian Olympic Physiotherapist and University Lecturer, and part time MBA student with MBS, Mark Alexander, to prevent slouched postures in sitting, and therefore prevent back pain. For more information contact Mark Alexander –

Second place price of $5,000 in-kind services from Pitcher Partners and $5,000 cash to, a website where people can rent items to and from each other using the internet. A peer to peer renting portal which will invent an entirely new rental market which will supplement the existing established rental categories such as tool rental. For more information contact Steve Sammartino –

Best Product Innovation, presented by and with $5,000 in-kind services from Davies Collison Cave to Don’t Panic, an emergency life saving device incorporating a kite, compass, light and transmitter with a flotation device for added safety and confidence. For more information contact Julius Dunn –

Award of Excellence presented by and consisting of $10,000 in kind government grant assistance from Treadstone to Melbourne Op-shop Tours. Melbourne Op-shop Tours aims to bring op-shopping to the masses. We will conduct tours for people who wish to explore the many wonders of Melbourne’s undiscovered op-shopping scene. For more information contact Richmond Glasgow –

MBSEC would like to thank everyone involved, from the teams, the sponsors and the support of the staff and students who gave so freely of their time and energy to bring together this year’s challenge!

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