CH students feature in UC 2016/17 Summer Start-up programme

Over the summer months, The Centre of Entrepreneurship at the University of Canterbury was home to a group of enterprising students, including a strong contingent with CH connections, as they participated in the 2016/17 Summer Start-up program.

This programme is designed to support and develop the entrepreneurial skills of students

This programme is designed to support and develop the entrepreneurial skills of students. A number of scholarships are available which provide participants with financial support to enable them to work full-time on their business ventures.  Both commercial and social enterprises are eligible to participate in the 10 week programme. Since its inception back in 2013, 120 students have taken up the challenge.

The programme is based around the Lean Business Model methodology with mentoring and workshops provided by UC staff along with local industry members. A wide range of topics is covered including business planning, route to market and product development. At the conclusion of the programme, participants deliver a 5 minute presentation. From here, 10 projects go forward to the annual presentation evening and the winners are then selected.

Summer start up participants 2017

This year’s prize winners were:

First Place and People’s Choice Winner: Logan Williams – Biome.

Biome uses Didymo, an invasive freshwater algae, to create sustainable and biodegradable materials including Biopaper, Bioplastic and Biofabric.

Second Place: Chris Petrie – InSiteVR

The aim of InSiteVR is to save lives and keep workers safe through training in virtual reality. This technology makes it possible to experience dangerous and realistic work scenarios in the safety of the office

Third Place: Stefan Warnaar - Peak to Plateau.

Peak to Plateau is performance outdoor clothing with yak wool sustainably sourced from the Tibetan Plateau. It all began in 2015 after founder Stefan Warnaar spent 3 months travelling and exploring the vast Mongolian Steppe and high altitude mountains of Central Asia and the Himalayas. His passion for the outdoors and instant connection with this region of the world sparked the idea for the brand.

Past and present CH students featured strongly in this year’s finalists. Our sincere congratulations go to Tom Mackintosh (2015) & Toby Baker (2015-16) at Pegboard (, Clive Antony (2012-13) & business partners at Mallu (, Rhys Fitzgerald (2016) at Farm Sense and James Richardson (2012) at Sonder Leather ( who all finished in the top 11. Balancing studies with developing a business is a remarkable achievement and we can all be inspired by their drive and their innovation.

We wish all the entrepreneurs continuing success with their businesses and we look forward to following their progress.

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