I wondered about the wisdom of investing so much into my ‘Go, Innovate!’ Competition application form and accompanying supporting information. It took more time and thought than I imagined, right when I had the pressure of looming university assignments and exams. If it hadn’t been for the encouragement of Will, Chris and Moss I’m not sure that I would have persevered. I have had an idea which pivoted slightly after I bought an iphone a few years ago. The ‘Go, Innovate’ Competition was a great was to progress my idea further.
Midway through the exam period I received some exciting news, my idea was deemed innovative and indeed had made it through to the semi-finals! To compete for a spot in the finals I needed to pitch to a panel of seven business advisers. The free mentor sessions with Dorian Scott from the eCentre prior to ‘pitching’ were a real blessing. I’m sure it was some of Dorian’s advise which helped me consider things from more holistically and present my opportunity more effectively on the day. It was interesting to hear the feedback these seven men shared afterwards. They shared their thoughts openly regarding my idea to help people with food allergies by utilizing smartphone technology to create a communication aid.
Within a week I was notified that of the ten semi-finalists, four finalists had been chosen. And I was one of them – a finalist I mean! The finals night consisted of the four finalists pitching their ideas in front of three Judges ‘Dragons’ Den Style’ in front of a live audience. It was quite an exciting night to be honest (one that justified a new dress I felt). I didn’t win the $20,000 scholarship in the end, which of course was disappointing. But all my effort was not in vain. I gained a lot of confidence and was much encouraged at the amount of people who also thought my idea was valuable (especially the Yvonne and Ian Macdonald who came from Kaitaia (a five hour drive) to hear my idea!). A couple of investors expressed interest in following my progress… I can see this idea could well be worth me continuing to invest in.