A new competition for budding entrepreneurs, dubbed a cross between The Apprentice and The Amazing Race, kicks off in Sydney today.
The Entrepreneurial Chase will pit three teams against each other, all racing across Sydney from 12.45pm today to solve problems for three different businesses.
The teams will pitch their solutions to the problems posed to them, with the businesses giving them a score out of 25. The team with the highest aggregate score from all the pitches will win the event.
The teams, which each have three members, have been drawn from a trio of Sydney-based universities – the University of Technology, University of NSW and the University of Sydney.
The businesses posing the problems to the teams are Mexican food franchisor Zambrero, screen printing firm Arcade Screenprinting and an agricultural science company that has declined to be named.
Following the race, the businesses will get to choose which ideas they like and decide whether to implement them.
The event is a precursor to a larger-scale Entrepreneurial Chase in September, which will be open to teams from anywhere and will feature more businesses and a longer format.
The winner will win a trip to California, where they will be shown around the workplaces of Google, Facebook and Twitter.
Nikolas Olsson, an entrepreneur and student, created the race, having expanded the idea from his native Sweden, where three similar races have already taken place.
“I believe entrepreneurialism is a state of mind – you can be an entrepreneur within a company,” he says. “It’s about problem solving. We want to shift the perception that entrepreneurialism is just about an idea – it’s about a problem and how you are going to solve it.
“The Entrepreneurial Chase is a good way of showing this. It will give teams innovation challenges and entrepreneurial people will find a way of solving them.”
Olsson says that he hopes to get corporate sponsorship for the larger race in September, which will be followed by a closing ceremony dinner, hosting 150 people.
He says that contacts in Sweden have been in touch with local TV networks to make the race into a show, although the Australian version will only be live-streamed on the internet, for now.
“The ultimate success for me is for one of the businesses to take up an idea, or for one of the young entrepreneurs to find something they really like and start up a company,” says Olsson.