RMIT University has announced the finalists of the 2012 RMIT Business Plan Competition, with ideas ranging from green fuel to eco-friendly beer packaging, highlighting key start-up trends.
RMIT, which has campuses in Melbourne and Vietnam, has chosen 10 finalists for the 2012 RMIT Business Plan Competition – the biggest program of its kind in Australia.
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Now in its 12th year, the competition is open to undergraduate, postgraduate and TAFE students across all RMIT campuses.
More than 2,900 students have taken part since 2001, with many past competitors now running successful businesses in Australia and around the world.
This year’s program will see five teams from Australia and five teams from Vietnam present their business concepts to a panel of judges at a pitching day next month. First prize is $25,000.
The 10 finalists were chosen from 112 entries, with runners-up and category winners awarded up to $75,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The winners will be announced on October 11.
The finalists highlight three key start-up trends:
1. Tapping into the green game
Businesses born out of a desire to protect the environment are nothing new, but green ideas dominated this year’s list of finalists.
CleanTech, based in Ho Chi Minh City, aims to bring green energy to Vietnam via a range of energy solutions, with a focus on a solar thermal water system as an energy-efficient alternative.
Keg King, meanwhile, offers a new, environmentally-friendly way of packaging beer. Their product enables more efficient, cheaper distribution for both microbreweries and home brewers.
Finally, OXI Inc. intends to distribute a new, environmentally-friendly fuel substitute, which is made from available agricultural biomass such as rice straw, husk and coconut fibre.
2. Broadening the horizon for school students
In Melbourne, the International School of Creative Learning wants to establish an independent school centred on the Islamic faith.
The school would be open to all Australians – Muslim and non-Muslim – and would offer “a “complete learning environment based on faith, excellence and collaboration”.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Unistairs wants to introduce OpenClass – afterschool care and activities for primary school-aged students – a resource that is currently not available to support parents.
3. Concentrating on the customer
Jasuva, which operates under the name Interact Avenue, helps companies build brand loyalty by rewarding customers for engaging with their advertisements.
Interact Avenue aims to introduce online advertising models into the offline advertising world.
Meanwhile, Thompson & Worth are the creators of premium leather handbags. Customers can look forward to “unique, simple and elegant designs” made in Australia.