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Nokia to stump up just $10k for start-up competition winner

Oliver Milman /

Mobile phone giant Nokia has selected five aspiring start-ups to become finalists for its In Hindsight competition – but is offering just $10,000 as a prize.

 

The shortlist was selected from “hundreds” of entries to the competition, which asked for an original business idea and convincing pitch.

 

Despite the global reach and wealth of Nokia, the company is offering just $10,000 to the winner to help them get their idea off the ground.

 

However, while some may call this amount rather miserly, the winner will also benefit from the coaching and advice of Jaimie Fuller, CEO of successful sportswear clothing company SKINS.

 

A Nokia spokeswoman defended the prize amount, saying: “The competition is part of an overall campaign to give information and advice to those thinking about starting a business. 

 

“We took a bunch of very successful Aussie entrepreneurs and created a book of their experiences. This was the primary purpose of the campaign.” 

 

“As an add on, we decided to do a small-scale comp to offer cash, a handset and more importantly, mentoring from one of the participants in the book – Jaimie Fuller, CEO of SKINS.  You can’t put a value on that.”

 

“We’ve had hundreds of people submit their business ideas so clearly the prizes and mentoring are of enormous value and appeal to those who entered.”

 

Here are the five finalists…

 

FindMeQuick – an idea dreamt up by Nimrod Klayman, winner of the recent Technology Entrepreneurship Forum for his WizzyBoard innovation. FindMeQuick uses radio frequency identification technology to find lost property at school.

 

My Genius Tutor – an online platform created by Adam Jacobs that connects students with expert tuition in real time.

Open Shed – created by Lisa Fox and Duncan Stewart, this peer-to-peer website allows users to rent out each other’s belongings.

 

Uncommon Ground – a concept for an online store that stocks shoes for larger-footed women. The start-up, helmed by Krissy Crawford, would feature shoes in sizes nine to 14.

 

Sylvia Lee wants to launch an, as yet unnamed, fashion label that stocks ready-to-wear and custom-made clothing.

 

The winner will be chosen following a public vote until November 17 via Nokia Australia’s Facebook page. A judging panel, including Nokia MS Chris Carr, leading entrepreneur Suzi Dafnis and Fuller, will also have input.

 

“The standard of entries was incredibly high and it took longer than anticipated to select our top 100 and from here, our final five,” says Carr.

 

“After meeting the finalists and hearing their pitches, there’s no question that they’re all worthy ideas and deserve to be in the top five. It will be interesting to see how the public votes.”

 

“Starting a business is never easy, but the prize up for grabs means whoever wins the competition will get a great head-start.”

 

Meanwhile, a separate cash amount is being put up by a small business to help budding entrepreneurs, in the form of a university bursary.

 

Removal firm MiniMovers is offering $5,000 to a high school student who will go on to university with the intention of starting a business following graduation.

 

MiniMovers founder Mike O’Hagan says: “We need to stop boxing our leaders into a managerial mindset and encourage risk taking and entrepreneurship.”

 

“Students are being institutionalised, they are being pushed straight from school, to university, then out to the working world, there is no room for young entrepreneurs.”

 

“It is such a shame, because so many young people have fantastic ideas, and all they need are a little drive. MiniMovers was started with two men and a ute.”

 

Interested young entrepreneurs can apply by clicking here.

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