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UTS competition spawns student's international success

In summary:

  • Business student Nikki Durkin has been accepted into the acclaimed and highly sought-after Y Combinator program in the US after winning gold in a challenging UTS Business School competition.
  • The 3Ps is a competition for teams of 2-4 current undergraduate or postgraduate business students. It focuses on the realms of People, Planet and Profit with the challenge requiring teams to develop an innovative new product

Business student Nikki Durkin has been accepted into the acclaimed and highly sought-after Y Combinator program in the United States after winning gold in a challenging UTS Business School competition.

Still completing her undergraduate business degree, Nikki has already shown entrepreneurial flair, starting her first business at age 15 and as the creator of successful online clothes store 99dresses.com.

Nikki’s innovative business ideas went a long way towards her and fellow student Sean Marshall being awarded 'gold' for the best business model in the Business School's 3Ps Competition. The two created Modella an internet platform for young people to buy, sell and exchange clothes in seamless manner.

A total of five teams participated in the competition. Her success was also reported in the Sydney Morning Herald.

UTS Professor of Accounting Zoltan Matolcsy said Nikki’s acceptance into the prestigious Y Combinator program in the United States, on account of her 3Ps competition win, would contribute to furthering her business success with 99dresses.com.

"Nikki will spend three months in the US gaining invaluable business experience and insight, receive financial assistance and meet industry professionals as part of this program," Professor Matolcsy said.

"The 3Ps is a competition for teams of two to four current undergraduate or postgraduate business students. It focuses on the realms of people, planet and profit with the challenge requiring teams to develop an innovative new product, idea or service.

"The teams must develop their ideas into a viable business case. In the case of Nikki and Sean, the competition certainly focused and refined their ideas for Modelle.

"Students must attend a briefing session given by adjunct professors of the Business School who are also business people with outstanding marketing, financial and strategy abilities."

The competition was held by the UTS Business school for the first time this year and will continue in 2012, expanding participation by students from all faculties at UTS where they partner with at least one student from the Business School.

Sarah Fenwick and Robert Button

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