2012 3P Student Challenge underway
1 June 2012
UTS students joined an expert panel on Saturday 19 May to launch the 2012 3P Student Challenge.
UTS students joined an expert panel on Saturday 19 May to launch the 2012 3P Student Challenge. The competition, open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students is bringing together 27 2-4 student teams to develop an innovative product to solve a problem that fits within the 3Ps (People, Planet, Profit).
“This is not a charity organisation, there is very much a focus on developing entrepreneurial skills ” explains Professor Zoltan Matolcsy from the Accounting Discipline Group, who developed the program in 2010. “Students need to put together a viable business case to ensure the idea will be profitable, in addition to being ethical and sustainable.”
To help guide the teams, and ultimately assess their proposals, Professor Matolcsy has brought together a panel of experts, from decades of experience across a range of different industries.
The judging panel includes:
- Adjunct Professor Peter Bennett, bringing experience in accounting and investment management, mainly in consumer goods with organisations such as Unilever and Kimberly Clark
- Adjunct Professor David Champtaloup, sharing his knowledge of sales and marketing as well as television production in the US, Europe and Australia
- Adjunct Professor Vivian Quinn, with experience in accounting and planning management at IBM and Johnson & Johnson
- Adjunct Professor Richard Stewart, a partner with PWC and passionate advocate of entrepreneurial opportunities for students.
- Professor Chris Bajada, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) from UTS Business School
“The hardest thing is to come up with ideas,” noted Adj Prof Bennett. “You have to be prepared to have an awful lot of goes to get it right.” The judging panel also serves as business advisors, and will meet with teams a number of times before they submit their proposal in September. Before their one-on-ones with teams, each panelist shared some insights on entrepreneurial thinking, with Adj Prof Bennett adding that “most good ideas are improvements on what already exists.”
Adj Prof Champtaloup reminded students of the importance of being needs oriented, saying “the world is full of wonderful ideas looking for a problem to solve,” while Adj Prof Stewart pointed out that good ideas, and good companies, are driven by passion and persistence.
Most teams entering the competition draw on students who are developing expertise in a range of different disciplines and fields. Aluir Ahmed and Tamara Adziz, from the Bachelor of Accounting program, are two thirds of a team that share a passion for creative, musical, film and dance, and hope to utilize these interests in their pitch. Both are active within student life and are Business Society members. “I have had heaps of ideas in the past, but never held onto them” claims Aluir, “so I am really excited to develop these further in this program. It is similar to the IBP (Integrated Business Perspectives) unit I am doing so I can build on the knowledge I am gaining there.”
“The process is fascinating in and of itself,” said Ankit, a 3rd year combined Business and Engineering student, who is teamed up with another combined Business/Engineering student and a Bachelor of Accounting student. With expertise in mechatronic, civil and electrical engineering and accountancy, they are confident they have the right skills.
Siblings Anna, an MBA student, and Sam, a Master of Software Engineering have already put a lot of thought into their entry. Anna will be drawing on her experience in u-Lab – “brilliant, the highlight of the MBA so far!” – while Sam is keen to add entrepreneurial capability to what he is being taught in Engineering.
Albert, part of a team that includes Engineering, Biotechnology and Business students, is undertaking the subject Engineering Enterprise, and thought this project would complement the knowledge he is gaining in class. “We are looking at ideas based on failed technologies, and using the existing systems and hardware in a different, and hopefully successful, way.”
The program will run until September this year, with the winning teams receiving $10,000 plus the opportunity to represent UTS in an international entrepreneurial competition being held in Hong Kong in 2013.