POPapp wins The Bay’s Mashup 2016
A team from Mount Maunganui College have won the 2016 BOP Secondary Schools Mashup with their innovative app for storing purchase receipts, warranties and spending data. The four students, known by their team name “Byte Me”, wowed the judges with their innovation, customer validation and financial model, as well as a slick pitch. They also received feedback from one of New Zealand’s largest retailers that their app would help resolve many of their frustrations with the existing paper receipt system. Most notably, the system would guarantee trace-ability, make returns easier and reduce waste. For customers it would make storage of receipts and warranties easy, with a single cloud-based repository for this information. The app also allows customers to track and manage their spending much more easily than current solutions.
Byte Me received $1,000 for their win, as well as the opportunity to continue developing their product into a real business. Four other teams shared individual prizes for the best customer validation (RED: helping learners stay safe on the roads and giving parents a tool to track their teens’ driving behaviour), best execution (Online Scholars: for their online tutoring service matching students with professional tutors), best financial model (Expresso Yourself for their coffee-based cellulite reducing exfoliant) and best team spirit (Solid Impact for Opus Experience, a service aimed at eliminating youth unemployment). Each of those teams won $250.
Special mention must go to “Build a Pillow”, a group of four 13 & 14 year olds who competed despite being too young to be eligible for a prize. Their idea, to make and sell pillows made to suit individual needs, was received enthusiastically by two local retailers, who promised to place orders when a product is available. They sought customer feedback, identified a production source, worked out a financial model, built a website and secured interest from retailers. All in two days! It’s scary to think what these kids will be capable of in just a few short years! But it certainly bodes well for our local entrepreneurial ecosystem!
Finally, TaurangaTech would like to recognise the incredible amount of hard work, passion and dedication shown by the organising team and crew to make this event happen. It was the 7th year running for Mashup, building on Bruce Fraser’s great work, with a new format introduced, new sponsors (credit to you all too) and the largest turnout so far. A high calibre team of mentors was also assembled to support the teams and guide them through the business development process and prepare them for their pitch. Without passionate people, like the team from Venture Centre and all the individuals who gave their weekends to support the event and the kids who took part, these events wouldn’t happen.
Mashup is a fantastic format for teaching the entrepreneurial skills our kids will need in economy they’ll be participating in, and along with programmes like Young Enterprise, need to be recognised, fostered, expanded and made accessible to many more of our young people.
Well done to all involved, until next year!