24 October 2011

Snap Comp snaps up RMIT business prize

A web-based venture that solves the legal, technical and marketing problems of running competitions for small businesses and not-for-profits has won RMIT University's 2011 Business Plan Competition.

Snap Comp's Filip Kratochvil and Paul Monks with Professor Ian Palmer, Pro Vice-Chancellor Business and Vice-President.

3BL's Michael Leahy and Tom McLeod, with Peter Evans, State Manager, Fuji Xerox Australia.

John Maloney and Caitlin McColl, the team behind Ragamuffin Pet Photography, with Councillor Ken Ong, Chair of the Future Melbourne Planning Committee, City of Melbourne.

Snap Comp - an internet-based platform that aims to offer a simple, low-cost, self-service solution for businesses and organisations who struggle with the legal and technical challenges of running competitions, raffles and redemptions - was awarded the $25,000 RMIT University First Prize at a gala awards ceremony.

Team Leader and RMIT Master of Commerce student Paul Monks said it was an honour to be recognised by the industry and business leaders who had judged the competition, which this year awarded more than $100,000 in prizes.

"We are really elated. This is fantastic validation and affirmation for us. It gives us much greater credibility in establishing the business," Mr Monks said.

"The Business Plan Competition has been an excellent, practical, business-focused extension to my academic studies at RMIT.

"Winning the competition and the $25,000 first prize, together with the Servcorp Virtual Office and the GrantReady awards, enables us to enter the market much sooner than would be possible otherwise."

Snap Comp was also awarded the Servcorp Virtual Office Prize for Business Excellence (virtual office services to the value of $5,000) and the GrantReady Award for Excellence (professional services to the value of $5,000).

The business venture is expected to launch in Australia in January 2012, with a rapid global expansion planned to meet the demand for the service worldwide.

Now in its 11th year, the annual RMIT Business Plan Competition is open to all RMIT students worldwide and encourages young entrepreneurs to develop competitive business plans for their original business ideas.

More than 3,000 students have taken part since 2001, with many past competitors now running successful businesses in Australia and around the world.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, praised the dedicated efforts of the 10 finalists and congratulated all 131 teams who took part in the 2011 competition, one of the biggest programs of its type in Australia.

"This competition helps our young entrepreneurs harness their talent and energy to create innovative new ventures that are grounded in sound business practice," Professor Gardner said.

"With the support and structure of the RMIT Business Plan Competition, our students are given the opportunity to learn from action and experience.

"By working closely with the industry mentors who so generously support each team, the students gain invaluable skills and networks to enable them to turn their fresh business ideas into reality."

The following RMIT student businesses were also winners in 2011:

Fuji Xerox Australia 2nd Prize ($10,000) and The Litmus Group Environmental Sustainability Award ($5,000 cash and $10,000 in professional services) - 3BL, a social enterprise that employs people in Nigeria, Cameroon and Uganda to collect, sort, clean and recycle plastic bottles. The recycled plastic is then shipped to Australia and made into stylish, functional and sustainable furniture. Team Leader is RMIT Master of Computer Science student Tom McLeod.

City of Melbourne 3rd Prize ($5,000) - Ragamuffin Pet Photography, a boutique photography business that specialises in artistic, custom photographic portraiture of pets. With about 250,000 pet-owning Melbourne households classifying their pet as their baby or child, the start-up aims to fill a major gap in the market for high-end pet photography. Team Leader is RMIT Bachelor of Arts (Photography) student Caitlin McColl.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor's Acceleration Award ($5,000) - Dream Team, a business that aims to fulfil the high unmet demand for mushrooms in Vietnam through new technologies and innovative processes. Team Leader is RMIT Vietnam Bachelor of Commerce student Tai Phat Ngo.

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor's Award for Best Social Enterprise ($5,000) - Nutrition Ammunition, a start-up integrating online nutrition advice with seminars teaching health tips and food principles to empower Australians with the skills they need to make informed health decisions. Team Leader is RMIT Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) student Alison McAtamney.

Westpac Banking Corporation Award for Best Financial Plan ($5,000) - Moment of Passion, an event planning venture providing people with a worry-free personal party planning and celebrations service. Team Leader is RMIT Vietnam Bachelor of Commerce student Thi Tuyet Trang Pham.

Four other finalists received Judges' Awards for Outstanding Achievement ($1,000), with all finalist teams also able to share in $20,000 of professional legal services from Lewis Holdway Lawyers.

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Dream Team's Phan Cong Cac, Chau Minh Hien, Le Thi Huyen Trang, Nguyen Hong Minh, Tran Thi Hien Hau and Ngo Phat Tai with Cr Ong.


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Kate O'Halloran and Alison McAtamney, from Nutrition Ammunition, with Cr Ong.



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Moment of Passion's Pham Thi Tuyet Trang, Ngo Dang Que and Pham Thi Tuyet Trang with Delia Taylor, Bank Manager, Westpac Banking Corporation.


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