Newswise — An innovative way of pinpointing when honey will be ready to harvest has won top awards at this year’s Australian eChallenge awards. The wining concept, named Beecognition, has won its creators $16,000 in prize money plus over $5,000 worth of expert guidance from business consultants.
The Australian eChallenge is an annual competition-based learning experience that develops strategic business thinking for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures. Run since 2001 by the University of Adelaide’s Adelaide Business School, the pre-accelerator program is a proving ground for future entrepreneurs. It is Australia’s longest running program of its kind.
The Beecognition team will assist apiarists to maiximise their honey harvest and grow the market. The team, which includes University of Adelaide students Nicholas Chaplin, Olivia Haysman, Kate Lally and Harrison Lewis, used their knowledge of hydrology and geotechnical engineering to find a way to decrease the costs associated with collecting honey.
“We were in a lecture at university and a guest speaker from the honey bee industry outlined a few key areas that needed improving,” says Harrison Lewis.
“Currently the only way to determine if eucalypts are in flower is by visual inspection. Because of the increasing unpredictability of the flowering events due to climate change this means that beekeepers travel - often large distances - only to find that bees are not producing any honey. “Using our engineering skills we decided to take up the challenge and find a way to identify when flowering events are most likely to occur.
“Drones will remotely monitor sites and collect images which will show the apiarists when eucalypts are in flower.”
The team also want to develop a model that helps predict future flowering events based on historic data on rainfall, temperature and flowering events. By using the Beecognition solution apiarists will save time and limit the cost of travel and reduce their impact on the environment.
Professor Noel Lindsay is Pro-Vice Chancellor - Entrepreneurship, and Dean of Business - Adelaide Business School at the University of Adelaide.
“The Australian eChallenge helps students build entrepreneurial capability, develop new ways of thinking about problems and solutions, and increase their capacity to think creatively and act decisively,” he says.
“By tapping into the South Australian entrepreneurial ecosystem the Australian eChallenge connects the business community to students, academics and the general public. Connecting these like-minded individuals through the program creates a great energy and it is through this stimulating education process that new entrepreneurs are born.”
Teams pitch business proposals for their new, previously unfunded business concepts, to potential investors from the local business community. They compete for cash prizes - this year a total prize pool of more than $180,000 - and the prestige of being awarded the most outstanding Australian eChallenge entrepreneurial venture of the year.
Forty-nine teams, consisting of 180 participants, took part in this year’s competition. Competition streams include Tertiary, Agri Food and Wine, and Medical Innovations.
Winners were announced on Thursday 12 December at a gala presentation at the Adelaide Oval.
Winners in each stream are:
Tertiary stream: 1st: Beecognition - An innovative way of pinpointing when honey will be ready to harvest.
2nd Pop Psych - An app that composes the perfect soundtrack based on your current feelings. 3rd Reusably - A sustainability start-up which allows the purchase and exchange of reusable cups in an efficient and cost-effective way.
A [email protected] joint winners: Pop Psych - An app that composes the perfect soundtrack based on your current feelings. Legit - A smart stump sock for lower limb amputees that helps with prosthesis fitting and accelerates rehabilitation. ThincLab Award joint winners: Legit - A smart stump sock for lower limb amputees that helps with prosthesis fitting and accelerates rehabilitation. Budii - A platform which combines the carts of online shoppers on the same site and reduces their shipping costs.
Spruik Digital prize: Sweet Soviet Craft Breweries - A unique ‘beer’ brewed from honey and spices, rather than wheat or malt, which is a beverage like no other.
Enabled Solutions prize: Pop Psych - An app that composes the perfect soundtrack based on your current feelings.
Bold Web Design prize: Healinx - A smart tasking platform for nurses that generates, prioritises and assigns tasks and decreases their workload and optimises healthcare facility operations.
Agri Food and Wine: Beecognition - An innovative way of pinpointing when honey will be ready to harvest,
Medical Innovations prize: Legit - A smart stump sock for lower limb amputees that helps with prosthesis fitting and accelerates rehabilitation.
Social Entrepreneurship prize: Pop Psych - An app that composes the perfect soundtrack based on your current feelings.
Honey Bee prize: Beecognition - An innovative way of pinpointing when honey will be ready to harvest.
The Australian eChallenge total prize purse is $180,680 in which $105,680 is awarded at the eChallenge awards night at Adelaide Oval. Winners of the Tech eChallenge ($10,000) and the Australian eChallenge France ($65,000), which were announced earlier in the year, will also be acknowledged on the night. The Australian eChallenge awards are made possible through support from many partners in business and industry especially Enabled Solutions, City of Adelaide, Moore Stephens, FIXE, Microsoft, Madderns Spruik Digital, Bold, Bakery Design, Novatech, Persuasive Presentations, I love My Phone, CRC Honey Bee products and the South Australian Apiarists Association.