The 5G Starter Fund is all about turning brilliant ideas into reality. Now, eight leading-edge Kiwi businesses are one step closer to achieving that, with the help of Spark NZ.
We were thrilled to receive over 200 entries from around the country. Each entry explored some of the ways that the potential of 5G might be harnessed. Our selection panel and judges narrowed these entries down to eight finalists. The list represents both established players continuing to evolve their offerings, and start-ups with groundbreaking approaches to familiar problems.
Over the next month, these finalists will vie for a share of the $625,000 worth of prizes from the inaugural fund.
Each finalist offers a unique, insightful way to apply technology to address modern-day problems. Spanning the four Starter Fund categories, their ideas showcase a depth of talent and the wealth of innovative thinking in the NZ tech scene. The finalists' ideas are diverse as using artificial intelligence (AI) to help manage waste recycling, tracking movement in a physiotherapy recovery journey, and protecting eye health to avoid preventable blindness.
Of course, we can’t give away all their secrets yet. The full details of each finalists’ submission will stay guarded until the four winners are announced next month. For now, we can say that each of the finalists’ concepts are brilliant examples of the positive power of 5G to change the way that Kiwis live, work, learn and play. In supporting New Zealand/Aotearoa's 5G pioneers, Spark's Starter Fund is helping them make history by being among the first to harness the positive potential of 5G.
The finalists now have just over a month to convince a judging panel of local and international industry experts why their idea should be selected. Then on 28 October 2020, we'll announce the four prizewinners. In addition to a substantial cash prize, the four winners will each have access to the Spark 5G Co-Lab and benefit from 5G tech support and business mentoring by Spark and the judges over four months. By early next year, they'll have taken their proof of concept to minimum viable product (MVP) stage.