Christopher Michaelides, Sadra Boutorabi and Armin Adeli have beaten competition from over 90 other students to be crowned the winners of UTS Project Pitch. The inaugural UTS Project Pitch held this past weekend is an entrepreneurial business competition with the winner earning a $10,000 prize.
The business proposition responsible for the team’s success is ‘HowMuchToPay.com’, a proposal for an online platform to provide accurate market valuations of specialty second-hand items, based on data analytics.
“We’re delighted to have won the competition. It’s great to see one of our business ideas coming to fruition and to get the finance and contacts to help get it off the ground. We’re also extremely grateful for the fantastic mentoring and assistance we’ve been given and we want to make the most of this opportunity.” Armin (a student at the Faculty of IT) explained. “We think howmuchtopay.com will become Project Pitch’s first major success story.” Christopher (Faculty of Law) added. The trio hope to have their business functioning online in a fortnight.
UTS Union Social Clubs and Programs Manager Laura Earl added: “All the teams worked extremely hard and the success of these guys is a real testament to the business and entrepreneurial talent we’re developing at UTS. I’m extremely proud of all the entrants and look forward to seeing what our students can produce at Project Pitch events in the future.”
The trio’s success in the competition also earns them the opportunity to take their business idea to the USA and represent the University of Technology, Sydney at the Virginia Tech Knowledge Works Global Challenge in 2014, where they will hope to better the second place achieved by this year’s ‘Team Roka’ (Conchita De Souza, Janek Gonsalkorale, Paridhi Jain, and Natalia Krslovic).
As part of UTS Project Pitch, each of the 13 teams received mentoring from a panel of twelve local entrepreneurs and business experts including UTS alumni Orsi Pakanyi – CEO, Women As Entrepreneurs, and Matthew Ho (founder of nativetongue.com and an entrepreneur advisor). The judging panel also featured a former UTS student in Garry Visontay, who has successfully started-up five businesses and has nearly 30 years of management experience spanning fourteen countries across Asia-Pacific.
Two additional teams – OPSpace (an initiative to offer internet access for space satellites) and Pitchhi.com (creating animated video resumes) joined the winners in receiving three months full access to StartNest co-working space.