BizTech Labs is designed to create a collaborative space to design digital technology solutions to modern-day issues. It is a cross-curricular activity utilising the subjects of Business, Design and Technology.
On 28 November 2017, over sixty Year 9 and 10 students from East Auckland schools came together at Botany Downs Secondary College for the inaugural BizTech Labs Inter-school Competition of 2017. With sponsors from Xero, Microsoft, BDO, and ourselves, this event was very well received as we saw sixteen teams of students from Edgewater College, Elim Christian College, Howick College, Mission Heights Junior College, St Cuthbert’s College, Sancta Maria College and BDSC.
Ming Cheuk, one of the invited speakers, graduated from Auckland University with a PhD in Bioengineering and was one of the brains behind an app, UVLens®. Ming and his partner Daniel were the national winners of the 2013 NZ Microsoft Imagine Cup where they sparked the idea of creating an app that could be used worldwide to help people understand the risk of sunburn. Since the commercial launching of UVLens® last year, the app has been featured in the Apple’s App Store and received 50 million impressions within five days. Their invention has appeared in various media across the world including Today
(USA), Galileo (Germany), New York Times, Mashable, and Gizmodo UK.
The second speaker was Aryaman Taore, our very own Botany Downs Secondary College graduate in 2015, shared his success of building an app-based delivery business LazyAz, that has now expanded to much of Auckland. He gave the audience three tips that he has learnt on his journey to success. The first was to be confrontational, and do not shy away or hide from anxiety, stress and problems. His second tip was to have an internal feedback team, which could consist of your parents or friends – people who would give him honest feedback. The final tip was to keep persevering and continue to work hard even in times of uncertainty. His advice resonated with many in the audiences. To date, Aryaman’s LazyAz startup business has become a very successful venture.
During the event, participants were taught about ideation, lean canvasing as well as different prototyping and designing concepts to bring their enterprise ideas with tech solutions to fruition. In between those learning, participants also got the chance to learn from the guest speakers from the industry, sharing their ideas and their journey to success.
Around midday, the participants were guided to consolidate their learning and ideas from the various modules to simulate solving a current social issue of their choices. Each team were given the allotted time to present their business case to the panel of judges from industry.
All teams walked away with a goodie bag from our sponsors Xero, BDO, Microsoft and a digital technology solution to an enterprise issue/problem. The students are encouraged to submit their presentation to qualify for a $1000 Youth Digital Enterprise Award funded by Ministry of Youth Development.