Student Story: Group Challenge Pays Off


June 20, 2016

Brandeis University student, Sarah Glickman, shares her story of how she won a group competition during her Spring '16 semester abroad at University of Auckland.

As part of my studies at the University of Auckland, I enrolled in an unusually structured Innovation Class. Instead of having classes, we had a few online modules, attended speaker sessions with successful entrepreneurs, and completed a group challenge.

The group challenge that we were assigned was to use the information we had learned through the online modules and presentations to create a profitable solution to one of the problems that comes along with climate change. My group, which consisted of three Kiwis (New-Zealanders) and myself (a great experience to meet and understand more about the student kiwi culture), settled on the problem of food waste. We came up with an idea for an app that would help farmers (or anyone with extra grown produce) sell their non-commercially acceptable food to consumers close by. The speaker sessions in which we were required to attend were hosted by an entrepreneurship club on campus called Velocity. This club has many competitions during the year for people with business proposals. One of these challenges is the "1,000 words for $1,000." Simply, if you write up 1,000 words about your idea, and it wins, you win $1,000. As my group and I developed our proposal, and continued to learn about this challenge, we decided to enter our app idea. Why not? We have nothing to lose! About two weeks later, there was an award ceremony for all of the different challenges that the club was hosting, and guess what!? We won $1,000 dollars!!!! This was very cool to be able to create a close bond with other students that had similar interests to me, learn about a lot of successful Kiwi entrepreneurs, as well as win my share the prize!!