An app-based scheme designed to reduce food wastage has emerged triumphant at the annual Griffith Innovation Challenge.

‘SnackSwap’ is the brainchild of visiting Griffith Business School student entrepreneur Aurora Pavlish-Carpenter who was awarded the $10 thousand in industry sponsorship to take her concept to the next stage.

Aurora Pavlish-Carpenter, winner of the 2019 Griffith Innovation Challenge

The app enables users to engage in the swapping of unwanted foodstuffs in residential communities like campus accommodation and aged communities.

“I’ve had this thought for a while because of all this food in my cupboard which I didn’t know what to do with. It seemed pointless to throw it away when there was an available market for these unused goods,” Aurora said.

The idea impressed as did the finance student’s confident ‘pitch’ which resonated with the judging panel comprising entrepreneurship and industry leaders.

Her timing was also impeccable. The American only found out about Griffith’s Innovation Challenge just hours before registrations closed.

“I’m only at Griffith for a trimester as an exchange student from the University of Central Florida and there is nothing like this type of initiative back home so I jumped at the chance to be part of it.”

“The course itself was awesome because I received so much outside perspective and was able to ask others through our mentors about ways to think in creative ways about developing an idea.”

The audience heard three other finalist pitches. Eliana Cruz (GBS) whose idea focused on a vegan-foods networking program; Sasha Naude (GBS) who pitched an app-based scheme called ‘Guidesy’ which ensured an enhanced visitor experience at galleries and museums and Billy O’Donnell whose app-based scheme called ‘GiveAlittle’ is aimed at micro donations to worthy causes.

Challenge Convenor Professor Evan Douglas paid tribute to the finalists saying all the ideas have potential to become viable business propositions.

“All the participants who completed the course benefit from the hands-on industry mentoring they receive throughout the twelve weeks as well as credit points towards their degree.

“Instilling innovation and creativity boosts student employability,” Professor Douglas said.

The pilot course, open to undergraduates from all academic groups, was backed by industry partners RedEye and Transit Australia Group whose CEO Michael McGee is himself an alumnus of Griffith having completed a Bachelor of Leisure Management and Master of Management at Griffith Business School.

The Judging panel consisted of Design Lead and Product Owner at Redeye Dave Wilton, leading intrapreneurship expert Dr Irena Yashin-Shaw, business negotiation guru Mark Kenny from Keystone Negotation and PledgeMe founder Anna Guenther.

GIC 2019 Finalists (l-R) Eliana Cruz, Sasha Naude, Aurora Pavlish-Carpenter, Billy O’Donnell

If you’re interested in becoming a supporter of the Griffith Innovation Challenge, please contact Project Coordinator, Simon Barclay.