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The Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge 2012

From the Archive

News created: 25 Jun 2012

On Wednesday 30 May, the Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge Grand Final took place. This event was the culmination of many months of hard work, as student teams from:

  • Macquarie University
  • and the University of Sydney
came together to present their innovative idea to a panel of Deloitte executives – the winner receiving a $5000 cash prize.

The Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge was created to bring current university students together in the spirit of 'intrepreneurship' and forms part of the unit, Student Leadership in Community Engagement with Dr. Leanne Carter as the unit convenor. Student Leadership in Community Engagement is one of the many Participation and Community Engagement (PACE) units available through the Faculty of Business and Economics.

PACE connects students with external organisations. It gives Macquarie students the chance to contribute their academic learning, enthusiasm and fresh perspective to the professional workplace. All undergraduate students are currently required to undertake a People Unit and a Planet Unit. As of 2012, Participation units will also progressively become an integral part of the Macquarie curriculum.

Students are grouped together for the Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge and throughout the session work on creating and developing an innovative business idea worth $50 million that can be implemented by Deloitte.

Each team was mentored and coached by two members from Deloitte, who guided them to ensure their project remained on track.

Macquarie was very well represented with a total of 10 out of 20 teams entering into this year's challenge, all hoping to progress to the grand final stage. As the challenge evolved, 6 teams (3 from Macquarie) battled it out in the grand finale.

Macquarie's grand finalists performed exceptionally well with Team Elevate being declared the Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge 2012 winners with their innovative idea - Shopin3D.

Team members Shaun, Loanne, Bianca and Shailen's (pictured above) innovative idea centred on a 3D e-commerce supermarket solution.

Our winning team members were asked to share their thoughts on working together, describe their mentoring experience and discuss their idea and how this came to fruition.

Why did you decide to apply for the Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge?

"When I decided to apply for the challenge, I was hoping to gain relevant industry exposure. Being able to work with members of such a reputable brand like Deloitte was an exciting and enticing prospect," Bianca explains.

When constructing your idea and presentation, how did your mentor’s and coach’s role in the process add to your experience?

"Our mentor and coach were there to guide us and offer constructive feedback every step of the way. Our mentor, Sam Perhar, was very involved and was consistently questioning all aspects of our idea, which helped us realise there were things we had not thought about – so we had to go back to the drawing board," Shailen mentions.

"Our mentor also provided us with lots of direction relating to presenting. This was invaluable when it came to showcasing our idea to the Deloitte panel. He gave us great tips such as keeping the text amount on our PowerPoint slides to a minimal amount to ensure the audience was able to follow our presentation effectively – and I’ll be able to use this advice when I'm putting together future presentations," Loanne adds.

What was the evolution process of your idea, Shopin3D?

"Our idea began through a brainstorming session, and the evolution process was on-going and continuous. During our first mentoring session with Sam Perhar and coach Morne Swiegers we received a lot of feedback regarding the feasibility and innovative aspect of our initial idea," describes Shaun. "With innovation at the forefront of our mind, our idea continually progressed to the stage where it was a completely unique offering."

What were some of the challenges faced when working together in a team environment?

"It was difficult to find a time when we were all free at the same time together, given that we all have other commitments, but we all discovered early on that time management was a key factor we had to manage," explains Bianca. "We all had a good mix of different skills – so we took on the roles that were in line with our individual skills."

For students thinking of applying to the program – what advice do you have?

"The Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge is a fantastic way to build networking skills, get real-life industry experience and meet and work with lots of new people," says Loanne. "For anyone thinking of becoming part of the program – I highly recommend it as it will add so much to your university experience and gives you the chance to put what you are learning into practice," she adds.

Become our next success story by starting a business internship today. Contact Diana Caruso to learn how.

The Deloitte FASTRACK Innovation Challenge Grand Final images


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