Grace Mainwaring was named the inaugural winner of UCOL’s Rising Star Award at the recent Innovate entrepreneurial competition finals.
Mainwaring won the award for her application, The Food Director, which is designed to connect artisan food producers with restaurateurs and foodies looking for premium local produce.
As well as a trophy, Mainwaring received a $1,000 Noel Leeming gift card.
Mainwaring was one of eight finalists to pitch their business and product ideas to a panel of expert judges.
UCOL has sponsored Innovate since the competition began seven years ago.
UCOL Executive Dean of Engineering and Applied Technologies Danny Reilly spoke at the finals evening and presented the award. He says partnering with Innovate fits with UCOL’s vision to inspire students, businesses, and communities to succeed.
“We are proud to be involved with Innovate and to help create the opportunity for clever, quirky and creative ideas to become real, successful and viable businesses.”
“Grace is a very worthy winner of the first UCOL Rising Star Award. UCOL has close ties to the hospitality industry and produces many talented chefs, so it’s exciting to see what kind of impact an application like The Food Director could have on the local industry.”
Other winners from the night included Mark Anderson, who was awarded Innovate’s grand prize, and Neil Viviers, who won the Tech Tour prize and Collective Intelligence prize. Last year’s Collective Intelligence prizewinner and UCOL Lecturer Kylie Love presented the award this year.
More FM and TV3 presenter Ryan Bridge hosted the finals event with the help of UCOL Music Lecturer Kane Parsons.