Tanda wins 2014 qutbluebox Innovation Challenge

in Brisbane, Australia,October 16, 2014.  Picture- Patrick HAMILTON

Start-up company TANDA is the winner of the inaugural qutbluebox Innovation Challenge.

The Innovation Challenge winner was announced a ceremony on the 16th October, following a 10-minute pitch presented by each of the five finalists before a live audience and an external judging panel.

Founded by four Queensland University of Technology (QUT) graduates in 2013, TANDA is marketing a time and attendance automation tool for ‘turning payroll chaos into clockwork’.

Company co-founder, Tasmin Trezise captivated the judging panel with his drive and vision for TANDA during his pitch, to take out the $60,000 first prize.

Boardcave co-founder and QUT alumni Ryan Mets also impressed the judging panel, to secure the $30,000 second prize. Boardcave is Gold Coast based company, that utilises a new online technology platform allowing surfers to buy boards from surfboard manufacturers worldwide.

The crowd vote, of $10,000 went to Haystack, who impressed the public with their technology for storing, updating and sharing business cards directly from your phone.

qutbluebox Director of Innovation and Engagement Brent Watts said the quality of finalists in the Innovation Challenge was extremely high, and the judges faced a difficult decision in choosing the winners.

“All three prize recipients plan to use their prize money to further develop their innovations, with TANDA looking to take their business solution to international markets” said Brent.

“qutbluebox established the Innovation Challenge encourage and foster the transfer of business solutions into reality, and following the success of the event this year, I believe it will play a key role in helping QUT alumni, students and staff have a significant economic impact through their innovations.”

You can read more about the winners’ innovations and the other finalists at the qutbluebox blog: http://blog.qutbluebox.com.au/

qutbluebox Innovation Challenge Finalists: 5 minutes with Boardcave

Boardcave bluebox 2
is a Gold Coast based start-up company, bringing together surfboard manufacturers and retailers to provide the largest selection of surfboards and surf accessories online. High school friends and QUT graduates, Ryan Mets and Chris Greben, founded the company while living together and working in technology companies.

Ryan tells us more about Boardcave.

What is Boardcave?

Boardcave bridges the gap between surfboard shapers (manufacturers) and surfers.  We’re the first to provide surfers with the technology to find, compare and buy the best surfboards from the leading manufacturers in the world.

We built the patented Boardcave technology and online systems to help surfboard and surf hardware manufacturers facilitate orders directly with surfers online. We’re continuously refining our systems, and the more data we gather the easier it becomes for our customers to find, compare and buy the best surf equipment.

Our goal is to improve the buying experience, helping surfers find the right surfboards and surf hardware to match their surfing needs.

How long have you been operating as a business?

We incorporated at the end of 2011 and the website has been live for about 18 months.

Are you looking to expand into international markets?

We recently licenced the Boardcave software in the multibillion-dollar Brazilian surf market and we’re also incorporating in the US, as ‘Boardcave USA’ is ready to launch.

What did you study at QUT and when?

Ryan: Bachelor of Mass Communication between the Business and Creative Industry faculties. I finished my degree in 2008.

Chris: Bachelor of Information Technology, graduating in 2010.

What gave you the idea for Boardcave and when?

Working full-time and trying to find the right size, shape and model surfboards was an inconvenience. Both Chris and I worked for tech companies and knew the first place people go when researching products was online, but there was very little information available and a lot of grey area around buying the right size and shaped surfboard online.

We’ve developed a solution that takes the guess work out of buying surfboards, and the more data we gather the better the systems become. You can visit Boardcave.com.au, research all the different surfboards and their specifications in depth, then order your custom board online directly from the manufacturer.

Do you have any experience in start-ups or business?

Both Chris and I have worked for software and web companies that grew from start-ups into national and global businesses. These experiences helped us identify the opportunity and put the steps in place to works towards the commercialisation of Boardcave. We have both always had an interest in technology and been actively involved in the start up community.

What would it mean for your business to win the Innovation Challenge?

Winning the innovation challenge would provide us with the funding to manage our growth and expand into the US market. Winning would provide the funding needed to expand our team, providing the much-needed resources to manage our growth into global markets.