A team of bright stars from the University of Auckland has taken out this year’s Pharmacy Guild of Australia National Student Business Plan Competition.
The winning team of Akhila Puthigae, Surbhi Patel, Philip Cabasag and Sean Turner won with their fictitious “NaturEd Pharmacy.”
The NaturEd Pharmacy is based in Rotorua, and features a multilingual EduCare program which revolutionises health literacy and patient education.
The winners were announced at the 2016 Pharmacy Connect conference in Sydney over the weekend. The two runners-up were:
- Eye Scream for Eye Screens – University of Technology Sydney – Alan Shakir, Betty Nguyen, Danielle Thongthanawat and Michael Stephens; and
- One Life Pharmacy – University of Sydney – Maggie Lai, Mikey Tran Luong, Jenny Lu and Youhyun Ju
These three teams successfully progressed through the rigours of the competition which commenced in May, by producing exciting and innovative business plans and then progressing through the quarter final and semi-final rounds to be named the top three teams for 2016.
They had to complete financial quizzes, write additional short answer essays about business finance and operations, and pitch their business ideas to the judges before being selected to pitch to the Pharmacy Connect conference delegates and the final judging team.
Following the live pitches, each team met the judging panel to answer some post-pitch questions about their business ventures. All three teams should be extremely proud of their achievements, says the Guild.
The National Student Business Plan Competition is an initiative designed to promote creative entrepreneurship among pharmacy students and encourage the development of viable, innovative, pharmacist-owned community pharmacies.
The competition was open to all pharmacy schools across Australia and New Zealand, and this year’s finalists have risen to the top of the 16 entries received. The competition is an initiative of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and is sponsored by Blackmores (principal sponsor), EBOS (major sponsor), Gold Cross Products and Services and Pharmaceutical Defence Limited (PDL).
The support of the competition sponsors has opened many new opportunities for the young pharmacists who have taken part in this competition since 2006, the Guild says.
The sponsorship provides $15,000 in cash prizes to the finalists in the competition, a portion of which goes directly to the participating schools of pharmacy who produce the top three teams each year, as well as the opportunity for the students to attend Pharmacy Connect 2016.