Forty-eight hours of virtually no sleep has earned a Hastings Christian School student a trip to Brazil and a $7000 scholarship to attend Massey University.
Year 12 student Anna van den Hout was part of the winning group, team Asia New Zealand Foundation – named after their mentors - who took out both business challenges relating to product innovation and market entry strategy at the Entrepreneurs In Action business experience in Wellington over the weekend, a first for the competition.
"We knew we had done pretty well because our mentors thought we might be in the top four. We didn't want to get our hopes up but we were definitely going for it," van den Hout said, with both exhaustion and jubilation written on her face.
"We stayed up until 2.30am finishing our pitches because the day before we had about 10 hours to write our business concept and then we were pitching the next morning so we worked into the night."
Members of the winning team for each challenge won a $3000 scholarship to Massey University, and the winning team of the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Challenge on Day 2 were awarded the trip to Brazil in December. Each student just by attending received a $1000 Massey scholarship, so van den Hout's total is $7000.
Winners of the trips to Chile (October) and Colombia (January) were chosen individually and were selected based on their performance over the weekend, and a supplementary video application.
For the challenge that won her and her team to Brazil they were instructed to create a market strategy to enter a Latin American country.
"It involved a lot of research and we had to cold call a few people."
"I think I got really lucky with the group I got put into because we had such a big variety of skills. I think that really helped us. We were all really confident when it came to speaking at the pitch but some people were good at marketing, writing and research."
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