24th May, 2016
Students across New Zealand will be putting their business and IT skills to the test over the next few weeks as the popular MYOB IT Challenge expands to become a national competition for the first time.
The competition, run by leading accounting software provider MYOB in conjunction with the University of Auckland’s Management Consulting Club, challenges teams of two to four students to come up with a software solution to a real life business problem.
Teams are given an IT business issue and asked to prepare a persuasive pitch for a panel of judges, including a business plan, working IT solution and go-to-market strategy.
Previously the educational event was held for students from the University of Auckland. This year they will be joined by participants from AUT University, the University of Canterbury, Massey University, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato, with each institution holding its own regional event in May. The challenge culminates in a national final in Auckland at the beginning of July where the top teams from each university will go head-to-head for a share in the $5,000 prize pool and a leg-up in the IT world.
MYOB CEO Tim Reed says the challenge provides students with the opportunity to think from a business perspective, study the market and bring an idea to fruition over a short period of time.
“The MYOB IT Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for students from all over New Zealand to showcase their talents and put their learning into action by creating new, real world, IT solutions,” he says.
“Tech companies following lean and agile methodologies will often bring a solution to market in a short timeframe. This challenge gives the students a taste of what it will be like in the businesses they will work for following their graduation.”
As Incubator Manager for the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Canterbury, Michelle Panzer’s role is to create an array of opportunities for innovation to flourish in their student-dedicated space. She says she sees the MYOB IT Challenge as a chance for the students to build on their teamwork, analytical-thinking and presentation skills.
“Upon graduation, we want our students to be more employable and innovative. The MYOB IT Challenge helps with both of these. By working on a real business problem, our students will develop the skills and knowledge that will set them apart and help them tackle further problems faced by our society,” she says.
“There are also elements of enterprise and entrepreneurship required by the MYOB IT Challenge. For us, this knowledge and practice is crucial as we prepare our students to be able to pave their future and make a difference in the world.”
Tim Reed feels that not only is the MYOB IT Challenge enhancing the students’ future, but it also encourages the development of the technology and innovation of the future.
“At MYOB we’re really excited about the inaugural MYOB National IT Challenge because innovation and technology are both core to our business success. It’s how we stay ahead, how we provide the new products and services our customers expect. Technology is redefining how people live, work and play, and as students you have a key role in shaping and defining our future – innovations that we haven’t even envisaged yet,” he says.