The Accelerator finalists

The Accelerator finalists

A diverse range of compelling ideas from students across our academic disciplines are excitingly progressing through to the X Challenge 2022 grand final in November.

X Challenge Programme Manager, Shayna McWhirter says, ‘It’s wonderful to see a really broad range of submissions going through to the final – it’s going to be an exciting battle!’.


Eight finalists have now been selected by a panel of 16 expert judges and each team is on the journey to the Final Pitch on 29 November, where $20,000 of cash, plus prizes, will be up for grabs.

Audio Case Law - A web-based solution where users can read and hear case law

Molly Foai
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Blindsite - Improving website accessibility across the small business market

Armani Greenway and Lawson Greenway
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law - A time tracking and analysis toolset for developers

Blake Fernandes and Chad Reader
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies

Computerised Equine Bit - A smart bit to allow communication between a horse and its rider

Stefan Hadzi-Longinovic
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences

DaCard - A travel itinerary app based on user recommendation and preferences

Hannah Nguyen, Shun Lee, Jasmine Lee, Jenny Lee, Byron Lui
Faculty of Culture and Society

Easy Eats - Creating an immersive and engaging cooking experience for students

Matthew Hill, Anna Ross, Kennedy Datson and Dane Chea
Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

Get rid - Selling unwanted devices on your behalf

Josh Patel and Sue Kim
Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies

PowerFlue - A flue that generates electricity through thermoelectric generators

Christopher McArthur
Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences

Deliberation over the final eight entries stretched over four hours and was hard won, with judges commenting on the potential of every single idea.

“Ultimately, it had to come down to the ideas that were the most developed and which the judges believed had the best chance of being realised,” says AUT Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Martin Bell, who convened the judging panel.

The next nine weeks will be exciting, demanding, fun – and maybe a little nerve-wracking – for the finalists as they develop a business plan and prepare their five-minute pitch for the final. Luckily, they’re not on their own, with each team being allocated an awesome industry mentor.

Ander Castlletort Schnaas, Co-founder of X Challenge 2021 Supreme Winner, Delta Waterways, says, ‘The insight and support we received from our mentor, Kate de Ridder from Bridgewest Ventures, helped tremendously. Her professional perspective and overall willingness to guide us through the challenge was invaluable,” he says.

2022 Judges

The X Challenge team extend a big thank you to the panel of sixteen judges, who each offered a unique view based on their area of skill and expertise.

  • Alchae Cansana - GD1
  • Andre Rowell - NZVC and M2 Magazine
  • Arran Hunt - Stace Hammond
  • Catriona Stewart - Auckland Unlimited
  • Connor Archbold - Previously Unavailable
  • David Claridge - Auckland Business Chamber
  • Elyse Wyatt - Hardware Meetup
  • Jacob Varghese - Ministry of Awesome
  • James Cochrane - Stace Hammond
  • Kanva Patel - AUT Ventures
  • Kate deRidder - Bridgewest Ventures
  • Lari Dkhar - New Zealand Growth Capital Partners
  • Mahsa McCauley - AUT Women in Technology and She Sharp
  • Marareia Hamilton - Hawaiki Nui Ltd
  • Reon Oak - Gait International
  • Scott Kington - beyond usual

Join our Facebook community

Get the latest info, hear about events, get support and meet like-minded folk.

X Challenge on Facebook

Contact us

Shayna McWhirter

X Challenge

The Accelerator is part of the X Challenge competition. Find out more about what competitions are run by X Challenge annually.