Shell Ideas360 provides university students with an exciting opportunity to develop their ideas into a potentially investment-worthy business case with the support of Shell mentors and subject matter experts.

In May, during the final stage of the first season in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the five finalist teams had the opportunity to demonstrate their potential, develop their skills and collaborate globally with like-minded innovators, gaining insights into the current and future challenges in the fields related to Food, Water and Energy.

The team from Monash University in Australia impressed the judges with their Smart Water idea. This is based on a system that measures water use and associated costs, targeting areas with excessive water use. Small monitoring devices attached to water taps at home and linked to a mobile device, enable consumers to keep track of their water usage while they are away from home, ultimately helping them to save water. Have a look at their idea here.

Although a team from McGill and Concordia Universities in Canada won first prize, the Monash team - Ami Pasricha, Horace Josh and Kali Wong, all students in electrical and computer systems engineering - say they have come away from the experience with valuable contacts and inspiration to carry on with their bright ideas.

Ami said: “This experience has given me an insight into what it is really like out there. I have learnt how the commercial and innovative worlds combine to create solutions for ideas that previously only existed on paper.”

Horace, who’s now doing his PhD, added: “I now know that a seemingly simple idea can have the potential to change the world for the better. During Stage 3 in Rotterdam, we sat in on webinars and workshops and had a Google Hangout with Chaco van der Sijp from the Shell GameChanger Programme. These events all provided helpful information and tips for developing our idea further and preparing for our final presentation.”

Kali is full of praise for Eric Seah, a Shell contracts engineer in Malaysia and their mentor during the competition: “Each team had their own mentor and Eric has been really supportive in terms of helping us develop our idea even further. He conducted a mock business meeting which helped us gain more understanding into what investors are looking for. Eric has a commercial and marketing background and he challenged us to think about the non-engineering aspects of our idea.”

This competition has various benefits for students. Not only are there wonderful prizes to be won like a National Geographic expedition, but finalists also get the opportunity to work with professionals and rub shoulders with Shell’s Subject Matter Experts and have a Q&A session with Gerald Schotman, Shell’s Chief Technology Officer. Should they make the Stage 3, they will travel to Amsterdam where they’ll get to meet fellow students, industry professionals and business leaders who will teach them how the business behind an idea works.

This is a great opportunity for young people to develop solutions to real-world problems - with the help of industry professionals. The best ideas submitted to the competition could also be looked at by the Shell GameChanger Programme. This programme has been designed to prove the technical and commercial viability of an idea quickly and affordably. To date, GameChanger has worked with more than 1,500 innovators and turned more than 100 ideas into reality - some with massive potential.

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