GRAB A GIG winners announced

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How great would it be to win two year’s worth of free gigafibre?

The Victory Mesh Project and The Bridge Street Collective are celebrating after winning last night’s “Grab a Gig” competition.

The Dragon’s Den-style competition was held by Chorus and the Nelson Digital Futures Society and encouraged businesses to come up with creative, collaborative and digitally forward ideas that could be implemented with gigafibre.

Seven finalists pitched their ideas to three judges and a 65-person strong audience at NMIT’s Innovate.

The judges Kim Stewart, Gordon Munro, and John-Paul Pochin, along with the audience, were most impressed by the Victory Mesh Project and The Bridge Street Collective.

“There was a lot of evidence of collaboration and sharing ideas about what could be done with the Chorus gigafibre plans,” says Kim. “It was really exciting to hear everyone’s ideas and I think we’ve got a couple of very worthy winners. I can’t wait to see how they get on.”

The Victory Mesh Project proposed to establish a business that designs, implements and operates a WiFi Mesh network in the Victory Community through a program teaching youths entrepreneurial skills.

Silke Larsen from the Victory Mesh Project says she and the team are absolutely stoked.

“We’re really happy that we won but all seven pitches were awesome and I would have celebrated no matter who won.”

Silke says gigafibre will mean so much on so many levels for the Victory community.

“People will be able to learn online and kids will be able to do their assignments at home, people might be able to start online businesses and we might be able to start a co-working space, there might be an intranet – there are so many possibilities when you have adequate internet access.”

The Bridge Street Collective’s proposal included being able to immediately offer high-speed broadband to a diverse group of businesses and individuals, allowing them to be more productive and stimulate business and maybe to choose co-working, which encourages collaboration and innovation.

The “Grab a Gig” winners will be reporting on the progress of their project over the two-year term they have gigafibre to implement their ideas.