Gel-Shel is a holder for energy gels that attaches to mountain bikes, reducing the amount of rubbish picked up after biking events. Sam and Holly won a $1000 cash prize plus Sam had two weeks' invaluable work experience with Locus Research and Woods.
The Innovators and their Idea
Hi, my name is Sam Sheaff from Mount Maunganui College, one half of the team that created Gel-Shel. One day after a mountain biking race, my family and I went for a ride in The Redwoods. We were shocked to see empty energy gel sachets littered all through the course. This gave me the idea for an energy gel holder for cyclists to reduce the amount of litter left after a cycle event called the Gel-Shel. I knew it was a great idea but winning showed us that other people agreed.
The Internship and the Future
I was lucky enough to win a YiA scholarship which included a $1000 in prize money and two weeks work experience at product development agency Locus Research and brand innovation agency Woods.
This internship was an amazing experience. I had so much fun bringing the Gel-Shel idea to life, from the research to the marketing. I learnt a lot about how to advertise a product, especially with the "Why How What" tip. I improved my problem solving and researching skills, as well as my idea generating skills in general. I learnt that creating a product is a lot more than just paying people to make and sell it for you, it requires at lot of time, effort and dedication.
I went into this internship not very sure on what was to come, a bit nervous but mostly excited. I left a completely different person with brand new skills and ideas. Before this experience, I had never considered innovation as a career choice, but now it is something that has made its way onto the list. This internship has been awesome, and is one thing I will never forget.
So where to now with the Gel-Shel? We were given the contact details of a local wetsuit manufacturer and are exploring the idea of making a prototype. This prototype will be used for additional market research and trials in an upcoming mountain bike event in Rotorua. Our overall goal is to have Gel-Shels to come in the race packs that competitors receive before races such as the Iron Man, to help spread the word and keep New Zealand bike trails beautiful. Watch this space…
Problem definition very clear. Use of detailed observational and social media research impressed the judges. Some real thought went into how something could be attached to a bike but still be practical enough to use a potential bike racing situation. A prototype was created and trialled. Solving the problem of pollution due to waste wrappers scored highly due to its impact on the environment. In summary, great communication, research and extra effort in making a prototype and trialling it showed a clear understanding of the process of innovation.
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