CPIT’s INōMA team was recognised for their innovative PLAYōMA business venture at the Entré awards this week.
The team took home ‘Most market ready venture’ with their Japanese-inspired pin and wedge system of flat pack furniture, which has been carefully designed for children and families to enjoy assembling together.
“I am so proud of what we have achieved as a CPIT team,” team leader Jonathan Love said. “The ‘Most market ready venture’ prize reflects the high level of practical and creative talent in the team and how well CPIT has prepared us for taking the next step.”
The INōMA team is made up of five members with diverse and complimentary skill sets: Richard Lorgelly and Darryl Jacobsen are CPIT design and architectural students, Antonio Lozano Ortiz is a CPIT furniture and joinery student and Sandy Qiu studies marketing at CPIT. Jonathan Love is a MBA student at the University of Canterbury who has studied furniture and joinery at CPIT. CPIT supported the team with a development grant from the CPIT Foundation and use of facilities and workshops.
The PLAYōMA children’s table and three-stool set will be on the market for Christmas and is being produced locally with reclaimed rimu from red-zones houses. Product testing at Sumner Primary School showed that the PLAYōMA assembly approach, using elements like ‘Molly the Mallet’, was interesting and fun for children.
“We are continuing to innovate and look for new ways to engage our customers in the furniture design and assembly process. Our hope for the PLAYōMA range is to create a space with an embedded emotional value that was created when mum, dad, grandma or granddad spent time building the furniture together with their child or grandchild,” Love said.
“The word ‘ma’ is Japanese for space or interval, so PLAYōMA means ‘play-space’.”
Entré is open to all University of Canterbury and CPIT students and aims to develop entrepreneurial thinking through cash prizes, mentoring and industry services. The CPIT team made the top 10 final and earned the chance to present their concept and business model to a panel of judges at a Dragon’s Den style event.
Love hopes INōMA has opened the door for more CPIT teams to compete in future Entré events. “I can see so much potential in bringing skills from different disciplines together from across CPIT and I hope we have inspired some students to try their hand at creating something that adds value in some way, whether through social entrepreneurship or in a competitive business space.”
Entré is by no means the end of the journey for INōMA; the team plans to be selling PLAYōMA for Christmas and to further develop their business model and relationships using the skills and experience gained through applying their ideas in the market.