Michelle knows her business
A young Nelson entrepreneur is reaching new heights of business success, qualifying for an international business case competition.
Former Garin College student Michelle Panzer was part of a University of Canterbury team which came first-equal at a national business competition in Wellington at the weekend.
They will now compete in the Student Development Society's international business case competition in Queenstown next month.
The competition, first held in 2008, has teams presenting growth strategies for a company or organisation to a panel of judges, in a "Dragon's Den" style.
The example company used for the latest competition was Pinnacle Rigging, which specialises in telecommunications and electricity tower installation.
Every team had to examine the business, identify problems, and suggest solutions.
Ms Panzer, who opened and closed the presentation, said her team suggested the company diversify into tower maintenance, create an automated system to alert them when towers needed to be repaired, and develop accreditation and training for the industry to raise safety standards.
The feedback from the judges had been positive, with their only complaint that her team had been "too optimistic".
She expected next month's international competition to be intense, with several days of similar challenges.
"If we're doing that day in, day out, it's going to be an intense week."
Ms Panzer is the chief executive of entre, a University of Canterbury group set up eight years ago to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit in students.
She also won the Global Enterprise Scheme when she was at Garin College, as the managing director of a team that made an interactive children's book teaching kids everything from how to brush their teeth to the importance of being sun-smart.
Her father is Robert Panzer, the Young Enterprise Scheme regional co-ordinator for the top of the South Island.
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