082 WBA Finalists 13 Sept2023 3600px
FINALISTS: From left to right, Flight Structures founding director Jon Kerr and business manager Sally Kerr, Emergency Consult chief executive Jenni Falconer, Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines global marketing manager Graham Brown and Company-X co-founder and director Jeremy Hughes. Photo courtesy of Barker Photography.

A trio of Waikato businesses are competing for this year’s Company-X Innovation Award.

Helix Flight Manufacturing Machines Ltd, Flight Structures Ltd and Emergency Consult, all based in Hamilton, were named finalists of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on September 13.

Company-X co-founder and director Jeremy Hughes was one of the Innovation Award judges and presented the finalists with certificates.

“It is so good to see innovation thriving in the Mighty Waikato,” Hughes said.

“Company-X has sponsored the innovation award since 2017. It was an honour to be asked to join the panel of judges this year. Even experienced businesspeople learn something from the process of entering and the feedback process in these awards, and that goes for judges too. I loved hearing about the journey our innovators are on. I enjoyed the process tremendously.”

This category recognises organisations that have enhanced their success through innovation - both in thinking and implementing of an idea.

Their innovation can be in a product, service, technology, or process.

Entry requirement for businesses entering the Innovation category is that they have a minimum of two full time equivalent employees and annual net turnover more than $1 million.

Head judge Dr Heather Connolly of Waikato University’s Management School said the panel of 29 judges was impressed with the quality of the finalists.

“We were also pleased to see the number of entries up on last year, with a total of 76 entries this year. The calibre of entrants was excellent and it’s always encouraging to see businesses enter for the first time,” Connolly said.

“As judges we feel privileged that the entrants again have provided us with the opportunity to find out more about what makes them special. And as businesses in the region, there are some amazing things happening.”