Two inspiring young law students have received acclaim for app start-up ideas as part of a formal pitching event, thanks to the UNSW Founders program. UNSW’s New Wave program supports the next generation of female entrepreneurs and student start-ups, empowering female founders with professional networks, feedback from industry heavyweights and collaboration with fellow students. 

Veenie Aidaswani, who is studying a Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law & Sustainable Development, was inspired by the challenges women face in India making female friends and support networks through secure and safe channels. She created an app idea called Life Light which she describes as “kind of like speed-dating for female support networks in India, where women face high rates of sexual assault, harassment and cultural barriers to independence.”

“The idea for this app was to create a platform for women so they can take control of their life,” she said.

An important aspect of the app idea is to also connect women with social support networks and services in their area, including services like mental health organisations, women’s shelters, and legal aid organisations.

For her idea, Veenie was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the UNSW New Wave pitching event.

“As a brown woman, and all of my team had South Asian backgrounds, we see how privileged life is for women in Australia and we wanted to empower others in India, so the app is a step in that direction, we hope,” she said. 

Fellow law student Pin Tham, a fourth year Bachelor of Laws student, developed an app, CTRL + ENTER, that helps her fellow students through the use of digital ID, to help students track social memberships, and provide a safe form of identification access at all hours on campus.

“It's called CTRL+ENTER, because we are controlling the entry of users digitally and CTRL + ENTER are keys on the keyboard, which lends into the digitalization of the ID Cards,” she said. 

The idea came about, in part, to also help reduce plastic waste.

“When you think about these plastic ID cards and the tens of thousands of students and staff that use them, these cards can expire every three years. So that’s a huge amount of plastic. The digital ID app was about bringing UNSW student and staff ID into the 21st century,” she said.

“But the motivation isn’t just environmental, it’s also about keeping people safe. I used to live on campus and if I ever lost my ID late at night, I had to walk to security to get a temporary ID. This would resolve that potential issue, and I think that’s a good thing. It’s also a technology that we can apply to all sorts of industries, so there’s a lot of commercial potential.”

The two students were part of 10 pitching teams participating in the UNSW Founders New Wave showcase. 

Henry Zwartz