Startup Weekend Youth 2015

IC CEO Mark Paddenburg congratulated the deserving winners of this year’s inaugural Australasia Startup Weekend Youth Sunshine Coast which promotes entrepreneurship and innovation for year 10-12 students.

“This Google sponsored event is a great initiative to develop the business skills and capacity of the next generation of local entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools to succeed in the future,” he said.

Josiah Bettenay, a Year 10 student at Mountain Creek State High School, pitched the winning idea with classmates Mitch Keefe, Jayden Wilson, Georgia Walker-Healy and Emma Conway who developed Go Log, an app that replaces traditional paper-based logbooks by allowing learner drivers to record their drives in digital form.

The team’s final five-minute pitch impressed the judging panel which included Vanessa Garrard (CEO of e3! Style), Rick Baker (CEO of Blackbird Ventures), and Sally Williams (Outreach Program Manager for Google Australia). Team members shared in $1,500 worth of tech prizes, along with swag of professional mentoring, coaching and development services. The IC has already made introductions to some of our mentor panel members and alumni members that can assist in taking Go Log forward.

Runners up included:

·         Ever Health, a mobile platform designed to promote wellbeing through gamified fitness challenges.

·         Appy Youth, an app that aims to address youth depression by helping young people to connect at safe drug-and alcohol-free events.

Startup-Weekend-Youth_Group-low-res

Thirty-six senior students from 12 schools went from pitch to prototype in just three days, turning ideas into fledgling businesses with the help of mentors from the local startup and tech communities.

Organising team member and teacher Graeme Breen said the event, held at the Institute of Professional Learning from 21-23 August, was designed to give students in Years 10-12 an understanding of how the skills they learnt in school could be applied in a changing business landscape.

Startup Weekend Youth was timed to coincide with the upcoming addition of a Digital Technologies course to the Australian curriculum.

“This course will provide students with much of the knowledge needed to undertake this commercialisation, but in order to succeed in the contemporary workforce they will also need the more intangible skills businesses are looking for, including working collaboratively, problem solving, critical analysis, effective decision making and process management,” Mr Breen said.

In recognition of the student’s commitment and enthusiasm, all 36 participants received holiday internships with local businesses, which will provide valuable opportunities to further develop their skills and passion.

Mark said “Startup Weekend Youth follows on from the hugely successful Startup Weekend Sunshine Coast, which has attracted more than 150 participants over the past two years” and key sponsors included the IC, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast Council, Digital Careers and Google.