The Beginning . . .

The Upstart Challenge began in 2012 as a concept created by Geelong’s St Joseph’s College Foundation in response to the region's transforming industrial economic heritage and the need to better prepare young people for the changing employment landscape.

What is the Upstart Challenge?

Our flagship program. The Upstart Challenge is our entrepreneurial ideas challenge, accelerator and mentoring program for secondary school students. It aims to build essential life and employability skills to better equip students for the jobs of the future.


Between 2012 – 2017

With the support of the St. Joseph’s College Foundation and growing from strength to strength, the Upstart Challenge evolved to becoming an independent not for profit organisation and registered charity. This was achieved through the additional support of the Victorian State Government, Industry Sponsors, the Education Sector, and continued financial sponsorship from the St Joseph’s College Foundation. Over 913 students have participated in the Challenge, 17 schools have been involved and over 293 innovative Big Ideas have been submitted!

2017 and beyond

With the continued disruption and rapid change being experienced in the employment landscape globally, Upstart’s mission to inspire, educate and amplify tomorrow’s changemakers continues to be a driving force behind the growth of our organisation. Upstart has grown from its xx start to becoming a leader in entrepreneurial education. Offering a range of experiential learning opportunities, tools and resources to educators, youth leaders, communities and young people, we work closely with our clients to develop bespoke solutions for maximum impact. Rather than a simple imparting of information, at Upstart we remain committed to building the capacity of our participants and the global village that supports them.