Enterprising students from across the Ballarat region finished the Upstart Challenge program with a bang, pitching their business ideas to the judging panel and a large online audience of the region’s business, education, and community leaders and beyond.
Four teams of students, from years 6 through to 10 pitched, with Beth Wright from Loreto College taking out the Ballarat Upstart Young Entrepreneurs of the Year Award for 2020. Beth has won $1000 for her winning idea. Her business idea, Ecolo, is a mobile app that scans barcodes on beauty products to provide information about the environmental impact of the product. Armed with this information, consumers can then make more conscious decisions about their purchases. Beth’s innovative business idea was selected as the winner by the judges Sophia Fiusco from the Sovereign Hill Museum, Ian Corcoran from sponsor, Buninyong and District Community Branch of Bendigo Bank along with Upstart’s founders Heather Kelly and Jenny Perks.
The audience also had their say on the night to by voting for their favourite idea in the People’s Choice Award, which went to Carmen Gallardo, Joshua Di Mieri and Zoe Daniel from Bacchus Marsh Grammar with their idea Hydrozoid, a renewable, clean energy device that generates electricity through the currents of water, aimed at providing rural communities in the developing world with easier access to power.
“It’s certainly been a challenging year for all, and the resilience of this year’s students is to be admired! Critical thinking skills have never been more important. We all know how quickly the pace of change is accelerated so to have students who have that thinking process and that resilience is important”, says Upstart Director, Jenny Perks.
Previous winners have gone to showcase their idea at the Wade Institute, Pivot Summit as well as throughout Victoria. Opportunities for young entrepreneurs don’t come much better than this!
Meet the four teams who pitched in the live online showcase event:
Team Members: Beth Wright
Year / School: Yr 10, Loreto College
Big Idea: A mobile app that scans barcodes on beauty products and provides information about the environmental impact of the product helping consumers make more conscious decisions.
Team Members: Carmen Gallardo, Joshua Di Mieri and Zoe Daniel
Year / School: Yr 9, Bacchus Marsh Grammar
Big Idea: Hydrozoid is a renewable, clean energy device that generates electricity through the currents of water, aimed at providing rural communities in the developing world with easier access to power.
Team Members: Mia Flynn and Zari Collin
Year / School: Yr 10, Mount Rowan Secondary College
Big Idea: A community-based physical activity program to be run using school facilities three or four times a week in order to remove the barriers to exercise and encouraging young people, and their families, to be more active.
Team Rescue Watch
Team Members: Eleanor Justin and Olivia Beechey
Year / School: Yr 6, Ballarat Grammar
Big Idea: A wearable GPS watch device worn by open water swimmers and surfers to help lifeguards locate them quicker if they were to get into trouble and reduce the number of drownings across Australia.