Winner of the 2020 Upstart Challenge, Beth Wright from Loreto College, with Upstart HQ Co-founders Heather Kelly and Jenny Perks
Hi Beth! Please introduce yourself to our readers…
My name is Beth Wright and I won the 2020 Upstart challenge with my idea for an app which I named Ecolo.
Basically, Ecolo uses a scanning system that, by reading the barcode, will tell the consumer everything they need to know about the safety and environmental sustainability of the product.
Where are you now?
This year I am year 11 at Loreto College and am studying Mathematical Methods, English literature, French, Chemistry, Biology and Health and human development.
Since being involved with the Upstart Challenge I have not been doing a great deal (outside of schoolwork) thanks to an increasing amount of homework and study, although I am not complaining as I find the subjects I am doing extremely interesting.
I am hoping that one day the Upstart Challenge prizemoney I won will go towards perhaps getting my app idea up and running but so far, it is tucked away safely and I am in the process of deciding what to do with it.
How has being involved with the Upstart Challenge helped you get there?
The Upstart challenge inspired me greatly and helped me to follow my passion for environment sustainability. I have been attempting to become more environmentally sustainable in my everyday routines and choosing environmentally-friendly products (eg. facial cleansers that are free of micro-beads) that I think would make great recommendations on the app.
What does your ideal career look like?
I am looking at medicine and science. Although my career path is not set in stone, these are areas that I have found I had passions for, ever since I was little I have had a desire to know how the world works. People often say, “I do it because I want to help people”; while this is certainly true for me it is not the only thing driving me towards medicine.
I have always known that I would not be happy at a desk job, I have always been far too impatient for that and whilst I have always loved the arts, I found that it was not meant to be a career pathway for me.
What skills are necessary for your dream job?
Hard work, dedication and passion. I also feel that a desire to help others is vital. In all honesty, the Upstart Challenge helped me to improve these skills greatly by pushing me to come up with viable business ideas that are interesting to me and, hopefully, to consumers.
What did you enjoy most about taking part in the Upstart Challenge?
I greatly enjoyed learning about the way the world of business works as well as learning more about my chosen topic, however I found that the process of coming up with the ideas, talking with friends about them and finding passion for something that started off as nothing was the most incredible part of the challenge. It teaches – or re-teaches – your brain a new way of thinking and learning that is simply not taught at school and is a skill necessary to help with every stage of your life.
What advice or words of wisdom would you share with students looking to take part in the Upstart Challenge this year?
- Trust your instincts – If an idea speaks to you, you need to answer it!
- Brainstorms are really helped me to figure out ideas that I liked.For examplI started with the words ‘Upstart brainstorm’ and circled it, then I created branches of themes that I could choose and things that I thought needed improving in the world. My idea came under the branch ‘environment’ and that is how I got to where I am today 😊
- Cover your bases – this includes consumer opinions, business plans and making sure that the idea is feasible and valid. Do this as soon as possible because it will almost certainly change and if you have this thought out first, the idea is much more easily moulded around it.
Thanks for your time Beth and congratulations on your win. We’ll be watching with interest to see where your entrepreneurial spirit takes you!