Ideas to Positively Change my World

Geelong entrepreneurship training
  • Looking for an engaging, real world education program which provides student agency?

  • An innovative, easy to implement program packed with step by step guides, activities and resources to deliver at your own pace?

  • An opportunity to connects with local business mentors?

We’ve got you covered with the Upstart Challenge!

Students are guided through their own entrepreneurial journey as they are introduced to design thinking, entrepreneurship, and the art of creative thinking, or as we like to call it, Ideation!

In 2019, 9 secondary schools in from the Ballarat region took part in the Upstart Challenge, an innovative entrepreneurship education program, empowering students with the skills required for 21st century careers.

Your students will develop new skills and traits throughout your own entrepreneurial journey, ensuring their entries into the Upstart Challenge are best placed to progress through to the Innovation Accelerator.

How To Enter

Innovation Accelerator

Your students will get hands-on in this accelerator program to take their ideas to the next level. Working in teams, students will discover what their need to take their idea from inception to creation and beyond and put it into practice!

This includes:

  • Problem validation
  • Customer discovery
  • Solution design
  • Team Roles
  • Communication and Pitching

In our Upstart led fast paced and energising workshop, finalist students from across the region work with our team of local mentors and learn how to take their ideas to the next stage. Students build prototypes and hone their communication skills in preparation for the Upstart Challenge Showcase.

How To Enter

Upstart Challenge Showcase

Woohoo, your school has made it to the final round! Your students are part of an elite and talented team of change-makers and it’s their time to shine!

  • They’ve come up with a business idea (commercial or social), and had their thinking challenged through the accelerator program and it’s probably shifted quite a bit from the original concept.

  • They’ve done some customer testing and better understand what their potential customers really want and will pay for.

  • They’re now awesome communicators having learned what a great pitch looks and sounds like and had a practice go!


This is your students’ chance to get some extra resources to grow  their business or community enterprise. They might need connections in a particular industry or with a particular skillset, perhaps it’s an introduction into a business and of course let’s not forget about some cash.

Whatever their needs, the Upstart Challenge Showcase is a great opportunity to find it.

Representing your school student team will pitch their business to a panel of expert judges from the local business community and a broader audience of guests from industry, education, investors, government and the community to take out the coveted Upstart Entrepreneur of the Year title.  The winning team will also be awarded $1000 cash and tech prizes.  People’s Choice award as voted by the audience, will win $300 cash.

How To Enter

“The more we can educate secondary school students to learn both business basics and entrepreneurial traits, the better off as a country we will be. The Upstart Challenge program manages to successfully weave in both. ”

Maurice Grasso, Melbourne Angel Investment