MEDIA RELEASE – By Meg Bullock, 24 July 2019

Upstart welcomes ten teams of young Geelong entrepreneurs to the Upstart Challenge Accelerator.

From a tech loaded piece of jewellery to provide personal security, a GPS style navigation app to find loved one’s tombs within a cemetery and a music sharing platform for aspiring young artists Upstart welcomes ten teams with innovative business and social enterprise ideas to the 2019 Upstart Challenge Accelerator Program.

The program launched last night at Upstart HQ located within the startup space in Runway. Ten teams of aspiring young entrepreneurs, all students from the Geelong region, came together to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey.

Upstart Director Jenny Perks said the purpose of the Upstart Challenge was to develop young people’s skills for the jobs of the future, to build resilience and confidence in their ability to start their own businesses at any time and help them build valuable connections.

“As the future of work transforms, we need changemakers and job creators equipped with transferable entrepreneurial skills; creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration and communication to meet future demands”.

“We’re pleased that 60 per cent of our Accelerator founders are female students and 60 per cent are from public schools in Geelong. We’re an inclusive organisation that actively works to increase participation from all students regardless of their location, background, ability or gender. Anyone can be an entrepreneur and we need to ensure that no one is left behind”.

The ten teams will develop their innovative solutions through a series of workshops and mentoring sharing their work in a Pitching Showcase and Expo on 5 September open to members of the public.

The Upstart Young Entrepreneur of the Year will be awarded alongside People’s Choice Award and the winning teams will receive seed funding, technology prizes and a business support package.

Industry engagement through mentorship is an extremely important part of the program, mentors add real-world experience to help the program’s young entrepreneurs flourish. This year’s Accelerator mentors include FormFlow founder Dr. Matt Dingle; Aurecon Digital Specialist, Aaron Belbasis; and Liz Grant, Small Business Specialist.

“Upstart mentors share our values to support young people and build a culture of entrepreneurship in Geelong for economic prosperity and community wellbeing”.

Meet the ten teams in the program:

Team: Travel Safe – Road Smart

School / Year: Yr 11 Belmont High School

Big Idea: Device to aid foreign drivers navigate Australian road environments safely.

Team: Mailing Destinations for the Homeless

Year / School: Yr 11 Lara Secondary College

Big Idea: A mailing address system for homeless people to improve their ability to manage their lives.

Team: Tomb Finder

Year / School: Yr 12 Northern Bay College

Big Idea: GPS style navigation app for finding loved ones tombs within a cemetery.

Team: TranSport

Year / School: Yr 8 Sacred Heart Secondary College

Big Idea: Clever transportation logistics service focused on children and sports.

Team: FloppyOS

Year / School: Yr 8 St Joseph’s College

Big Idea: AI guided OS that learns from user inputs and creates easy to use desktops.

Team: The Breakfast Bus

Year / School: Yr 11 Belmont High School

Big Idea: Nutritional education focused food service aimed at school children.

Team: An Electric Ramp

Year / School: Yr 10 Lara Secondary College

Big Idea: Mobile, electric door ramp for improved accessibility for wheelchairs.

Team: Crescendo

Year / School Yr : 8 St Joseph’s College

Big Idea: An improved music platform targeted at up and coming artists.

Team: Anti-Violence Ring

Year / School: Yr 10 Northern Bay College

Big Idea: A tech-loaded piece of jewellery aiming to provide personal security.

Team: Organizabull

Year / School: Yr 8 Sacred Heart Secondary College

Big Idea: A smart, customisable, feature-rich diary/personal organiser for busy school students.


Media contact: Jenny Perks, Director Upstart

M: 0434 205945 E:

Upstart is an independent, non-profit and registered charity. We equip young people with future-facing skills, knowhow, connections and entrepreneurial mindsets. We challenge them to be resilient problem solvers, creative thinkers and intuitive communicators.

The Upstart Challenge, our flagship program, is an entrepreneurial ideas challenge, accelerator and mentoring program for secondary school students. It concludes with the Upstart Challenge Pitching Showcase and Expo which will take place Thursday 5 September.

The Upstart Challenge is part-funded through the Victorian Government initiative Skilling the Bay and industry sponsors.

Our supporters of youth entrepreneurial education