On the afternoon of Friday 13 November, Australia’s most promising high school entrepreneurs pitched live to be crowned 2020 Future Anything National Grand Final Winner.
For the first time ever, the event took place virtually, with students beaming in live from classrooms and halls across Australia to pitch their innovative, scalable and sustainable business ideas to a panel of expert judges.
The eight Grand Finalists were selected by a panel of international judges including Terry Shubkin (Young Enterprise NZ), Tim Walmsley (BenchOn), Natalie Kyriacou (My Green World), Ayush Jain (Start Some Good), Murray Hurps (UTS), and Gerry Higgins (Social Enterprise World Forum). They had to choose from hundreds of applications submitted by students participating in Activate, Future Anything’s award-winning youth entrepreneurship program.
In 2020, over 40 schools took part in Activate, challenging their young people to research, develop, and prototype scalable business solutions that make the world a better place. Following a series of high-energy and extremely competitive virtual Regional and Semi-Finals, the eight best teams went go head to head in our National Grand Final.
The young entrepreneurs took to the virtual stage in an event hosted by Future Anything Founder, Nicole Dyson, with judges Laura McBain (d.school, Stanford), Jan Owen AM (Learning Creates Australia), and social entrepreneur Mikhara Ramsing (MIKS Chai). An audience of over 2000 people watched live online to cheer the teams on.
After a series of fast and furious pitches, some super tough questioning by the judges, and a live People’s Vote, the 2020 Future Anything Winner was crowned.
Aqua Shield from St Andrew’s Anglican College took out the top prize with their sustainable alternative to shark nets. The team won $2000 and a suite of support to launch their business in the real world.
The Runner Up, snagging $1000, was Springfield Central State High School’s The I AM Project while MacGregor State High School’s ReCycle, and Safe & Secure, an independent entry were recognized as Highly Commended concepts.
In a very tight contested People’s Vote, in which over 2200 votes (2291 to be precise!) were cast, ReCycle picked up their second prize of the afternoon.
Nicole Dyson said “I’d like to acknowledge the bravery and courage of all our young people stepping up and taking to the virtual stage today. It’s no easy task, and regardless of the final result, the Future Anything team is here to support all of today’s teams – and all the young people who are part of our programs – to help them take their ideas from where they are today to wherever they would like them to be.”
Future Anything 2020 National Grand Final – full list of teams:
- AquaShield (St Andrew’s Anglican College) – Addressing the unnecessary killing of thousands of aquatic species along the coasts of Australia due to shark nets.
- Did I Say Yes? (Kildare College) – Tackling sexual assault towards women.
- FunpunsbyAndy (The Gap SHS) – Addressing mental health, especially in young people.
- Heal It (Corinda SHS) – Tackling low self-esteem, stress and depression by supporting people to live to their best every day.
- ReCycle (MacGregor SHS) – Addressing poverty and unemployment in Logan City by repurposing used bicycles to help the environment.
- Safe and Secure (Independent) – Solving the issue of plastic waste generated by condoms.
- The I AM Project (Springfield Central SHS) – Addressing the issue of self-worth and negative thinking, particularly in school-aged students.
- You’re the Boss (Mercy College Mackay) – Giving individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, or mental illness the opportunity to connect with others who have experienced similar feelings and emotions.
You can watch the Future Anything National Grand Final 2020 on YouTube here.
Future Anything transforms young people’s passion and curiosity into innovative ideas that make the world a better place. We support educators to lead authentic Australian curriculum-aligned learning experiences that connect students to the real world.