Activator Entrepreneurs In Residence

Support the next generation of Aussie changemakers

Ever looked back at your high school experience and wish it had all been more connected to life in the ‘real world’?


Want to ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring the next generation of Aussie changemakers?


Can you carve out five hours to share your knowledge, expertise and insights with brilliant young people?

Join us as a Future Anything Activator and help bend the future, one youth-led idea at a time.

We’re seeking thought-leaders, innovators, and all-round epic humans with diverse real-life experience to become Future Anything Activators

Acting as an ‘Entrepreneur in Residence’ or EiR, Activators will be matched with a participating school, supporting teachers and students as a mentor, sounding board, and cheerleader as they work through Future Anything’s Activate program. 

Activate empowers young people to design innovative, sustainable, and scalable solutions to the problems THEY care about. It’s delivered by educators in their own classrooms over one or two terms and culminates in their school’s very own ‘shark tank’ or showcase.

Plus, students have the opportunity to take their ideas to our high-profile national competition with young people pitching for funding and support to launch their ideas into the real world.

The Activator’s goal is to help to connect learning in the classroom to life outside the school gates.  

You don’t need to be the founder of the latest unicorn (or, indeed, an actual unicorn) to be an Activator. You just need to have experience of life and work in the real world; a good ear for listening; the ability to ask great questions, pivot, and solve problems; and an open mind.

In short, you are an enterprising thinker. 

Expressions of Interest for 2022 are now closed. If you’re interested in becoming an Activator, register your interest here and we’ll let you know when EoIs for 2023 open.

How does it work?


Check out the FAQ below


Interested? Complete the Expression of Interest then sit tight; behind the scenes, we'll be matching applicants with potential schools.


We’ll let you know if we’ve found you a match, and invite you to accept or decline your participation (we know things might change between now and then!)


Before kicking off, you’ll join a short, virtual Activator workshop. You'll connect with other Activators, and be set up for Activator success. From here, we’ll introduce you to the Lead Teacher in your school.


Your Activator residency takes place at a time that works for you during the term that your school is delivering Activate. This usually Term 2 or 3 (March - September).


The Future Anything team will be on hand throughout your residency to provide you with guidance or support, and of course, to hear how things are going!

Activator FAQ

What's involved?

Activators will act as an “Entrepreneur in Residence” for the school(s) they’re matched with, providing advice, mentorship and support for their young people and/or teachers. This may be a physical or virtual presence and could include:

  • Spending time 121 or with groups of Activate students listening to their business ideas, asking questions and providing constructive feedback to help them improve or pivot their thinking.
  • Running a short workshop or leading discussions on topics relating to your experience or area of expertise 
  • Joining a school-led Q&A or panel discussion
  • Acting as a judge at a school’s ‘shark tank’ style pitch event and showcase
  • Helping teachers make connections to the local business/innovation/ industry ecosystem.
  • Sharing knowledge or your personal experiences (where appropriate) or the world of work.
  • Engaging your own personal networks to connect passionate students/ teams of students with industry professionals or mentors that could help them progress their business idea further.

Do I have to be a startup founder to get involved?

No, though founders are very welcome to apply too! 

We’re looking for people that have diverse life experiences, and can apply their unique perspectives, insights and industry knowledge to help young people to think more broadly about the world around them, and how they could solve problems through developing innovative new ideas.

The role of the Activator is to be the conduit between school and the real world, to be a catalyst for thinking differently and to be a sounding board for building better ideas.

Some areas of expertise that might be helpful for Activators to share with students include (but are not limited to):

  • How a business works
  • Marketing/ branding
  • Finance/budgeting
  • Tech or product development
  • Prototyping
  • Testing an idea 
  • Pivoting ideas
  • Pitching/ Presenting

Please note all Activators will be required to provide evidence of a current Working with Children Check.

What's the time commitment?

Each Activator residency is 5-7 hours.

How these hours are committed is mutually agreed upon by the Activator and the school. For some, this could be a single day engagement, or for others the time could spread into smaller sessions spread out over the course of a term or semester.

When does it happen?

Most schools deliver Activate in Term 2 or Term 3 of the school year.

Most Activator residencies will therefore occur between March – July or July – September.

You can agree exact timings in discussion with the key contact at your matched school.

Can I choose a specific school?

 No. Future Anything will match Activators with schools participating in the Activate program.

Matching will be based on a range of factors including the school’s needs and subject stream, and the Activator’s skills, experience, and availability.

Do Activators visit their school in person?


We anticipate the majority of Activator residencies will be delivered remotely via Microsoft Teams, Zoom or other school-based platforms. 

Future Anything has done a lot of virtual mentoring with students over the last couple of years and we have found that this works extremely well.

However, in some cases, Activators may visit a school (for example to attend their school’s showcase [pitch] event) but this is not required.

Do Activators need to have any particular qualifications?

No formal professional qualifications are required.

Instead, Activators are required to be able to demonstrate that they can offer an experience of life and work in the real world; a good ear for listening; the ability to ask great questions, pivot and solve problems; and an open mind. 

A short online workshop will be held for all Activators prior to their residencies to help prepare them for their work with schools, teachers, and students.

Please note that all Activators are required to provide evidence of a current valid Working with Children Check.

What is a Working with Children Check? How do I get one?

The Working with Children Check (WWCC) is a screening process for assessing or re-assessing people who work with or care for children. Authorities take a detailed look at the criminal history and relevant professional conduct findings of applicants to assist in protecting children from sexual or physical harm.

Every State has its own application process. You should apply for the relevant WWCC from the State in which you reside. You will be asked to provide evidence of a valid WWCC before commencing your Future Anything Activator residency.

In most States you can apply online and the check is free if you’re using it for volunteering purposes. If a charge is applicable, unfortunately  Future Anything is not able to cover costs for this.

How do I sign up?

Expressions of Interest for 2022 are now closed.

If you’re interested in becoming an Activator, register your interest here and we’ll let you know when EoIs for 2023 open.

Got another question?

Great! We love enquiring minds!

Shoot us an email to [email protected] and we’ll be in touch!

What is Enterprising Thinking?
Project Management
Critical Thinking
Problem Solving
Adaptive Mindset