Published 23 November 2022
Eco Bed was crowned the winner of the Future Anything National Grand Final 2022 at a high-profile pitch event broadcast live from The Triffid in Brisbane this week.
In the culmination of Future Anything’s Activate 2022 program, eight teams of high school entrepreneurs pitched their innovative, scalable and sustainable social enterprise ideas live on stage, before facing tough questions from judges Jan Owen AM (Co-Convenor, Learning Creates Australia) and Nic Marchesi OAM (Co-founder & CDO, Orange Sky).
The event was generously supported by Major Partners Advance Queensland and the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur, Bronze Partners Blackbird and Xero and a host of epic organisations who contributed prizes to support the young entrepreneurs.
On announcing the winners, Nic Marchesi said “The quality of presentations tonight was just extraordinary. While tonight’s pitches were just three minutes, we know they were the culmination of many hours practice in classrooms and in front of bedroom mirrors. We recognise the immense hard work that’s gone in to get to this moment and congratulate all of the students on their incredible achievements. Every good idea also has a massive army of support behind it, so we also acknowledge all the teachers and parents who’ve also helped make it happen.”
Eco Bed was crowned Future Anything Grand Final 2022 winner, taking out the top prize worth close to $20,000. The prize pack included $2500 cash, a website and digital marketing support package from Gold Coast’s Syntropic Studio, a full day corporate adventure retreat thanks to Solesearcher Adventures, brand strategy support package from Quip Brands, an Empathy & Impact Masterclass courtesy of Empathy First, an Introduction to Xero plus a mentoring program with Future Anything’s own Nicole Dyson.
The winning enterprise, created by students from the Gold Coast’s Marymount College, is developing one of Australia’s only sustainable recyclable anti-chewable dog beds made out of Kevlar material. The top prize will support Eco Bed to develop and scale their business in the real world.
Kenmore SHS‘s Colourme took out the Runner Up spot, winning $1500 to launch their innovative business that creates themed, washable and reusable tables cloths for restaurants, cafes and home entertainment, designed to tackle kids’ boredom around the dining table. They wowed the judges, presenting them with their own personalised table cloths during their pitch.
The judges awarded the Highly Commended prize of $500 to Savii. The team, from Ferny Grove SHS, is developing a savings app designed to hold consumers back from engaging in instant gratification from online purchases, thereby empowering them by helping to manage their finances. The prize, including a personalised mentoring session, was generously provided by The Eventful Learning Co.
This year, thanks to generous support from Advance Queensland, the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur (OQCE) and a surprise anonymous donor on the night, not one but two People’s Choice prizes were awarded. These awards were presented by Amelia St Baker, member of the OQCE’s Innovation Advisory Council.
Voted for the by the in-person audience following a buzzing Showcase Expo, Marymount College’s stikky and Fairholme College‘s Waste2Warmth each took home $500 to help them launch their businesses into the real world.
Amelia St Baker said “It’s so exciting to be here tonight. While I was at school, there just weren’t these types of programs embedded into the school curriculum, so I’m really excited to see so many young people here today that have had the opportunity to change the way their brains work, helping them to truly think like entrepreneurs.
No matter who took home the prizes tonight, all the teams should all be so proud of themselves. It takes so much courage to come here and pitch in front of so many people. I’m super, super impressed by all the teams.”
The Grand Finalists’ enterprises were developed as part of Future Anything’s Activate in-school entrepreneurship program, which tasks school-age students to create innovative, sustainable and scalable businesses that solve the problems that matter to them. Finalist teams were selected from over 200 applications from schools across Australia in a series of competitive live National Semi Finals held in October.
Judge Nic Marchesi added “What we all need now, more than ever, is amazing ideas as we saw so many of those here tonight. I encourage all our finalists here to keep pursuing your dream and your idea. Do it tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, because whether or not you won tonight, you don’t need a prize to execute on those ideas.”
In addition to showcasing the best student-led social enterprises, the Future Anything National Grand Final celebrated the teachers who have led entrepreneurial thinking in their classrooms with the second Future Anything Educator Awards. Read more about the winners here.
Reflecting on the event, Nicole Dyson, CEO & Founder of Future Anything, said “Everything we do has the potential to bend the future. I hope that everyone who was part of tonight’s event, whether they’re young or old, reflects on those little business ideas that are hiding in the back of their heads. I’d push them all to ask themselves, ‘why not?’, ‘why not me?’, ‘why not now?’ We can all bend the future.”
Future Anything National Grand Final 2022 – Full Results
WINNER – Eco Bed (Marymount College)
RUNNER UP – Colourme (Kenmore State High School)
HIGHLY COMMENDED – Savii (Ferny Grove State High School)
PEOPLE’S CHOICE – stikky (Marymount College) & Waste2Warmth (Fairholme College)
PITCHING GRAND FINALISTS 2022:
- Accessimaps (Loreto Kirribilli, NSW)
- colourme (Kenmore SHS, QLD)
- Eco Bed (Marymount College, QLD)
- Happy Koala (Ferny Grove SHS, QLD)
- Just to Let You Know You’re Not Alone (Kildare College, SA)
- Kufiyas for a Cause (Brisbane South SSC, QLD)
- PrimeSlime (Redbank Plains SHS, QLD)
- Savii (Ferny Grove SHS, QLD)
SHOWCASE GRAND FINALISTS 2022:
- Green Canteen (Loreto Kirribilli, NSW)
- Keyrings For Change (Foxwell SSC, QLD)
- Portafier (Yarrabilba SSC, QLD)
- stikky. (Marymount College, QLD)
- SustainaBee Made (Loreto Kirribilli, NSW)
- The B Ball Bin (Emerald SHS, QLD)
- Waste2Warmth (Fairholme College, QLD)
The Future Anything National Grand Final 2022 took place at The Triffid in Brisbane and Live online on Monday 21 November 2022. It was the culmination of Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum entrepreneurship program.
Registrations for Activate 2023 are now open. Click here to read more about Activate.