Published 22 November 2023
Unified First Aid from Ferny Grove State High School was crowned the winner of the Future Anything National Grand Final 2023 at a high-profile event broadcast live from The Triffid in Brisbane this week.
In the culmination of Future Anything’s Activate 2023 program, eight teams of school-age entrepreneurs pitched their innovative, scalable and sustainable social enterprise ideas live on stage, before facing tough questions from judges Belinda Morrissey (Chair, Social Enterprise Australia & CEO, English Family Foundation), Dr Catherine Ball (Futurist, Author & Associate Professor, ANU), Joel Connolly (Creative Director, Blackbird Ventures & Head, Blackbird Foundation), Kristy Chong OAM (Founder, Modibodi) and Sarah Liu (Founder & Managing Director, TDC Global)
The event was generously supported by Major Partners Advance Queensland and the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and a host of epic organisations who contributed prizes to support the school-age entrepreneurs.
On announcing the winners, Sarah Liu said “In tonight’s pitches, we learned so much about what in the hearts and minds of the next generation. We were all taken aback by the depth of the young people’s knowledge and how well they researched their categories, and how forward thinking they already are about the problem and solutions they you presented.”
Speaking to pitching teams, Sarah said ” You innovators taught us about the power of their passion, and we saw that coming through every single one of your pitches. We encourage all of you today to stay curious and stay passionate and keep going. You’ve inspired all of us.”
Unified First Aid was crowned Future Anything Grand Final 2023 winner, taking out the top prize worth close to $20,000. The prize pack included $2500 cash, a branding support package from Adelaide’s Avenue de Saxe , development days with the Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and Queensland Social Enterprise Council, mentoring with Solesearcher Adventures, an Empathy & Impact Masterclass courtesy of Empathy First, access to SomethingQ 2024 and, excitingly, inclusion in the 2024 cohort of YouthX, Australia’s only accelerator program for school-age entrepreneurs.
The winning enterprise, created by Blaize and Harley from Ferny Grove State High School is Unified First Aid, which is a specialised course developed to instruct people with disabilities how to administer first aid. The top prize will support the team to develop and scale their business in the real world.
Ashan Industries from Canterbury College took out the Runner Up spot, with founder Ashutosh winning $1500 to launch his innovative app that supports people with Autism in their daily life.
So impressed by the calibre of teams on the night, the judges decided to award two Highly Commended teams.
Brisbane South State Secondary College’s Chipz. have created healthy chips out of soybeans which are high in protein, while Paw Print Books from MacGregor State High School help children who want to save endangered species by empowering them to take practical steps as active citizens to conserve animal habitats.
Joel Connolly told Chipz “We love your connection to the problem, we loved the customer research you’ve done, and we loved your passion.”
To Paw Print Books, Dr Catherine Ball said “We were so happy to see the strong focus on environmentalism and we loved the transferability of your idea.”.
The pitches weren’t the only feature of the Future Anything National Grand Final 2023. The event also nineteen teams of school-age entrepreneurs promote their social enterprise ideas in the 2023 Showcase.
The Future Anything National Grand Final Showcase Winner 2023 was awarded to WICS (Matthew Flinders Anglican College), while the Runner Up went to Incredible Insects (Matthew Flinders Anglican College. WICS also took out the hotly-contested People’s Choice. Read more about the Future Anything National Grand Final Showcase winners here.
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 250 applications from schools across Australia in a series of competitive live National Semi Finals held in October.
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 “The foundation of all the work we do at Future Anything is the belief that youth-led ideas have the power to bend the future. This stuff that our students showed us today has the potential to change the fabric of the future moving forward.”
Nic added “I invite everyone watching today to find even a small gesture of support for a young person you know that might unlock their ability to bend the future.”
Future Anything National Grand Final 2023 – Full Results
Unified First Aid (Ferny Grove SHS)
Ashan Industries (Canterbury College)
Chipz (Brisbane South SSC)
Paw Print Books (MagGregor SHS)
Meet the pitching teams
Meet our pitching teams! These teams were the winners of our eight National Semi Finals, held live online in October.
Ashan is an application to help people with Autism in their daily life.
Brisbane South SSC
Our solution is to create a healthy chip out of soybeans which are healthy and high in protein.
A pencil case with replaceable, removable and washable fabric on the inside and waterproof, donated chip packets on the outside.
Paw Print Books
Our books help children who want to save endangered species by empowering them to take practical steps as active citizens to conserve animal habitats.
ReSeas is a swimwear line made from recycled plastic by BaliSwim. Waterway Warriors offers monthly beach clean-ups to community members.
Rise is a businesses to help prevent drowning, pollution and theft with a one floatation device.
Our business is focus on the protection of our oceans, convincing people to use our bins which are covered in artwork of sea animals.
Unified First Aid
Ferny Grove SHS
A specialised course catered to instructing people with disabilities how to administer first aid.
Meet the Pitch Judges
Huge thank you to all the partners, sponsors, educators and students who make this event possible.
The Future Anything National Grand Final 2023 took place at The Triffid in Brisbane and live online on Monday 20 November 2023. It was the culmination of Future Anything’s Activate in-curriculum entrepreneurship program.
Registrations for Activate 2024 are now open. Click here to read more about Activate.