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The future of entrepreneurship in North Queensland is looking bright after high school entrepreneurs came together to ideate and prototype innovative solutions that will make the world a better place.

On Tuesday 17 November, the Townsville City Council Big Ideas Challenge, powered by Smart Precinct NQ and presented by Future Anything, saw students from seven high schools participated  in a fast paced day of listening, learning and doing.

Townsville Big Ideas Challenge winner receive their prize

Guided through the day by Nicole Dyson, a globally recognised expert and practitioner in project-based learning and student entrepreneurship, students heard from entrepreneurs including Alan Kennedy (founder of Ochre  Sun), Blake Pelling (Project Lead at SafetyCulutre) and Taj Pabari (Australian School of Entrepreneurship) who shared insights into their personal start-up journeys.

Students then took ownership of the day, identifying and diving into the real-world problems that matter to them, before ideating innovative, scalable and sustainable businesses that could create tangible change.

The Big Ideas Challenge culminated in teams presenting their ideas in a tough-fought pitching competition, the judges ultimately selecting Taylah, Jack, Hayden and Harrison from Thuringowa State High School whose innovative idea and slick pitch impressed the judges.

Nicole Dyson said “We had an awesome day in Townsville and it really inspiring to hear the innovative and thoughtful start up ideas our high school entrepreneurs came up with, especially in such a short time”

“With the support of organisations such as Townsville City Council, Smart Precinct and major sponsor Queensland Country Bank, it’s exciting to see there is so much support for aspiring entrepreneurs in the region. We’re looking forward to collaborating with them- and educators and students from across North Queensland- to bend the future, one youth led idea at a time”.

To further build entrepreneurship in NQ, schools in the region can now access generous co-funding to be part of Future Anything’s immersive, in-curriculum Activate program in 2021. A second Townsville City Council Big Ideas Challenge will take place in March 2021.

Townsville City Council Big Ideas Challenge 2020 – Full list of winners

  • FIRST PRIZE: The Queensland Country Bank ‘Global Impact Award’ is a generous $3,000 bursary gifted to the winning school, designed as seed funding for an innovative product. Awarded to Thuringowa State High School
  • SECOND PRIZE: The SunCity Harley-Davidson 2nd Prize is a $2,000 bursary to be gifted to the team who creates the best innovation that will benefit the local community. Awarded to: St Patrick’s College
  • THIRD PRIZE: The nbn™️ ‘3rd prize’ is a $1,000 bursary to be gifted to the team who champions and develops a solution to improve connectivity within the region.
  • RUNNER UP: The Townsville City Council Sustainability Team generously donated a Parrot Drone for the Runners Up, to be used as a tool in their learning and engagement at school. Awarded to Thuringowa State High School
  • CHANGEMAKERS  AWARD: The Australian School of Entrepreneurship gifted three students with tickets to their upcoming Business Camp.  Awarded to St Margaret Mary’s College

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.

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