Solving Real World Problems Through Entrepreneurship

Last Thursday 16 May, the 2019 Student Entrepreneur Program reached its zenith with its much-celebrated Demo Day Pitch Competition.

Ten teams of young start-ups from Brisbane Girls Grammar School and Brisbane Grammar School pitched their entrepreneurial solutions for a wide array of real-life problems. The problems ranged from personal hobbies, such as how to select the right fishing baits, to important social issues, such as combating violent assaults in public. The competition was judged by staff and external experts in the area of entrepreneuship: Deputy Principal (Academic), Dr Bruce Addison; Brisbane Grammar School Deputy Headmaster—Students, Mr David Carrol; and CEO and Co-founder of World’s Biggest Garage Sale, Ms Yasmin Grigaliunas.

Bonfire, a team of five girls from Girls Grammar, won first prize for their project which aimed to educate and empower young people against assaults. Motivated by the personal experience of a team member, the start-up would create an online platform to connect young people, particularly young women, with support groups, enabling them to draw strength by sharing their experience. The team also aim to combat public assaults by sending customised safety tips and reminders to young people. Their proactive approach and careful research on the topic resonated with the audience and the judges. As part of their prize, they will receive mentoring from women founders in the River City Labs Network, Brisbane’s hub for entrepreneurs. Let us hope that they will turn their idea into a reality in the near future.

Moyai, a team that aims to make selecting technological products easier, and Nexus, a start-up that aims to provide automatic free Wi-Fi connection, won the second and third prizes respectively. On reflection, students find the 10-week entrepreneur program a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. They learn not only how to create a start-up business through ideation, market identification, validation, modelling and prototyping, but also develop skills to pitch their ideas confidently and concisely.

The Student Entrepreneur Program is a merit-based program, usually offered to senior students studying Economics and Accounting. It provides students with opportunities to apply their knowledge to real-world issues and develop 21st century skills.

Dr Sam Peng
Coordinator of Student Entrepreneur Program

Members of the winning Bonfire team (L to R): Jessica Siong (11R); Lucy Cribb (11B); Christabel Huang (11R); Vivian Ngo (11L); Victoria Qing (11H); and River City Labs Mentor, Mr Aaron Birkby.